Author ‘Skypes In’ for Literacy Coaches Original article published online atwww.okaloosaschools.com Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Adrian Fogelin is no stranger to Okaloosa County. The energetic author has visited several schools here, but for the first time, she met the entire group of literacy coaches via a “Skype” conference September 25.
Speaking from her home in Tallahassee via Skype’s Internet service, Fogelin led the literacy coaches through a series of exercises designed to bring out the storyteller in them, using props like interesting shoes to help inspire good character building and moving on to help them create the setting and define the plot, or the “problem” that the story revolves around.
“Every story has a problem,” she said. “There are many plot types: revenge, escape, journey…”
The goal of the workshop was to train the literacy coaches, who will then train the teachers in their schools. Fogelin demonstrated how props can help students create all sorts of characters. By handing out various interesting objects and getting the students to describe their “owners,” teachers make character building easier and more fun for students, even those who say they “can’t write.”
The author discussed other ways of helping students understand and develop their own story structure, “jump starting” the process of writing mysteries and superhero tales.
Silvia Hoke of Bruner MS pointed out that the method covers many of the benchmarks required in language arts, including point of view, cause and effect, perspective and tone.
“I like her ideas a lot and you can tell she’s employed them,” said Hoke. “She’s an author, which is different from a teacher – she does this for a career. These exercises will bring out creativity that the kids don’t know they have.”
Adrian Fogelin is the author of many books, including:
The Sorta Sisters
Anna Casey’s Place in the World
My Brother’s Hero
The Real Question
The Big Nothing
Sister Spider Knows All