Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kate Klise Author Visit

Curtis students were treated to a "real-live, in person" author visit this week, and it was an AWESOME experience! Back in the fall, PTA came to me to see if there was a program or author we would like to have for the students that they could help provide. I had not hosted an author before, and it had been many years since one had visited Curtis, so I wasn't sure where to begin.  As usual, I went to my Twitter PLN and the name Kate Klise came up more than once. I checked out HER WEBSITE  and then emailed her. Klise was able to add us to an already planned trip to Texas, so the planning began!  

To get ready for her visit, we read books by Klise, we listened to audio of her reading books, we made signs to welcome her and we even ordered a super fun cake with the covers of some of her books!


Ms. Klise started off the day with 5th & 6th graders. She shared about her childhood and the beginning of her life as a writer. We loved the stories of how her mom did not believe in sugar, potato chips, Barbies or children having money! Gasps could be heard from the audience! She had us laughing out loud as she told us about wanting a haircut like Farrah Fawcett! And then she showed us the haircut she ended up with! As if on cue, one student said, "Oh, I'm so sorry!" :)

Next up were 3rd & 4th graders, and they were so entertained and engaged by her presentation. Students learned about how "writing is messy" and were even able to see some of the drafts of Ms. Klise's writing. As she explained the elements that a good story needs and the writing process she uses, she drew a clock to help students visualize. She wanted students to understand how to make their writing more interesting. This made the writing process easy for even the youngest writer to understand!

With each presentation, she would have volunteers come up to help create a story. Students would come up with the main character, the problem and what the main character wanted. They would then have to come up with a problem and solution. They LOVED this part and it was fun to watch as Ms. Klise guided them into creating some very interesting stories! 

Students enjoyed being able to visit with Klise before and after the presentations, and she made sure to talk to them and answer questions as they were leaving or as they were waiting. The smiles were priceless as she interacted with our students!

Curtis students had the opportunity to pre-order different titles by Kate Klise and were then invited to the library to meet her in person and have them signed. They were in awe of her and so polite as they introduced themselves! Hopefully it will be a special memory for them!

One of the parts of Klise's visit was a writing workshop with 30 students. Classes were invited to write persuasive letters to me, telling me why their class should be chosen to have this opportunity. Mrs. Palmatier's class won, and since there were only 17 students here that day, 13 students from Mrs. Shaw's class joined them. It was an incredible experience for them to get writing advice from a published author! 


Students began working on stories immediately and were so anxious to share their writing with Klise and the teachers in the room! There was so much energy in the room!

 There was even time for some volunteers to share their story with the whole group! It was awesome to watch students who were usually reluctant to write come up with creative stories AND volunteer to share! 

Kate Klise ended the day with our K-2nd grade students. If you have ever spent much time with this age group, you know that traditionally it is hard to keep them engaged at 2:00 PM, especially since most had already been to PE/Music/Art class! Well, this was not a problem for our visitor! These students were so engaged and attentive! 

AND they couldn't wait to write books!! I got this one FIRST thing this morning from a KINDERGARTEN student! 

I would definitely call this a success! We are already thinking about next year and who we can invite to visit Curtis. Have you had an author visit your school that you have really enjoyed? Any suggestions for our next author? I'd love to hear about successes you have had with author visits!



  2. Thank you so much for sharing this link!