School visits are a great way to get kids excited about reading and writing! My presentations focus on both editing and writing and tie into Common Core Standards with a look at nonfiction and primary source research. Kids learn what an editor does and get the chance to offer their own editorial opinions. I also talk about the process of making books, touching on several of my own books, and reading one. I show various stages, from first draft, to editor’s comments, to finished art (everything gets better with revision!).
Throughout there’s lots of interaction. We discuss where ideas come from, “tricks” writers use like alliteration and onomatopoeia, and the real history that goes into my picture books (including the little-known verse of the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”). My visits are always about reading, writing, and how books are made (good all year round), but depending on the school’s preference, I can also focus on women’s history (great for Women’s History Month) or New York City history (great for NYC curriculums).