Archive for Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ray Marsh gets author in residence

October 30, 2007

Children's author Susan Clymer will spend two weeks at Ray Marsh Elementary School, beginning Nov. 26. As author in residence, she will conduct workshops for fourth and fifth grade students. The residency will conclude with an assembly to recognize the children's writing at 2 p.m. Dec. 7. Parents of fourth and fifth graders are encouraged to attend.

Clymer has sold millions of copies of her books, including the popular titles "Llama Pajamas" and "There's a Hamster in My Lunchbox." She has 20 years of experience leading writing workshops for children and adults.

She will begin the residency with a week-long fiction writing workshop for fourth graders. The workshop is designed to help them develop their short-story writing skills. Clymer will spend an hour and twenty minutes with each fourth grade class every day of the week. The students will brainstorm, write and act. Clymer will teach students how to get ideas for stories and how to use good verbs to show, not tell, readers the story. Creativity, description and the importance of observation will be emphasized in separate sessions

The second week of the residency Clymer will conduct a workshop on writing narrative nonfiction for the fifth graders. Each class will spend 80 minutes a day learning a specific, easy to remember approach that will improve the students' writing. The session will emphasize choosing the best topic for a gripping narrative, structuring the piece and revising the narrative to perfect it. Clymer helps students add voice, suspense, conversation and juicy details to true personal stories.

All fourth and fifth grade students will have the opportunity to write at least three stories and get feedback from Clymer on their work. By the end of the workshop, students should feel more comfortable with the writing process and more confident about their ability to write well.

In addition to attending the assembly Dec. 7, parents are invited to sit in on any of the workshop sessions. The Author in Residence program is being arranged and funded by the PTA Cultural Arts Committee.

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