School Visits – Live Virtual Visits Beginning May 2020
“With spot-on pacing and levity, Berkman and Hearst engage readers and communicate the seriousness of Revere’s mission. . . This first in a new series is fun and accessible for readers who aren’t quite ready for Alison Hart’s “Dog Chronicles.”
—School Library Journal
Our school visits are now virtual via live video! While schools are closed and students are learning from home, we will be offering our interactive classroom program for Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold and Filigree’s Midnight Ride via video. We will talk about the historical event the book is based upon (Ellis Island immigration, the California Gold Rush or Paul Revere’s ride) and about how we wrote a book together. We’ll then read from the book, giving students the opportunity to provide sound effects as we read. We will then share our screens to write a short draft of a story with students, getting suggestions from them via comments. We’ll end with a Q&A. Educators will receive a copy of the draft we wrote with the students to use for follow-up lessons if desired.
Here’s an example of a school visit we did at Alta Vista Elementary
Contact Us for more information! In the meantime, here is our
Read-Aloud for Filigree’s Midnight Ride. We read Chapter One of the book, and kids can help out with sound effects.
You can also download
a curriculum guide for Filigree’s Midnight Ride
a curriculum guide for Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold
a curriculum guide for Minsha’s Night on Ellis Island
Looking ahead to 2021, we would love to arrange a visit to your elementary school classroom for activities and a discussion about our books in the At the Heels of History series. We can visit virtually, or in person if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Here is some information on what an in-person school visit might look like. A downloadable version of the program for Filigree’s Midnight Ride is available. Downloadable version of the program for Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold coming soon.
At the Heels of History Classroom Visit Program
30- to 45-minute program (length tailored to grade level) with time at the end for questions
We offer a fun, energetic, and interactive program that combines tips on writing, new ways to learn about history, and the joy of dogs. Our goal is for students to leave the presentation excited about history, thinking about seeing history from different points of view, inspired to write their own stories, and having some tools to do so.
- Opening talk (5 minutes)
- We will engage students by asking about dogs that they know, asking them to tell us the dogs’ names and talk about what they are like.
- We will discuss why we wrote Filigree’s Midnight Ride and Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold: we wanted to tell a story from history from a new point of view. And we think it’s important to read and write and to talk about history and how it helps us understand things today.
- Brief reading from the book (5 to 10 minutes)
- This will be interactive. We will give students two to three choices of which part of the story they want to hear, and will have students provide sound effects, hold props, and read lines along with us as appropriate to grade level.
Activities (10 to 20 minutes):
We have a portfolio of interactive elements that we tailor to grade level and the goals of the school. Based on discussions with teachers, we will build a program around a selection of the following activities:
- How to write a book with your friends: a visual demonstration of how we use Post-its and colored pens to get our ideas down and start turning them into stories we can write as a team. This can lead to writing a story with the group, using our process to begin a story with students.
- Draw that dog! Students will draw a dog in their lives. They will draw a scene in which the dog is a hero, or did something funny, or something special.
- Based on our background in improvisational theater, we will guide students in a skit based on the world of the book or in which they act out an actual scene in the book.
- An exploration of fun facts about dogs in history and discussion of what a dog might have done during events students are studying in their classrooms.
- Discussion of when there was a time when you thought you couldn’t do something, but found a way, like Filigree does, to do it anyway.
- Discussion on different ways a person (or dog!) can be strong, as Bo-Bo discovers in Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold.
- For Filigree’s Midnight Ride, Paul Revere’s ride: to show how the riders fanned out to alert different towns, each student is a “rider” with a “town.” The first riders set out, then alert other riders, until all towns know that the British army is on its way.
Q&A (5 minutes):
A question & answer segment on writing, history, and dogs – or anything the students would like to ask.
Closing, Book Signing & Leave-behind:
- A farewell dog style. How do dogs say goodbye? A good, rousing bark to say good-bye.
- Book Signing
- If appropriate to the presentation, we will distribute a handout: This visit made me think about ____ because ____
of the program for Filigree’s Midnight Ride. Downloadable programs for Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold coming soon!