I LOVE school visits!
I have presented my books and materials at many different places including preschools,
elementary schools, libraries and bookstores. I’ve found that kids of all ages enjoy drawing
facial expressions that communicate emotions. I use three images from The Way I Feel and
discuss how simple shapes and colors can depict anger, joy and sadness.
I do two types of presentations depending on the age of the children:
Preschool to 2nd grade—
I give the children a brief history of The Way I Feel and why I chose emotions as my subject matter. Next, we discuss feelings and how colors, shapes and typography can express emotions. While reading the book, I cover up the emotion word on each page to see if the children can guess the feeling based on our discussion of colors and shapes. There are usually many hands raised at this point, so I spend time addressing questions. Next, the children are given a page with three different face ‘outlines’ (sans essential facial features and expressions), and we begin a step-by-step exercise to add expressions using simple shapes. Kids LOVE this! As a matter of fact, kids of all ages enjoy this project so much that I teach it to every grade. They can finish coloring their drawings at home if we run out of time, but we always complete drawing the expressions. The entire presentation lasts about 35-45 minutes.
Grades 3rd to 5th—
Once again, I begin with a brief history of the book. I read The Way I Feel, but rather than spend time discussing emotions, I show storyboards explaining the process of creating a book in a step-by-step format. The older children typically have questions about the creative process, finding a publisher, printing the book, and so on. After I’ve spent time answering questions, I teach the simple shape drawing technique, like preschool – 2nd. This presentation usually takes about 45 minutes or so depending on questions.
I prefer class size to be limited to approximately 30 students so the children can see the storyboards, some of which are created in pencil and difficult to see from afar. Also, the drawing project needs to be done at tables or desks and seating more than 30 kids can be challenging. I’m open to larger groups if you feel your space is suitable to accommodate more than 30 children, but no more than 60, please.
If you’d like me to come to your school, my publisher, Parenting Press, can help promote your event and provide images for book pre-order forms.
My typical speaking fee is $100 per presentation. I live near Chicago so I can usually visit schools within a one day drive. Since the presentations are about 45 minutes, I can do as many as four per day. Schools are responsible for my speaking fee, travel expenses, and when an overnight stay is necessary, for lodging. If you have a tight budget, you can split my fee with another school to cut down on costs. For example, if the schools are close together I can do morning presentations at one and go to the other in the afternoon. Because of the time involved with inscribing books at an event, schools are encouraged to solicit pre-orders so that books can be autographed in advance. For more information, contact the Parenting Press publicity staff at marketing@ParentingPress.com or (800) 992-6657, ext. 105.