Barbara talked about all the things that she uses as an author to get ideas and to do her writing, including her little dog! A big point to students: write EVERY DAY!
A unique part of Barbara is her traveling and her journals. What works of art! One that I walked around with was from a trip to Egypt. The journal was filled with pictures, tickets, writing, colorful sketches, cut-out sections to highlight a particular item and more. Many of us (myself included) were inspired to create a journal of our own about our summer adventures.
Throughout her presentation, Barbara spoke about questions she has asked, family mysteries, and interesting stories that she learned about during her travels. Students were fascinated by these stories and loved seeing how she made them come alive in her books. Barbara shared an old family photo album which provided writing ideas. As she spoke about the Lucy P. Simmons trilogy, students could see how her trip to Ireland led her to include the legend of the Grey Man.
At the end of her presentation, in addition to some questions from students, Barbara also did some writing with them (once a teacher, always a teacher). The focus was on helping to create an image through writing. I love how Barbara explained that when you write, you want everyone to get the same picture in their head - so if you are writing about a pirate, describe the pirate you are seeing. What kind of hat, hair, expression on the face, clothing, etc will your pirate have? Students excitedly offered ideas to include in this shared writing experience. Teachers came away wishing we could have Ms. Mariconda visit for a whole day!
For the rest of the day students were clamoring to see if we had copies of the Lucy P. Simmons books and one of the teachers came down and took the copy Barbara left us for her last read aloud of the year. What a wonderful way to end a year of celebrating reading at Korn School!
If you would like to contact Barbara Mariconda or learn more, visit her website: