As excited as I am, my main goal is to make sure my presentations are interesting for the kids. So in preparation for working on my presentation, I googled (what else?) "Tips on School Visits." And I found a great resource!
School Visit Experts
This website has some great outlines, tips, and suggestions from people who have spent years presenting to kids. I'm so grateful for the site!
I'm working on visual aids as well as an auditory presentation. I'm planning on talking about the writing process. I might put together a power point presentation, but I'm not sure.
The following notes I took from the website www.schoolvisitexperts.com
Presentation Length: 30 minutes
The Focus: How a nonfiction book gets published (for me, from assignment to finished product).
The Sub-focus: How to research and put facts together to make an interesting book for readers.
Big-Picture Audience Take-Away: To learn about how a book gets published from beginning to end.
Table props to make the presentation 3-D:
- Stack of books used for research; binders with materials (1st drafts, writer’s guidelines, etc.
- Music -- Maybe, maybe not—not sure yet
- Possible Images for visual (power point) presentation
- Writer’s guidelines
- Screen shots of the final .pdf
- Websites used for research
- My office/workspace
- The cubicle in the library where I write sometimes
- Before my visit
- Ask the teachers and/or librarian to make the books available for the kids to preview prior to the event.
- Encourage the teachers to have kids share stories, draw pictures or share photos of their favorite nonfiction topic (animals, space, nature).
- After my visit
- Invite kids to write letters, telling about their favorite part of the presentation, what tips they learned, or share a story they want to write.
- Leave behind a bibliography of picture books – both nonfiction and fiction.
- Create question cards that kids can choose out of a hat—brainstorm possible questions just in case they get stumped.
- Think of the presentation in the same way you approach a book: including plot, character, conflict, dialogue. You do not have to be a standup comedian or even a polished public speaker. It does help tremendously if you have a “story” to tell your audience that includes information about your latest work, your total body of work, your “themes”, the struggles you encountered on your way to becoming a published author. The audience likes to know an appropriate amount about you as a person – past as well as present. (**I feel like this is the most important takeaway from the site.)
- · avoid plagiarism
- · do research
- · take notes
- · construct a bibliography
- · paraphrase
- · distinguish a reliable source of information from an unreliable one
Thanks to the great bloggers at http://schoolvisitexperts.com for the above tips.