How is a book created? How can kids get motivated and organized for writing? These questions are answered with the help of a spunky special needs child, an iguana, and lots of photographs.

Ellen Senisi, author and photographer of 18 books for young readers and former teacher, walks students through how a book is created and steps of the writing process. She shows the book creation and production history for her title All Kinds of Friends, Even Green while using a graphic organizer of steps to good writing. The book’s development is followed from the first scratch paper draft through writing, editing, and production to final printed copy. Along the way she emphasizes the importance of the creative process and editing. Her sub-themes are drawn from the featured book (which children can have free access to ahead of time) and include special needs awareness and pets as friends and inspiration.

The theme of the book aligns with the theme of the presentation as Moses, a boy with spina bifida, struggles with how to write about a friend for a school assignment.

                                   

Ellen Senisi – Writing Steps and How a Book is Created

BOCES ID

1333

For

K-2, 3-5

Categories

Creative Writing

Curriculum

ELA, Visual Arts

Costs

In-person full-day visit: $950
In-person half-day visit: $550
Virtual presentation including EBook for prep and follow-up activity: $250 ($350 for two sessions on the same day)
Travel expenses apply outside New York’s Capital Region or Manhattan.

The program length runs from 25-50 minutes, depending on grade levels addressed. Generally, schools opt to use the rest of the school day for individual classroom visits to answer questions and show production materials up close but other options may be arranged.

Dates Available

Year Round

Program Theme

How is a book created? How can kids get motivated and organized for writing? These questions are answered with the help of a spunky special needs child, an iguana, and lots of photographs.

Ellen Senisi, author and photographer of 18 books for young readers and former teacher, walks students through how a book is created and steps of the writing process. She shows the book creation and production history for her title All Kinds of Friends, Even Green while using a graphic organizer of steps to good writing. The book’s development is followed from the first scratch paper draft through writing, editing, and production to final printed copy. Along the way she emphasizes the importance of the creative process and editing. Her sub-themes are drawn from the featured book (which children can have free access to ahead of time) and include special needs awareness and pets as friends and inspiration.

The theme of the book aligns with the theme of the presentation as Moses, a boy with spina bifida, struggles with how to write about a friend for a school assignment.

Program Description

Ellen’s presentation Is structured around a graphic organizer that summarizes the writing steps and its visual icons are drawn from images used in the presentation. Production materials from the book creation process and many photographs are used to support her talking points. She uses vivid photographs of diverse children from her books and image library. She ends the presentation with a reading of the All Kinds of Friends book and a quick-paced photo show of children reading set to music.

Teacher resources are part of the package. Ellen provides a hardcover copy of the book as well as an EBook to stimulate interest ahead of time. Several writing assignments based on the book are also included. The assignments include fiction and nonfiction writing options on two themes: special needs awareness and animal sensory experience. The follow up activities have both student pages and a teacher guide.

Recommendation:
Dear Mrs. Senisi,
That you so much for visiting Sacandaga Elementary School and awaking the authors in my kindergarten class! Even as we were walking back to our classroom from your presentation, my students were brainstorming the supplies they wanted me to gather so that they could author their own books. In the weeks since your visit, writing, illustrating, and sharing has become a daily event in our room. Thank you for empowering my little authors! — Mrs. L.

Phone

(518) 852-0007

Address

1834 Lenox Road, Schenectady NY 12308

— Create a Photoessay (K-5) Students in an individual classroom get a photo skills session, a lesson on blending photos and words, practice writing, then do hands-on work creating their own picture stories.
— Star In A Picture Book (pre-K – 5) Students are photographed by Ellen at work and play or on a chosen theme in their classroom. Class uses the photographs to create a book about themselves. This program works successfully with pre-K as well as students with special needs, who are often not able to benefit from traditional programming.

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