“Patsi Trollinger connected with our students by sharing artifacts and photos from her extensive research for Perfect Timing. She engaged students as fellow writers, while honestly sharing personal experiences in her development and growth as a writer. The first visit we had from Patsi was so successful, we had her back again the following year.”
—Linda Woodward, Lee County, Virginia
Look Back, Think Forward: An Interactive Session with Students
Patsi brings a dozen physical objects (“artifacts”) that encourage students to think about the research and writing process required to produce a nonfiction book. Together, Patsi and the students discuss the obstacles that can face an author developing a book or a student completing an assignment. Each physical object is relevant to the story in Perfect Timing and the process required to complete the book: research, pre-writing (plan and outline), writing, revision, submission, rejection, and publication.
Students engage with Patsi to see the value of using primary sources. They reinforce and expand what they already know about reliable and credible sources. By showing the direct connection between research and writing. Patsi encourages the students to think critically about texts of various kinds. They get a hands-on example of how to launch and sustain a research project.
This approach connects with different content areas including: Reading Comprehension, Social Studies, Interdisciplinary Literacy, and Composition.
Look Back, Think Forward: A Session for Teachers
How nonfiction research projects encourage students to think critically and write clearly. A hands-on adaptation of the above presentation especially for teachers, culminating with a brief writing exercise that can be used with students.
Using Picture Books as Mentor Texts with Older Students
How to exploit the brief, richly-illustrated format of picture books to reinforce composition lessons on topics including imagery and figurative language, narrative arc, active verbs, and more. This can be useful with all students but is an especially potent tool with students who read below grade level.