I had the great pleasure of spending last week with the students and teachers at Orchard School in South Burlington, Vermont. I spoke to the smart, curious K-2 students about bats and birds and frogs as well as the writing and book-making process. The enthusiastic grade 3-5 classes met with me twice for in-depth programs about nonfiction writing.
While I was speaking to students on one end of the school, passionate teacher-librarian Donna MacDonald-Sullivan was hard at work down the hall, asking students to think deeply about my books and my writing suggestions during their library period. And all over the school, teachers were integrating my ideas and books into their lessons. Wow!
On Monday night, Donna and several teachers took me out to dinner at a delicious local restaurant. Shout out to the second-grade hall for sharing a meal and their space with me!
On Wednesday, fourth graders tweeted out messages. Here are a few examples:
Thank you @ for teaching me about how we get cocoa beans and the whole cycle. Thank you for coming to Orchard School!
Hi @! We really love all of your books, such as "Alligator or Crocodile" and "No Monkeys, No Chocolate."
My friend and I loved that we just learned that killer whales are really dolphins! Thank you author-in-residence @.
Mrs. Pecor's third graders wrote a lovely poem inspired by Feathers: Not Just for Flying (illus by Sarah S. Brannen) and performed it for me. Double Wow!
And just as I was packing up to go, I was presented a wonderful basket full of Vermont-made items and so many beautifully-crafted student-made cards and notes that it may take me all summer to read them. Triple Wow!
I am one lucky author.