Making Writing Visible

slice-of-life_individualYesterday one of my schools hosted kidlit author Lynn Plourde. If you don’t know Lynn and IMG_9452her books, you really should.  A former speech therapist and educator, Lynn’s books are full of whimsical word play and rich characters,  and her presentation to students is spot on. She’s got the teachers’ touch, for sure.

I first met Lynn when my daughter was starting kindergarten. She came to share her debut picture book Pigs in the Mud at my daughter’s school. Now Lynn doesn’t just read her book, she gets the kids to LIVE it. With simple props and lots of enthusiasm everyone tells the story of a muddy road full of animals in rural Maine. My kids were enthralled and I’ve been a fan of her work ever since.

This year, Lynn published her first middle grade novel, Maxie’s Secrets: Or What You Can Learn From A Dog . I think this will introduce a whole new audience of readers to her talent and showcases her range that also includes nonfiction, graphic novels, and a ‘love letter to the state of Maine‘!

IMG_9438When I wrote my own book (Close Writing) Lynn was one of the authors gracious enough to talk with me about her process and let me share some of her ideas and thoughts about writing. She has attended nErDcamps to share ideas with teachers as well.

Lynn has a blog Make Writing Visible  where she shares some techniques teachers can use with their students-a virtual author’s visit! She is a true writing mentor!

I know KidLit authors are rock stars to me.  I learn so much from them as an adult, I can only imagine what it would have been like for me as a child to meet a real life author.  I desperately wanted to write to Astrid Lindgren (author of the Pippi Longstocking books) but at the time, that wasn’t anything my teachers could help me with. Authors today have never been more accessible. Teachers can help connect kids and authors via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Email, or even Skype visits. (And there’s always good old snail mail).

Students left the library at our school today not only inspired, but eager to write. It’s my wish that every child gets opportunities to connect with the authors who fill their libraries and open their hearts and minds. I want them to get insights into the process and ask questions that will lift their thinking and elevate their writing.

Let’s look for opportunities to make writing as visible for our students as possible. Let’s give them this slice of a literacy life.

10 thoughts on “Making Writing Visible

  1. It’s a special moment when a child (or an adult like me) realizes that our “rock star” author heroes are real people. Those meetings spark passion and purpose. Is it possible I may have seen you present at ILA Boston last summer?

  2. Paula, I agree that author visits are wonderful opportunities for students to learn and dream alongside those who have a love of words. Thanks for sharing this author whom I have to read more about.

  3. I so agree with you. I absolutely love when kidlit authors come to our school to meet with each grade. I’ve been known to crash sessions for other grades, just so I can see some of my favorites. (Mac Barnett and Brian Biggs were here yesterday for First Grade, and I was not going to miss catching 5 minutes with them!) I love when they share the process with kids — where the ideas come from, how it feels to run out of ideas, the frustration of the process, etc… Students always return to the classroom fired up and ready to go. I’ve learned to schedule a special writer’s workshop after these visits, so help them ride the wave of excitement!

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