If You Want

If you want to excite your students,

have them decorate the hallways

for your upcoming author visit.

Sketch larger-than-life characters

from their favorite books.

Let them work in teams where

the natural leader will emerge

and automatically delegate.

Together they make decisions about

colors and textures and mediums.

If you want to excite your students,

give them colored chalk and pencils and crayons

and Sharpies and freedom to

make art.

The Biggest Best SnowmangroundhogMrs Ruler

If you want to entice your students,

send an email to the visiting author.

Let  your students dictate the content

 as you type and they watch on the big screen.

Your students suggest the revisions

and the editing

and the adding of emojis to the signature.

Watch their faces light up with excitement

as you hit the send button,

their fingers crossed in the hopes that

the author will respond.

If you want to entice your students,

send an email to the visiting author

who will surely respond with

2 ice cream emojis!

writing email together

Jessica and emails

If you want to motivate your students,

have them welcome your visiting author

over the loud speaker during morning announcements.

Teams can work together to

prepare and practice and perform the

author introduction in front of

kindergarteners, first and their second grade peers,

225 kids and teachers per assembly.

Another group of students, 

too shy to speak in front of people,

can present the author with flowers-

in private.

If you want to motivate your students,

have them work together to welcome and introduce

the visiting author to the rest of the school.

“Please give a warm welcome to…

Marrrrgerry  Cuuyyyler!”

Paige group with margery cuylerAlisa Hasin Layla intro

If you want to excite, entice and motivate your students,

have them make art,

send an email,

welcome and introduce

the visiting author to everyone in your school.

The visiting author will want to meet

the students who made her feel so welcome,

and she will come to see them in class.

She will answer all of their questions, accept big marshmallow hugs,

listen to them as they read their writing to her,

praise and point out all of the wonderful

craft moves that were included in the piece.

She will tell the children how wonderfully they write,

like 4th graders and not 2nd graders.

She will tell the last assembly all

about the wonderful writing happening in your classroom.

Do all of this, if you want to give your students  the


of their lives!

message on board from margery

Thank you,  Margery Cuyler, for a wonderful experience!

©Maribeth Batcho

All Rights Reserved



28 thoughts on “If You Want

  1. Oh Maribeth. I wish so much I could have been in your class long long ago when i was a student. I love that you have captured the excitement of their engagement, but also acknowledged the work that goes on to make it all work and how valuable it all is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment, Cheriee. I went to Catholic school so I had none of this kind of experience. The children really pulled off a coup here. It was fun! Thanks for stopping by today.


  2. I can feel the excitement from here! What a wonderful experience for all of you! We have an author coming to visit next week and while we’ve been reading and enjoying her books, I hadn’t thought of all these other wonderful ways to build the excitement! Thanks for sparking some wonderful ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You capture the essence of good teaching. You make the students doers and not followers. They are the center of your strategy. They feel empowered and they are proud of it. They don’t want to be considered and talked as babies. What a brilliant example of teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how authentic everything was! Everything your students did needed to be done. Emails, announcements, opening statements, decorations and thanks yous. Not only did you get ice cream emojis, but writing in verse? The cherry on top!

    I’m saving this post to my Pinterest account. I will need to revisit it one day soon!


  5. What a great experience this was for your students and the school and the author. Your poem captures all of that. AND I love, love, love the writing and art your students produced. Congratulations on a job well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful how you captured the engagement of your students! You had me excited to learn who this special visitor might be. Author visits are great experiences for students on many levels (so many opportunities for learning), but the preparation you and your students put into it made it an unforgettable experience for Margery Cuyler as well, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rose. It was a great time, prep and production. Many years ago, Robert San Souci was our visiting author. I was teaching 3rd grade at the time. In any case, we did something similar but took it a step further and turned one of his stories into a readers’ theater. We performed only for him. It was memorable, just like the day Margery came. Thanks for stopping by, Rose!


  7. Anticipation of a coming event is nearly as much fun as the event itself. You’ve built in that anticipation for us too, sharing the preparations, the final connection, and the DAY! It took time for you to manage all this, so congratulations for empowering students in their time to prepare and welcome this special visitor. Love how you crafted the slice, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love, love, love the format for this post! What a memorable experience for your students! This will be what they remember most from their second grade year. We need more moments to entice, excite, and motivate students in our curriculum. That’s when learning happens. What a perfect match of words and photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Elsie. I walked away from the stifling ‘program’to make this happen for the kids. It was well worth the detour. They are now excited for Poetry Friday…who would have thought?! Thanks for visiting and for commenting. I look forward to your feedback every week, and can’t wait to read the European sequel…


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