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The Writing Life -- Curriculum Guides
book cover
Certain British authors who are now richer than the Queen notwithstanding, most of us children's authors need to pick up some extra work along the way.

For me, that's taken many guises over the years and I still threaten to chuck it all and go pack gift baskets at the Whole Foods. I seriously think I'd be kind of good at that.

In the meantime, though, school visits.
They're a pretty natural fit.
Write for children? Take your books to them.
Duh. Right?

Right, except for the fact that teachers are given less and less discretionary time to devote to these sorts of non-standards-based enrichment activities. And PTAs, librarians and districts are likely to see less and less discretionary funding made available for the same.

I'm lucky in that I actually love doing school visits.
They exhaust but inspire me and remind me of exactly what it is I'm doing and why.

Still, I've got to get in the door.

Which is why I've spent some time lately working with the most excellent Natalie Lorenzi -- children's author, freelance writer, teacher and creator of curriculum guides for authors.

In a previous life, I'm pretty sure Natalie was Rumplestiltskin.
She is given an ordinary book and somehow spins all sorts of related, standards-based activities out of it.
And they're not boring!
They're creative, fun, hands-on and, if you ask me, worth their weight in gold.

She's done one for my first book and, before long, she will have finished one for my second, due out late summer. And I'm immensely grateful, because I think they just may be the key to staying pertinent in the eyes of educators -- even while recognizing the duel demons of testing and budget constraints.

If you're a teacher or librarian and would like to see my curriculum guide, click here.
(I don't have it up on my web site yet, but I will as soon as I can figure that out...)

If you're an author and you're curious, go to Natalie's site, where you can look at mine and at least one other sample.
I think you'll agree that she works a certain sort of magic. And I'm betting that her waiting list is about to get loooong, so make haste.

And if you're neither teacher, librarian nor author and you're still reading, bless you.
You're probably related to me and I owe you one.

More thrilling news in the life of a writer girl tomorrow...


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Wow, that's one smokin' teacher's guide. Thanks for telling us about Natalie!

That's exciting! Bean Plant Observation Record? I love it.

That must have been thrilling for you to see.


Yes. She does an amazing job and really just uses the book as a launch pad for a whole 'nother creative effort!!

Curriculum guides are probably a good idea. So are marketing materials, though.

True confession: Even after your testimonial, I STILL thought the guide might be not be up to the creativity and playfulness of your actual book. Wrong! It was great! Does she do novels?

This is awesome! I passed on the teaching activity link to some elementary teachers in Kiel...your book is donated each year to my kids' teachers. ^_^ Jen Actually, I think I'll pass this on to my mom, too. She can use it for her story hour!

Thanks to you, Liz ! It was an honor to work with you and your beautiful book. :-)

And thanks to susanwrites, jamarattigan, Jules, saralholmes and anonymous for your kind words. :-)

Sara, yes I do novels, although I don't have any up on my site at the moment. Most of my teaching experience is actually with upper elementary students, who are novel readers, so I look forward to doing some novel guides in the future.

Thanks again!

All gratitude goes to you, Natalie. Honestly. And is that photo of little feet cute, or what?????

I never would have imagined one could get so much out of your fabulous book for a teacher's guide. Oh how I would love that sort of creativity! Marty

This is rich in ideas - great work! I'm going to pass it along to our literacy coordinator at school too... Well done! xxx alex

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