Out of this world! Patricia McKissack’s upcoming Sci-Fi Creative Writing Series will now only cost $250 to participate in – for all three sessions. New Links members get an even deeper discount- for three sessions, members can participate in this author visit series for $200.

The goal of the project is to introduce students to the process that authors use to write and illustrate a book and to engage them in writing activities themselves that mirror this process.

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

• Use brainstorming and invention techniques to come up with ideas for writing.
• Use a journal to record their observations of places, people, and lists of facts from which they draw to write stories.
• Discriminate between different types of audiences.
• Create a science fiction story line.
• Understand character development and create their own characters.
• Understand descriptive techniques in writing and write descriptive paragraphs.
• Create multiple drafts of their work and share them through peer editing.
• Analyze their writing and that of other students.
• Share their work through email with the authors and with each other.
• Evaluate the writing of others and give constructive feedback.
• Revise their writing to conform to the correct standards of English.

To register, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts by April 1, 2011.

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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.

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.”

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.

Today renowned author Patricia McKissack connected over videoconference with two groups of elementary students from New Hampshire to discuss her book, Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt. The Alabama community of Gee’s Bend is known for its unique, beautiful quilts. Pat spoke to the children about the meaning of colors and patterns and what they bring to each quilt. She also talked about the writing process for Stitchin’ and Pullin’, as well as some of her other books, like The Clone Codes, and took questions from the students.

If you are interested in setting up a one hour Q&A session with New Links to New Learning author Patricia McKissack over videoconference for your classroom, contact Cooperating School Districts.

Mrs McKissackAuthor Patricia McKissack (and recent Mark Twain Reader Award nominee) will conduct three, 60 minute story-hour sessions during the fall of 2009 with New Links to New Learning. 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 $200 for New Links members and $250 for non-members. First up is The Dark Thirty. To register, contact Rebecca Morrison by October 16. There are currently two slots left for interactive sites.

Just in time for Halloween: Pat will read select portions of The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural on October 23, 2009 at 11 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)

Author Visit Podcasts!

August 19, 2009

To listen to Patricia McKissack’s newest podcast, click on the photo below!

McKissack Podcast

Pat McKissack prepares to readIn this new podcast, enjoy a sneak peak of acclaimed author Patricia McKissack’s new science fiction novel, Clone Codes.

Patricia is a New Links to New Learning content provider; she’s been conducting interactive videoconferences with K-12 students for over ten years from Cooperating School Districts.

This year, in addition to her three-part writing series, she’s adding three, 60 minute story hours for elementary students, and two Talk Shop programs on either historical fiction or science fiction, for middle school and high school students. (More details will come later on the secondary school programs!)

To read more about Patricia and what she offers students and teachers, please scroll through this blog.

Flickr Creative Commons - dino_olivieriFor over 10 years, acclaimed St. Louis author Patricia McKissack has taught students the writing process over videoconference. During hands-on & highly interactive sessions, students discuss plot, themes, character development and more. In a series of three videoconferences, Mrs. McKissack customizes for any grade level and any part of the writing process. In the first v/c, 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 v/c she gives feedback on the writing & illustrations they have done.

This year, we’re excited to announce a new take on a favorite offering: Creative WritingScience Fiction. This videoconference is open for 4th-12th grade students; if both elementary and high school teachers respond, we’ll most likely add another time to split the groups up. For 2009-2010, Science Fiction will be offered:

Teacher Session: Thursday, April 15, 2010 @  4 pm CT
Student Session I:  Thursday, April 29, 2010 @ 11 am CT
Student Session II:  Thursday, May 12, 2010 @ 11 am CT

Cost for the series of 3 v/c is $650 for New Links members; non-members $750. Please register by April 1.

Thinking About 2009-2010

July 10, 2009

Pat McKissack

New Links to New Learning and author Pat McKissack are working on bringing new programs to her videoconferenching line-up, as well as keeping some of the favorites. We’ll be introducing some new formats and content options… make sure check back soon to see what she’ll be offering during the 2009-2010 school year through Cooperating School Districts!