Thursday’s snowstorm didn’t deter children at the Jonesport Elementary School from thinking about spring on Friday, March 7! Jan Coates tells us about a school visit that blossomed with every passing moment.
Author Kimberly Ridley had students using their five senses to imagine the sights and sounds of a vernal pool waking up after a long winter.
After a presentation on vernal pool ecology and the writing of The Secret Pool, Kim and illustrator Rebekah Raye held two workshops, one on writing and the other on illustrating. First Kim introduced the elements of a story through a series of writing prompts. Each child selected a character found in a vernal pool and wrote a descriptive sentence about them. Pencils poised, the students began what were highly creative stories about fairy shrimp, salamanders and wood frogs. Guided by three more prompts from Kim, the young writers added mystery, obstacles, solutions and surprising endings that resulted in wonderful stories.
Rebekah then demonstrated “the Becky Raye” technique for illustrating a story. She told each child that if they could write their name they could draw. And draw they did and how! Rebekah provided the encouragement and the results were incredible. All enjoyed illustrating their stories and having two books to take home to share with their families.
Each student ended the day with a copy of The Secret Pool autographed by author and illustrator, as well as their own book creation. What could be better? It was a fabulous day for everyone!