For Teachers & Librarians
Visiting young people at schools and festivals is one of my favorite ways of staying in touch with the energy and creativity of young people and their teachers and librarians. I like to talk—that's why I write, so I will talk about myself and what I have learned from my own children.
I always include overhead slides or projections as well as hands-on art and a demonstration of how I work. School visits have a maximum of four presentations a day. Please allow time for questions after each presentation.
Conferences: A good share of my conference presentations are geared to reading and library organizations, I am also looking for venues that are interested in addressing the need for finding YA books and picture books that are satisfying to older people. I have spoken the Literacy Council in Anchorage and to the Nevada State Library Association in hopes of gathering a booklist for Hospice, senior retirement centers, and assisted living homes.
Presentations: I spend about a fourth of my time presenting to students, teachers, librarians. Below is a list of what is included in presentations to different levels of students. If your school has a specific request, theme, or need from a presentation, I will be happy to tailor my talk to that need. Because each group has different interests, I offer something tailored to each level
"Teri Sloat came to our class and shared her love of writing, painting, the power of the imagination, and her creative process with the children. They were mesmerized with her presentation and many expressed their desire to write stories. What special gift for all of us."
- Teri Borankay, Penngrove Elementary
Workshops: I have being increasingly exchanging or adding presentation time to school visits for teachers and administrators. The purpose, whether they are writing or art workshops, is to let them relax, have fun with words, art, and take that enthusiasm back to the classroom. There are also lurking writers and illustrators within the teaching profession that just need a boost of good, professional materials, and guided writing time to get them to let their own ideas flow. See below for some of my typical workshops.
Fable Writing Workshop (for adults and students from upper elementary through high school)
Within a two hour time period participants decide in teams on a value they would like to see more of in the world....kindness, joy, peace, truthfulness, etc. After compiling a list of values, the teams choose a character (often an animal) that has these attributes and one that often represents the opposite. Using a timed writing exercise in which examples from fables are used, settings, vocabulary, and plot are demonstrated. Participants are guided through the process of writing a story that teaches a moral they have chosen. We take a break in the middle to see where we are headed and to my delight many of the audiences are coming up with resolutions between the "right" and "wrong" way. Unlike some of the earlier fables, they are finding arbitration, even at the 4th grade level.
Hands-On No Fail Art Workshop (for teachers and administrators)
Often these are done in correlation to the Fable Writing workshops. Participants are exposed to a visual show of no-fail imagery and children's art. A half hour or more is given to being able to experiment with a variety of materials of high quality ... pastels, good paper, watercolor crayons, high quality colored pencils and paint , as well as paper to cut at different stations. Depending on the length of the workshop the second half is devoted to illustrating a scene from one of their favorite stories...either original or already written. So little time is given to teachers to play. I find these workshops refuel their enthusiasm for teaching the arts and for sharing books. These workshops give teachers an opportunity to be students.
Hands-On Workshop for Students
Using positive, and negative shapes cut from oaktag students are invited to create scenes using repetitive shapes. A demonstration is given and some shapes are precut for them, but they are invited to create their own. Materials needed are Caran d-Ache watercolor crayons, brushes, scissors, mural paper (kraft paper), tape, and water. Workshops are limited to 25-30 students. Often the result is a scene produced by all involved. For example, in Cordova, during the Shore Bird Festival, a large whale was created and creatively colored, and paper migratory birds were developed from stencils and attached to the whale coming into the Cordova Harbor.
Of course, I am always happy to talk about me, my books, my art ... me, me, me. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.