Of my three interests—writing, storytelling, and music—I'm most comfortable as a storyteller. Put me in front of an audience and something inside of me lights up. I thoroughly enjoy sharing stories with audiences young and old. It's that energy that I bring to all of my school and public library programs. My intent is always to entertain and to inform. If you'd like to find out more about the program below, or how to book a program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Headstart and PreschoolAs a storyteller, I'm very adept at engaging even the youngest child. I enjoy the spontaneity and energy that young children bring to a story program. That, in fact, is my main emphasis with young children: to entertain them with engaging stories delivered through a variety of means, i.e., simple props and instruments, puppets, even novelty books. My wife thinks it's a miracle that I can entertain three-year-olds for more than a few minutes. My headstart and preschool programs generally run 30-40 minutes.
Primary Grades For students in the kindergarten through 2nd grade range, I offer an author/storytelling program, but in a more focused way, using my writing and publishing experiences as the focus. Every story I read or act out is to better clarify my writing experiences. It is my goal to guide students through my writing experiences in a logical, sequential way so students have a broad understanding of what an author does, and, just as importantly, understand what makes a good story.
Intermediate With older students, 3rd-5th grade, I talk more extensively about the writing process. In a more conversational tone, I talk to students about three ways that I generally get ideas (by looking around, by reading, and by thinking about my childhood). In this program I try to engage students more at their own level, using very specific examples from my writing to convey important ideas about reading and writing. I also use a lot of supplemental texts that relate to the several books of mine that I highlight in this engaging presentation.
Middle School It must be the natural speaker in me, because I find myself at ease in front of a group of three-year-olds as much as I do a group of thirteen-year-olds. For the latter, I use a powerpoint presentation to talk about the "nuts and bolts" of writing. I show students where I write, what I use to write, how I organize my writing, and some of my published work appropriate for their age. Students and teachers have told me they really enjoy this under-the-hood look at what it means to be a professional writer.
Family Story Concerts I also offer evening programs for a multi-generational audience. I do this often in conjunction with a series of programs offered during the school day. I also do it as a stand-alone event to kick-off a school or library book sale or literacy program. In this setting, I draw strongly upon my performance arts background and deliver an upbeat, action-packed presentation filled with music, storytelling, and lots of humor.
Listen to the Author Read. Okay, it's the middle of October and you'd like to read Shake Dem Halloween Bones to your students, but you're not sure how the melody goes. No problem. Just go to my SoundCloud site, scroll through the recordings until you find it, and press the play button. Voila! Instantly you'll hear me reading Shake Dem Halloween Bones (or any number of books that I've uploaded to the site). Still interested? Great, then click HERE to go there. And enjoy!