A 5th Grade class at PS 165 on the Upper West Side began the year with a unit on mysteries. Class teacher Ms. Morales invited Behind the Book into the room to help create a mystery writing program for which we brought in prolific children’s writer Liz Levy and her book Danger and Diamonds: Mystery at Sea. Over the course of three visits with Ms. Levy, the class learned first-hand the process of conceiving, planning, and writing a mystery. They even had the opportunity to meet Ms. Levy’s editor, Nancy Mercado of Roaring Brook Press, and to talk to her about various other facets of the writing process, such as collaboration, rewriting, and editing.
Over the course of a week in November, Zetta Elliott visited Ms. Mayers’ 6th grade class at JHS 13 to conduct a workshop on picture books, with a particular emphasis on the role of symbol, image, and memory in storytelling.
Students had read and generated responses to Ms. Elliott’s Bird, a wonderful narrative of a young man’s first experiences with difficult relationships and the loss of loved ones.
Behind the Book has kicked off the year with our first two visits!
On October 12th, our lovely and talented teaching artist Barbara Korein visited Ms. Sheryl Mayers’ 6th grade class at JHS 13 to conduct a journal-making workshop. Students used brightly colored paper, stickers, markers, pre-printed phrases, and magazine cutouts to decorate notebooks in a way that reflected their personality, with spectacular results: