* News Flash * Now Booking Engaging, Interactive School Visits for the 2017 – 2018 school year and beyond.
*For a detailed list of scheduled public appearances, please click the CALENDAR OF EVENTS tab. School visits and other events not open to the pubic will NOT appear on the calendar. For information on how to book an appearance, read on… *
Does Michelle Houts visit schools?
You bet! Talking to kids about writing is one of Michelle’s favorite things to do! She is now booking visits through 2019. First, read below, and then Email Michelle for availability.
Grades 2-6 Presentation (35– 60 minutes)
Here’s a riddle for you: How is an elementary teacher like Michelle’s editor? Let’s count the ways! Michelle shares where ideas come from, how even she has to revise, rewrite and create many drafts before a piece of writing is complete, and how she’s often told to add details and show don’t tell! Sound familiar? Students may also hear about The Mark Boney Promise and the 52 Letters Challenge. Scroll to the bottom the page and click the links there to find out more.
Grades 5-8 Presentation (35–65 minutes)
Middle school students will enjoy hearing how Michelle develops ideas for her middle grade novels and how the editing process shapes a story. Options at this grade level may include activities such as character grids and six-word biographies. An audience participation activity will demonstrate how a book evolves from an idea in a writer’s mind to a bound book on the bookstore or library shelf. (There’s some career education smuggled right into that activity!) Students are also presented with The Mark Boney Promise and the 52 Letters Challenge. Scroll to the bottom the page and click the links there to find out more.
Family Presentation (90 minutes)
This parent-child event has been receiving rave reviews from parents, teacher, principals, and most especially children! An evening program provides a brief presentation by the author, and then allows time for families to create their own story.
Beef Princess Classroom Companion Guide
FREE for teachers and librarians… The good folks at Illinois Farm Bureau have created a classroom study guide for THE BEEF PRINCESS OF PRACTICAL COUNTY. Complete with discussion questions, voCOWbulary, and extension activities, this classroom guide is a gold mine for any teacher or book club!
What is the fee?
Fees are based upon distance, length of visit, and number of presentations. Generally, a full day visit (up to 4 daytime presentations) is $1000 plus travel expenses (mileage/airfare and lodging) for contracts signed before August 1, 2017. Additional presentations for teachers or families may be added on. Please email to discuss the details. Discounts are often available for schools closer to home or for more than one school in the same district.
What about other public appearances besides school visits?
Sure! Michelle is available for library presentations, book store events, and book signings. She speak to adult groups about the writer’s life, Dottie Kamenshek and the AAGPBL, Emma “Grandma” Gatewood who was the first woman to solo hike the Appalachian Trail, raising rural readers, and about her 1894 schoolhouse restoration project. Fees vary depending upon location and type of group. Contact Michelle directly to schedule.
Does Michelle do Skype visits?
Yes, Michelle does a limited number of Virtual Visits, but please read the following information before requesting a Virtual Visit.
- A Virtual Visit via Skype or Facetime can’t replace an in-person connection with the author for several reasons.
- Virtual Visits are best for one classroom, not for a whole school or a library packed with students. The students need to be able to see and hear the author, and vice versa.
- Virtual Visits are best with classes who have read one of Michelle’s books. These students are excited to meet the author and have questions to ask.
- Virtual Visits are best for schools in remote locations, where travel time and expense make in-person author visits nearly impossible.
- Lack of funding isn’t always the best reason for a Virtual Visit instead of an in-person visit. Creative funding sources exist, and often it’s worth planning a few years ahead to bring a real, breathing person to the students.
- Nothing can replace the eye-to-eye connection made when a child waits after an in-person presentation to tell the author that he or she feels just like a character in one of the author’s books.
- If you feel a Virtual Visit is right for your classroom, feel free to contact Michelle via email.