For Primary and Secondary Schools

Generate ideas…
invent characters and a setting…
put them into motion in a story arc
with a beginning, middle, and end.
In English or Spanish.

Kids can do it—with no prompts.
Kids of any age, from Kinders to high schoolers…and their parents, too.

What are my goals?

To teach basic story concepts by helping students compose a miniature “graphic novel,” tailored to grade, ability, and language capability.

To affirm that writing and reading are the right of every person, regardless of age or ability: writing and reading are forms of speech.

To show young writers that books are written by people just like themselves.

What will my presentation be like?

In forty-five minutes to an hour—a half hour for Kinders and Firsts–I dialogue with students about what it’s like to be an author-illustrator, and about where their own ideas come from.

Then I put up a huge sheet of paper and draw four empty panels…and the real fun and learning begin.

Students pitch ideas and concepts. Beginning with the worlds of their own possibilities, I suggest, nudge, steer, and illustrate their collective story. We’re loud—enthusiasm isn’t quiet! With a little help, the tales miraculously work out (even if that requires the intervention of space aliens).

Here’s an example, the work of a third grade class. Ideas and plot were provided entirely by the students; I guided, cheered them on, and illustrated their tale of a chubby pig whose trampoline is situated—uh-oh!—right over a clump of cactus:

Bacon Go Boom-Boom, by Mrs. Perez's Third Graders
Bacon Go Boom-Boom, by Mrs. Perez’s Third Graders

Kids go back to their classrooms confident, excited about writing, and ready to take on the challenge of “To be continued…”

Naturally they get to keep their story, to be displayed so they can remember, and boast about, what capable and creative writers they are.

Needs and fees

What will I need when I visit?


What do educators say about my workshops?

How can you contact me?

Click here, or use this contact form:

For, click here.

All material on this site, both text and graphics, is ©BetsyJames, and may not be used commercially without her permission.

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Betsy James On Writing, World-making, and Walking on Stone

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