Thursday, May 3, 2018

#road2reading Challenge - inspiring readers and writers with an author visit! 5.03.18

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools 
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

When looking to inspire young readers and writers, there is nothing like an author visit.  We have been so fortunate at our school to have had several different authors visit us throughout the years, but this year inspired not only our young readers and writers, but also inspired some wish granters at our school!

In January, we were blessed to receive a visit from author Sarah Aronson.  Our 1st-4th grade students had read a chapter or two, or the entire book from her Wish List series.  We loved meeting Isabelle and learning about kindness, determination and gusto from her!  But there's experiencing it from a book and experiencing it in real life.  But bring on the Girl Goyles, because that is exactly what our school did!

What made this visit so important for these readers is how interactive Sarah made it.  Sarah started her visit by talking about how not only this series came about, but how she became a reader and writer.  Sarah shared some favorite books and connected with our students right away.

If you're familiar with the Wish List series, you know Isabelle is learning how to grant wishes and the wand is an important part.  Now the students got to take part by creating their own wands.  Bring on the creative part!

But here's where her visit moved past talking to students as readers and writers.  We became wish granters.  After working on our wand waving skills:

Sarah had some videos of kids saying their wishes.  Students got to think about their own wishes and wrote them down.  They hang in our school and the challenge is granting each other's wishes.

It really was a magical visit.  Our school PTO made the visit even more special by purchasing a book for every classroom.  Sarah's books are always checked out and are being enjoyed and shared by students and their families.

But our time with Sarah didn't end there.  She came back for our Family Reading Night and worked with us as writers!  She talked to families about sharing their stories and then gave them a way to plan out a story using words and pictures.  We loved seeing families bent over their papers and working together!

Sarah even brought her special Secret File... and treated us to a reading of chapter one of the next Wish List book - Halfway to Happily Ever After (May 29th).  Can you find Sarah in this picture??

And no Family Reading Night is complete without a book talk!  We shared some titles for families to find at the library.

I am so grateful that Sarah shared her time and creativity with our students.  It's the magic an author brings to the students that inspires them in a new way.  Our students have renewed energy to their writing and new books for their TBR.  What an experience!

Do you work with readers who are starting their journey on the road to reading?  Join Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy and me every Thursday as we explore books and ideas to help readers have a successful start to independent picture book and chapter book reading. If you blog or have a Goodreads page, please link up with us!


  1. Sarah Aronson is wonderful!!! How fantastic that she was able to come to your school, Michele :)!! Looks like a fun time was had by all!!

  2. Sounds like an AWESOME author visit!