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How to host a flawless school visit
Meeting an author is an experience children remember for a lifetime. Here are some planning tips that will help to make the visit memorable and pleasurable for everyone involved.
Preparing for the visit
The most important thing is to make sure the students are prepared—that they are aware the author is coming, that they know who he or she is, and that they have read, or have had read to them, at least a part of one of the author’s books. The students might also visit the author’s website to learn a little about him or her before the visit, and prepare questions in advance.
Next, make sure everyone else is prepared for the visit—the principal, the teachers, and the parents. If possible, invite the principal and parents to attend one of the visits. Everyone should be aware of the day and time of the visit, the author’s work, and how the visit will be beneficial to the students. Teachers might want to integrate ideas from the author visit into future lessons, so ask the author ahead of time if he or she can provide materials or ideas for classroom activities that build off of his or her books.
Lastly, be sure to check with the author about his or her a/v needs, and make sure that everything will be set up well before the students arrive.
Selling the books
An author visit is often more meaningful to a student if he or she can take a book home afterwards. Books may be sold before the day of the visit, or that day. Make sure to allow time at the visit for the author to sign all of the books.
Information about ordering each of my books in bulk (often at a significant discount) can be found here.
During the presentation
It helps to seat students with their own teachers. Make sure that the author is not in the position of having to act as disciplinarian.
After the presentation
Give the children opportunities to discuss the author’s visit. Some students may want to write to the author, some may want to work on their own stories, and others may want to try writing sequels or new endings to the author’s works. The possibilities for meaningful follow-ups are endless.
Ready to set up a visit?