Author Eileen Meyer Visits Mark DeLay Elementary School
Written by Diane Nelson; Darien District #61 Teacher Librarian
"If you want to inspire children to write, to read,
to create and to enjoy the amazing
world of books, invite authors to your schools and libraries."
"Weblog post." ALSC Blog. Association for Library Service to Children, 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 July 2016. <http://goo.gl/qrq9Cl>.
Did you know that an anteater may scoop up 30,000 ants in a day with its long sticky tongue? Or that a giraffe actively chews for up to 20 hours a day? Well, these are the interesting facts that author Eileen Meyer shared with the students at Mark DeLay Elementary School in Darien.
Meyer has published three picture books for young children. One book, Ballpark, is a fiction story about a grandfather who takes his grandson to a baseball park where they experience all the fun and excitement that is experienced when going to a major league game.
Her other two books, Sweet Dreams, Wild Animals! A Story of Sleep, and Who's Faster? Animals on the Move, contain interesting facts about a wide variety of animals, in addition to lyrical and rhythmic passages that engaged the students.
As part of her presentation, she told students about how she became an author. "I started out submitting poems and articles to children's magazines, such as Highlights, High Five, and Ladybug," Meyer said. One of her first published pieces is called, Fancy Feet, a poem about a caterpillar.
In order to prepare for the author visit, students read all three of Meyer's books during their school library classes. They also learned about what facts are and how facts are different than opinions. Evaluating information critically is an important part of incorporating information literacy skills into the library curriculum.
Another part of preparing students for the author visit was teaching students about using good manners during the assembly. During library classes, students reviewed a list of appropriate behaviors and even practiced asking quality questions. They also learned about the importance of listening to each other's questions and treating each other with respect.
Meyer told the teachers about her webpage that has companion activites (discussion guides, bingo, writing activities, etc.) for each of her books. She also brought 600 book marks to share with the students, which contain her web address:
A school-wide "Design a Pennant" contest was held. Students decorated pennants with their favorite baseball team logo or made up their own team design. The author generously donated books that were used for prizes.
For the final part of the author visit, students wrote thank you notes and drew thank you pictures for Mrs. Meyer.