St. Louis author Patricia McKissack teaches students how to write via interactive videoconference. During hands-on and highly interactive sessions through Cooperating School Districts’ New Links to New Learning, students discuss plot, themes, character development and more.

This spring is the Creative Writing-Science Fiction workshop.
Dates and times (always central) for this three-part series are:
4 p.m. on 4/13 – teacher meeting
11 a.m. on 4/27 – student meeting I
11 a.m. on 5/11 – student meeting II

In a series of three videoconferences, Mrs. 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 the science fiction book she will be presenting, The Clone Codes.

In the first videoconference with students, Mrs. McKissack introduces herself and gives a brief biographical background including how she came to be a writer. Then, she goes into a lesson, which could focus on brainstorming, revision, or any other area that the teachers have agreed upon. Time is left for questions and answers from the students. The author then makes a science fiction writing assignment to the students. When they get back together in the last videoconference, she gives them feedback about their writing.

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Don’t forget that in addition to her three part writing series and story hour sessions, Pat McKissack still offers her “talk shop” videoconferences on historical fiction and science fiction.

These one hour programs are for middle school and high school students, and will be available upon request. During the videoconference, Pat will talk with students on the ins-and-outs of writing either historical fiction or science fiction. Where does the writer start? What kind of brainstorming techniques does she find most useful? How does Pat research for her books? These questions, plus more, will be discussed between author and students.

This videoconference is $200* for New Links to New Learning members and $250* for nonmembers.

* Register for 2011 dates before December 23rd and receive 20% off your program!

Click here to register.

As part of her 60 minute Story Hour videoconference series through New Links to New Learning, author & storyteller Patricia McKissack will read her story The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll.

Elementary teachers, if you’d like to sign up for this holiday-themed videoconference on December 15, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts by email: rmorrison@csd.org. The cost of this once a year program is $200 for New Links members, $250 for non-members. Please sign up for this program no later than December 6, 2010. There are three spots available for this session; as of November 5, two of them have been filled with classes. Please limited class size to 40 students or less.

On December 15, 2010 at 10 o’clock CT, Pat will share The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll with connecting children. This book is for students ages 5-8; “It is Christmas, and Nella is beside herself with excitement! She and her sisters have been given a real gift – a beautiful Baby Betty doll. But it’s hard to share something you’ve waited your whole seven-year-old life for, and Nella grabs the doll for herself. It isn’t long before she discovers that a doll can’t do the fun things she and her sisters do together. So, as Christmas day fades, Nella shares it with her sisters. Set in the Depression era South, here’s a heartwarming story that captures the essence of the holiday.” (Amazon.com)

This videoconference meets the following Missouri Standards: Communication Arts
In Communication Arts, students in Missouri public schools will acquire a solid foundation which includes knowledge of and proficiency in:
1. speaking/writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, capitalization)
2. reading and evaluating fiction, poetry and drama
5. comprehending and evaluating the content and artistic aspects of oral and visual presentations (such as story-telling, debates, lectures, multi-media productions)

Here are some upcoming registration deadlines for author Patricia McKissack’s videoconferences through New Links to New Learning:

•  Winter Holidays Around the World starts November 10th; register by November 1st
•  Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt takes place November 17th; register by November 11th
•  The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll takes place December 15th; register by December 6th

To schedule a connection, or if you have questions, contact Cooperating School Districts’ Rebecca Morrison at rmorrison@csd.org.

Storyteller and author Pat McKissack will read from her acclaimed book Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt and participate in an interactive discussion with participating students over videoconference on November 17, 2010. For more information, including costs and times, email Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis.

This book is for students ages 9-12; “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.” (Amazon.com)

Program Format:
1. This program begins with Mrs. McKissack introducing herself and her book.
2. Mrs. McKissack will read the book.
3. Mrs. McKissack will take questions from the connecting sites

Here’s what a past participating teacher said of this videoconference:

“…the conference was incredible!  The kids and I really appreciated the fact that Patricia took the time to answer the kids’ questions.  They were intrigued by the fact that her husband is the researcher, and she is the writer.  I thoroughly believe the time with Patricia, hearing her voice, reading her own words, and discussing her own experiences were extremely beneficial for the kids and me.  I like the fact that she spoke of differences and similarities between people, no matter what the background, color, race, etc.  She emphasized the appreciation of family and love and making memories together. Beautiful.”

St. Louis author and storyteller 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 refers them to the book she will be discussing, Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. In the second vc, the author dialogs with students, discussing winter holiday traditions and how she wrote her book about Christmas on a Virginia plantation in 1859. In the third videoconference, she gives feedback to students about the writing and illustrations the students have done.

In the first videoconference with students, Ms. McKissack introduces herself and gives a brief biographical background including how she came to be a writer. Then, she goes into a lesson, which focuses on how to do research and then write a fictional story that contains facts that you have researched. Time is left for questions and answers from the students. The author then makes a writing assignment to the students. She tells them to research various winter holidays such as Chanukah, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, Christmas, or winter solstice, and then write a story about the holiday that they have researched. When they get back together in the last videoconference, she gives them feedback about their writing and the illustrations they have created to go with their stories.

The cost of this excellent three-part writing series is $650 for New Links members and $750 for nonmembers. Questions, or to register: rmorrison@csd.org.

Set dates and times:

• Teacher session is November 10 at 4 o’clock CT.
• First student session is November 17 at 11 o’clock CT.
• Final student session is December 8 at 11 o’clock CT.

Award winning author Patricia McKissack will conduct three, 60 minute story-hour sessions during the fall of 2010 with New Links to New Learning.

Just in time for Halloween: Pat will read select portions of The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural on October 28, 2010 at 10 a.m. central. This book is for students ages 9-12; “these 10 spine-tinglers range from straight-up ghost stories to eerie narratives. The tales in this winner of the 1993 Coretta Scott King Award depict racism, haunting and vengeance in a manner that can be read out loud around a campfire or savored privately, offering middle readers thoughtful exposure to important, though frightening, historical themes.” (Amazon.com)

Here are some more details:

Pat reads the selected books, she’ll talk about (her) inspiration, and she will take questions from students. These story hours are for students in first through fifth grades (depending on the book). The cost is $125 for New Links members and $175 for non-members. First up is The Dark Thirty. To register, contact Rebecca Morrison by October 20.

Don’t miss out on this once-a-year videoconferencing event! You read full details on it at www.cilc.org.

Children’s book authors, Patricia McKissack and her son, Fredrick McKissack, Jr., will conduct a 60-90 minute session about their collaboration on several books– Black Diamond, the Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues, Hard Labor, and the upcoming graphic novel, Nat Love, Cowboy. During the highly interactive session, the McKissacks will discuss how the team works to maintain consistency, sequence, form, and accuracy. Students will be asked to participate by answering a brief quiz that will identify who might be a good collaborator with them.

During the videoconference with students, the McKissacks introduces themselves and give brief biographical information including how they became collaborators. After a definition of “collaboration” and the many forms it can take, the McKissacks will focus on research writing first draft, editing, and final draft as they are affected by collaboration.  Time for questions and answers from the students will follow, along with a brief test to see who would be a good collaborator for you?

The goal of the project is to introduce students to the process that authors use to write and/or illustrate a book together. In addition, the project will encourage students to work with each other in the spirit of sharing, compromise, and respect for others’ thoughts and ideas.

At the end of the project students will be able to:

• Work together brainstorming to come up with ideas for writing a short story.
• Agree upon a story line.
• Create a draft of the story then hand it off to the writing partner (collaborator.}
• Analyze their writing with each other.
• Share their work through email with other collaborators.
• Revise their writing to conform to the correct standards of English.
• Prepare a finished manuscript (publish).

TIMES AND DATES will be published soon. This videoconference will be $300 per session. Interested?

Contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts in St. Louis, Missouri.

Take a moment to visit Patricia McKissack‘s podcast of The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural. Recorded live from Cooperating School Districts’ Virtual Learning Center in the summer of 2009, Pat gives listeners a taste of this Coretta Scott King Award-winning book.

In October, Pat will conduct a 1 hour videoconference on The Dark Thirty. Click here to learn more.

Other stories she’s read for podcasts are Clone Codes, Goin’ Someplace Special, and Tippy Lemmey.

In August, New Links to New Learning was featured in THE Journal– “Videoconferencing Connects Missouri Students with Peers Around The Globe.” Denise Harrison interviewed Cooperating School Districts‘ Ruth Litman-Block, Martha Bogart, Nancy George and Rebecca Morrison about their experiences with videoconferencing in K-12 education for the piece. Included in the discussion are author Patricia McKissack’s videoconferences. To read the full article on New Links to New Learning in THE Journal, click here.