Today, author Ginjer Clarke visited my school and gave three presentations. She first met with our kindergarten and first graders, then our fourth and fifth graders, and finally our second and third graders. Before her visit, we had a book club event that was open to all students that introduced them to her books. Groups of students cycled through three stations based on Ginjer’s books and families were invited to be a part of the event. One station, focused on Ginjer’s book Life in the Amazon Rain Forest, allowed students to try foods commonly found in the rain forest. Another station, based on the book Baby Elephants, allowed students to paint their own pictures of elephants. The third station, which reflected the book Freak Out! Animals Beyond Your Wildest Imagination, enabled students to create their own animals. At the end of the event on Tuesday, all students received two copies of Ginjer’s books. Throughout the week, classroom teachers and the school librarian also shared Ginjer’s books and the kids were excited when they finally were able to meet her today.
We had some technology glitches with our first session, but Ginjer improvised and the presentation was phenomenal. Our kindergarten and first grade students were mesmerized! They loved the “Thumbs-Up, Thumbs-Down” game that Ginjer played with them after reading to them. They also had great questions for her!
Then, one of our county’s technology experts stopped by and was able to solve our problem, so the other groups were able to see Ginjer’s presentation on the SmartBoard.
Ginjer showed all of the groups a sample of her writing from the third grade. I think it was so meaningful for the kids to see this and it really made an impression on them.
She also conducted a workshop with students. They were so engaged and intent on the activities during the workshop. I loved seeing their writing! I also enjoyed writing with a published author and had my journal out, too!
Ginjer’s nonfiction books have definitely captured the attention of the students at my school! They loved meeting her, hearing about her process as a writer, and actually getting to write with a published author. This visit is something that they’ll never forget!