For our readers in the St. Louis metropolitan area: the premiere production of Porch Lies to be performed by The Black Rep at St. Louis County Library Headquarters has been postponed.  The production has been rescheduled for 7 p.m., Friday, February 15, at the Headquarters Branch.  Patricia McKissack will autograph copies of her book at the rescheduled event.   

Fact vs. Opinion

January 28, 2008

pat.gif Authors Pat McKissack and Arlene Zarembka will be connecting to Jillian Proehl‘s students at Rockwood South Middle School for the videoconference series To Establish Justice: Fact vs. Opinion.  The first videoconference will be January 30th with Jillian; the following two will be with the students in February.  We’re looking forward to the upcoming videoconferences and hearing feedback from the students!zarembka.jpg

This is the blog for the student writers’ workshop with published author, Patricia McKissack‘Author Visit’ videoconferences with New Links to New Learning allow students to gain valuable information about the writing process and how real authors work to create and publish their work.  After having worked with videoconferencing in education for several years and participating in thousands of actual videoconferences, we at New Links to New Learning have come up with a model that seems to work well to integrate this new technology into the existing curriculums of schools. Students who interact over a videoconference with the author are invited to read her blog to learn what inspires her to write, how she researches, creates and revises.

Teachers, wondering how an author visit videoconference fits into your curriculum? Let us help- 

These standards are based on academic standards put in place by the state of Missouri:

In Communication Arts, students in Missouri public schools will acquire a solid foundation which includes knowledge of and proficiency in

1. speaking and writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, capitalization)

2. reading and evaluating fiction, poetry and drama

3. reading and evaluating nonfiction works and material (such as biographies, newspapers, technical manuals)

4. writing formally (such as reports, narratives, essays) and informally (such as outlines, notes)

5. comprehending and evaluating the content and artistic aspects of oral and visual presentations (such as story-telling, debates, lectures, multi-media productions)

6. participating in formal and informal presentations and discussions of issues and ideas

7. identifying and evaluating relationships between language and culture      

In Social Studies, students in Missouri public schools will acquire a solid foundation which includes knowledge of

1. principles expressed in the documents shaping constitutional democracy in the United States

2. continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world

3. principles and processes of governance systems

4. economic concepts (including productivity and the market system) and principles (including the laws of supply and demand)

5. the major elements of geographical study and analysis (such as location, place, movement, regions) and their relationships to changes in society and environment

6. relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions

7. the use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents)

Goals of academic standards:

Goal 1 — Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to gather, analyze and apply information and ideas.

Goal 2 — Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively within and beyond the classroom.

Goal 3 — Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to recognize and solve problems.


St. Louis author Patricia McKissack teaches students how to write. During hands-on and highly interactive sessions, students discuss plot, themes, character development and more. In a series of three videoconferences, Ms.McKissack customizes for any grade level and any part of the writing process. In the first videoconference, the author meets with the teachers to discuss the goals of the author visit and what books they would like her to present. In the second, the author dialogs with students, and in the third videoconference she gives feedback to students about the writing and illustrations the students have done. This series can be for elementary, middle or high school students. Teachers, interested? Contact Rebecca.

Cost for the series of three videoconferences is $500. The first videoconference is always at 4:00 pm CT, and the last two are at 9:30 or 11:00 am. Student videoconferences last for an hour. 

Historical Fiction/Biography Writing: Feb 13 – teacher videoconference – 4-5 CST;  Feb. 27 – student videoconference I – 9:30-12:00 CST;  March 12 – student videoconference II 9:30-12:00 CST

What are some historical fiction books Mrs. McKissack has written? Here are just a few: