Author Pat McKissack is working on bringing her newest book, Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt into one of her videoconference series. The program is still in the development stage, but we’re excited to have the opportunity!

Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt  will be released in the fall.  Cozbi A. Cabrera illustrated the book.

Here is some information from McKissack’s publisher, Random House, on the book. You will be able to purchase the book at Random House by clicking here

Mother and daughter, grandmother and granddaughter, aunt and niece, friend and friend. For a hundred years, generations of women from Gee’s Bend have quilted together, sharing stories, trading recipes, singing hymns—all the while stitchin’ and pullin’ thread through cloth. Every day Baby Girl listens, watches, and waits, until she’s called to sit at the quilting frame. Piece by piece, she puzzles her quilt together—telling not just her story, but the story of her family, the story of Gee’s Bend, and the story of her ancestors’ struggle for freedom.

  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers 
  • Pub. Date: October 28, 2008
  • ISBN-13: 9780375831638
  • Age Range: 6 to 10  
To learn more about the quilters of Gee’s Bend, visit: There, you’ll meet the women who create these fantastic quilts and learn the history of the community.    




Arlene & Pat in ’07-08 v/c with Rockwood  | To Establish Justice book cover

Fact vs. Opinion Videoconference Dates
February 17, 2009 – teacher mtg 4 pm 
March 3, 2009 – student session 1 or 2 pm
March 17, 2009 – student session 1 or 2 pm

To Establish Justice by Patricia McKissack and attorney Arlene Zarembka examines the role the Supreme Court has played in shaping the civil rights for various people of all ages, races and nationalities. Using concise and accessible language, McKissack and Zarembka examine the evolution of civil rights and the struggle of various groups to obtain them. Educators can use this book to provide their students with an easy way to understand how the court system operates and how as American society has changed, so have interpretations of justice and equality. The authors have written a compelling and provocative text that urges readers to ask: “What is the meaning of JUSTICE?” 

This videoconference series on civil rights and citizenship is intended for middle school and high school students. One focus of the program is the difference between fact and opinion in the court system. Participating schools are asked to read the book. Teachers, if you are interested in participating in this interactive, informational videoconference series, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts. For New Links to New Learning members, this series is now $650; for non-members, the series is $750. 

 Winter Holidays Around  the World dates have  been set:
 Teacher Session: November  4, 2008 @  4 pm CT
 Student Session I:  November  25, 2008 @  9:30  or 11 am CT
 Student Session II:  December  16, 2008 @  9:30  or 11 am CT

 Students in past  videoconference connections  have written about several  winter holidays, including (but  not limited to) Chinese New  Year, Ramadan, and Kwanzaa. 

Award winning author Patricia McKissack shares with students her expertise when in comes to writing, and tells participants about her holiday book, Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. This illustrated book, for children ages nine and up, compares the preparations between the plantation mansion and the slave quarters leading up to Christmas celebrations.

During the first videoconference, Pat will talk with the participating teachers about what they are doing in class and how this videoconference relates to their curriculum. In the second and third videoconferences, Pat interacts directly with the students. In the final connection, students will have an opportunity to share their work with their peers and Pat. Pat offers her praise and critique of the work, though often encouraging students to revise and rewrite! 

To have your class sign up for this interactive videoconference series, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts to learn about costs and expectations. Each videoconference should have no more than 30 students per class, and we never connect more than three schools at one time. Pat works with students of all ages, but we work to schedule to make sure the right groups are working together (a second grade class would never work with a seventh grade class, for instance). We hope to see you this holiday session!

More McKissack Resources

June 12, 2008

To learn more about Pat McKissack, visit her website:
Links include book reviews and her biography…

We’ve set up Pat McKissack’s Creative Writing dates for the upcoming school year. Pat does a three part series: the first v/c is with the participating teachers, to discuss goals and themes. The second & third v/c are with the students, where they talk with Pat about all there is to being an author. They learn the methods she uses when writing fiction. In the third v/c, students share their work with Pat and she provides a critique of the writing. The goal of the project is to introduce students to the process that authors use to write a book and to engage them in writing activities themselves that mirror this process. 

We’re excited to announce Pat will be offering Creative Writing twice during the 2008-09 school year! Remember that Pat videoconferences live from St. Louis, Missouri, so all times listed are central- standard or daylight, depending on the time of year:

Fall dates/times:                              Spring dates/times:
November 11, 4 pm                   February 24, 4 pm 
November 25, 1 or 2 pm           March 3, 9:30 or 11 am 
December 16, 1 or 2 pm           March 17, 9:30 or 11 am

Teachers select one time slot and use it for both sessions. Fall dates are grouped together, spring dates are grouped together. No mixing ‘n matching, please! Also, we limit each videoconference time slot to three schools, with no more than 30 kids at each site. If there are a variety of grade levels interested, we group accordingly. A former teacher, Pat works with elementary through high school students. This is an interactive writing series.

This school year marks Pat’s 10th anniversary of videoconferencing with New Links to New Learning and Cooperating School Districts! We hope you can join us as we start this new chapter! To sign up for the videoconference series, and to find out about pricing and connections, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts.

top 2007-08 posts

June 3, 2008


Top Viewed Can You Imagine? Posts for the 2007-08 school year:

pics to post…  128
‘Tis the Season…   79
the art of arguing   29




Look for new posts & program updates during the summer!