I wrapped up a writer-in-residency at a local school, Southpointe Academy, in April. It seems like a lifetime ago because, since then, my family has moved homes for the first time in eighteen years (more on that in a future post, I imagine!).
I’ve now had time to reflect on the residency and look back at some of the photos from my week at the school. We accomplished a lot of writing and storytelling!
I was asked to develop a plan for K-5 and so came up with a different project for each grade.
Kindergarteners: Costuming a Character
Grade 1s: Magical Boxes
Grade 2s: Enchanted Trees
Grade 3s: Secret Doorways
Grade 4s: A Spellbinding Shopping Trip
Grade 5s: Lost in the Library
I kicked off the week with one general presentation to the entire school, which allowed me to introduce myself—and my philosophy—so that I didn’t have to repeat this each time I visited the specific classrooms.
The fantastic aspect of a residency is that I get to spend multiple blocks with the same class. In general, the system was the same: enter the classroom, introduce the project with some brainstorming and scene starters, then follow up in additional sessions with more specific writing advice, presentation, and an in-depth Q & A.
Of course, the format was tweaked depending on the age.
Another positive to spending an entire week at the school was that I could set up my museum of artifacts in the library and students could come view them throughout the week for extra inspiration.
Finally, the school asked me to write a story about them during my time there and I did just that. This turned out to be a lot of fun, and I ended up writing about an imagined misadventure with the Grade 5 classroom’s mascot, Yorick the skeleton.
Afterward, I was happy to receive these kind words from Southpointe’s writing coordinator:
“Everyone at our school loved having Lee as our Author-In-Residence, as he is such an engaging and inspirational writer and teacher! He connected with all our students from K to Grade 5 who loved his fun, interactive workshops, which focused on making the writing process accessible to all! I would recommend Lee without hesitation.”
More info about my residencies can be found on my website.