I do school visits year round and generally present to k through 5th grade. A typical visit usually consists of multiple grade level sessions broken up over the course of a half or full day. But I’m there to serve the school and the students, so each visit is different and uniquely designed to meet the host’s specific needs. The following is a list of presentation activities I often bring to a school. I do, however, try to cater to the group in front of me, so the combination of activities usually varies depending on age and/or grade.
School visits are one of the things I love most about my job. Whether I’m in a gym with 300 rowdy k-3rd students, or in a single classroom with 20 5th-graders, getting to engage with young readers is such a privilege. Kids are honest—sometimes brutally, they still believe in the unbelievable, and they haven’t developed that crusty outer shell we adults often carry around. There is so much about them that I want to be when I grow up.
The Story - This is usually a reading of my most recently published book. Sometimes, if given the option, kids will choose to hear a second story in place of some other activity.
Interactive Drawing - This is especially fun with the younger grades. I let students come up with a new adventure for Hoot. They tell me where he’s going and what he’ll need when he gets there, then I try to bring their ideas to life through drawing. This part is a blast!
How I Make A Picture - I use slides and video to talk through the creation of an illustration.
Hands-on Tech - With older grades, I give students the opportunity to digitally interact with one of my illustrations. Because I often use digital color in my work, I want to show students how that technology overlaps and plays with traditionally rendered art. I typically pick several students to try their hand at digitally coloring part of an illustration.
Portfolio - I use slides to show the progression of my art through time. I include some of my very early art efforts all the way through to what is currently being published.
The Art - I usually bring 10 to 20 original illustrations from the books that kids can actually touch, handle, and look at up close.
For more information please don’t hesitate to reach out through my Contact page. I look forward to hearing from you!