My first official school visits were yesterday. I mean, I've been in school reading my stories. I've visited my daughter's class with my books. But yesterday, I had three formal presentations to the entire 2nd grade in my home town. Topic: writing nonfiction.
I was nervous! I've presented to an auditorium full of first year college students and their parents, and a room full of 2nd graders made me nervous. But it was great. They were good listeners. They had good questions. And some of them have taken out my books from the library--that was cool.
Best comment from a little boy, "No offense, but John Lance was here yesterday and HE started writing in the 3rd grade." This is all the funnier because I'm friendly with the Lance family, and John is fellow local author.
Things I learned:
1. Go to the bathroom before they walk in the room.
2. Have a bottle of water ready--cause your throat will dry up.
3. Be ready for ANY question (i.e., talking about my book WHO REALLY DISCOVERED AMERICA, one child asked "what about Adam and Eve?" Someone else asked "How old are you?")
4. Be ready to fill in silence...with a question to them, some interesting thing about yourself, reading a bit from your book.
I had made myself an outline so I had a loose idea of what I to say, but I wanted to give them a chance to ask questions. Next time I think I'll be a bit more formal. Powerpoint? Notecards? I strayed from my outline a bit. But they didn't seem to notice. :)
Next month, third grade.