Additional Programs

Anti-Bullying Program

Shout Kindness to the World: Using Poetry to Promote Friendship and Celebrate Difference

For Teachers, Staff, and Students

Format: Workshop

Description: This can be a one or two session workshop for teachers, and may fit well into Superintendent Conference days.  Additionally, a five-day poet-in-the-school program can provide a useful way to offer “antidotes” for bullying by promoting friendship and fostering a sense of community. Through poems and other creative writing, we will discover ways to talk about differences and how those differences can enhance school, faculty room and classroom attitudes and atmospheres.We will look at poems by published poets, including Langston Hughes, Sandra Cisneros, Li Young Lee, Shel Silverstein, and Rachel Guido deVries, as well as poems by young people in the dozens of schools I have visited.

This workshop will give teachers and students and opportunity to:

  • Gain insights, reasons, and ideas for using reading and writing poetry and other forms of creative writing to create an atmosphere of understanding friendship, and community

Lessons will reflect common core state standards, to include: *

  • Close reading of several poems
  • Discuss poems and find specific details that are explicit and descriptive
  • Discuss poems by identifying how a writer uses imagery and other elements of the art of poetry and creative writing to evoke meaning
  • Identify themes in work read; identify elements that reveal themes
  • Gain understanding of those elements, including imagery, symbol, personification and structure
  • Summarize poems and/or other pieces of creative writing
  • Create and develop poems using skills acquired through reading and discussing poems and their meanings
  • Revise and edit poems
  • Begin to find language that expresses ideas and feelings

*Age appropriate lessons for all grade levels

Presenter: Rachel Guido deVries
Time: One or two sessions
Cost: $400 to $500 per day, depending on the number of classes, and/or the length of sessions for teachers
Audience: Teachers Grades K-12
Addresses: Common Core Curriculum goals; friendship, community and bullying

Poetry Performance

A reading of  original poems for young people. In a day long visit to a school, four or five performances can be offered to small groups in individual classrooms (a good way to introduce primary grade students to poetry and a poet); to larger groups, and as part of Young Authors’ Days.
Time frame: thirty to forty-five minute reading performances, followed by a question and answer period.

Children’s Book Author Visit

Reading of my award winning children’s picture book, Teeny Tiny Tino’s Fishing Story (Bordighera Books, 2008), Winner of the Paterson Prize for  Best Books for Young People. Talk about writing stories: events, character, memories that can be used for story. Presentation geared to age of audience.

Time Frame:  45 minutes to an hour.A second session could be arranged for young writers to create a story idea.

This review is from: Teeny Tiny Tino’s Fishing Story (Paperback)

Review by: Colleen Tierney, School Librarian, Dewitt, NY

Book cover for Teeny Tiny Tino's Fishing Story

Teeny Tiny Tino’s Fishing Story

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story about courage and compassion.
Rachel Guido deVries’s book entitled, Teeny Tiny Tino’s Fishing Story is one that lends itself to explore important character education themes such as: empathy, respect, and courage. Children will identify with Tino in his adoration and respect for his mom and dad. By the end, children and adults will be cheering for Tino as he faces his fears and courageously joins his peers.

Programs for Teachers

Nuts and Bolts:  Metaphors and Mechanics of Poetry

This workshop will cover and make enjoyable the “nuts and bolts” of poetry. Elements of the art—imagery, personification, sound, structure—will come to life in this opportunity to enjoy the tools of the craft. Poems by published poets and by children in workshops I have offered over the last fifteen years will demonstrate poetry’s power, and the ability it can reveal in writers of all ages, and from varied backgrounds. Its usefulness for students who speak English as a second language, and for students with special needs, will also be discussed and demonstrated with lesson plans and exercises. Participants will read and talk about poems, and we will make use of handouts of value for K-12 poetry units. This program makes the reading of poetry enjoyable and accessible through a down-to-earth look at its elements; it demonstrates the ability that creating original poetry has to enhance students’ descriptive writing; it demystifies poetry, and gives K-12 teachers the familiarity and security to encourage young writers in the art of the poem.

Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Curriculum

When students learn content area vocabulary, and are able to blend it with the expressive, imaginative language of poetry, they further their understanding of terms, concepts, and content knowledge. This workshop will offer ways for teachers to encourage students of all abilities and backgrounds to read and write poetry across the curriculum, in order to enrich content understanding. Participants will  look at ways to integrate poetry with specific science, social studies, and local history units of study. Programs can also be coordinated around social issues including race, ability, class, and gender, and those issues related to bullying, identity, community, and friendship.

Creative Writing Workshop

Many teachers are “closet writers,” or have a secret desire to write. Some keep journals; others write poems and short stories. This workshop offers teachers and staff the chance to get started in writing, and to share works-in-progress in an atmosphere of support and instruction.  Exercises and a look at works by a variety of writers help keep the muse of inspiration perched on your shoulder.