2020-2021 is a unique school year. Some of you are in school, some are online, others are doing a hybrid model. I know you are working with limited time and budgets. I also know that bringing authors into your classroom and connection with a diverse literary community is important. So I have some ideas for how we can make that happen.
I’m offering a series of a la carte virtual visit options that tie into the themes of my books. Though I’ve noted them as specific to certain units and celebrations in the school calendar, you can schedule these virtual programs at ANY time during the school year. Women’s/ Latinx voices CAN and SHOULD be amplified at all times, and not just during specific holidays, weeks, or months.
My single-session virtual programs last about 60 minutes. We can use whichever platform you are working with in school or in distance learning. I’m also offering a limited amount of FREE classroom story times. Information on how to sign up is below.
Latinx History Month/ National Library Week Program (for k-5th)
Celebrate Latinx History Month (any month of the year) by hosting a virtual visit with Pura Belpré Honor-winning author, Anika Aldamuy Denise, author of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré.
- For K-2 What makes a good storyteller? Learn about trailblazing Latina librarian, author, storyteller, and puppeteer Pura Belpré—who told stories in English and Spanish. See an example of puppets based on two well-known characters from Latin American folklore (and one of Belpré’s most beloved books) Pérez and Martina. Explore common characteristics of folktales from Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries. *Optional post-visit activity: puppet making for storytelling performances.
- For 3-5, the program is similar to the above but also includes a writing activity. The activity will demonstrate how a specific moral and a folktale’s geographical/cultural origins work together in oral storytelling traditions. *Optional post-visit activity: write and illustrate your own folktale.
Women’s History Month Program (for k-5th)
Celebrate Women’s History by hosting a virtual visit with Anika Aldamuy Denise, award-winning author of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré and A Girl Named Rosita: The Story of Rita Moreno: Actor, Singer, Dancer, Trailblazer!.
- For K-2 Women of Color, throughout history, have been brave and bold change-makers in their communities. Learn about two Latina trailblazers: Pura Belpré and Rita Moreno, who were not only pioneers in their fields—but used their talents to help others and forged a path for future generations. Includes an acrostic poem activity for the class to do together with Anika. *Optional post-visit activity: make an illustrated poster of your poem to hang in your classroom or at home.
- For 3-5, the program is similar to the above but also touches on the research process and offers tips that will help students with personal narrative writing. *Optional post-visit activity: use your school’s library or the internet to find out about a WoC change-maker in each of these fields: Science and Technology, Visual or Performing Arts, Government.
Secrets to Storytelling (for k-5th)
Put on your detective hats and uncover the secrets to telling good stories with award-winning author Anika Aldamuy Denise, who writes fiction and nonfiction picture books.
- For K-2 In this session, Anika will share tips and tricks she uses to brainstorm ideas, create characters, write dialogue, think up good endings, and more.
- For 3-5, the program is similar to the above but includes a creative writing activity.
Free Storytimes! I’m offering a limited amount of free 15-minute storytimes each month to elementary schools. These include a live virtual read-aloud of any one of my books and a short, 1-or-2 question Q&A. All that I ask is that if you don’t have a copy of the book I read at our story time, you purchase one for your school library (if your budget allows).
Below are some ideas for books that fold in well to specific units and celebrations in the school calendar. (These mainly reflect celebrations in the U.S. but I’m happy to accommodate international holidays and celebrations whenever possible.)
- Latinx History Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) – Planting Stories; A Girl Named Rosita
- Fall/ Halloween (Oct 31) Monster Trucks
- Wintertime – Baking Day at Grandma’s; The Love Letter
- ALA Book Awards (Jan. 26) – Planting Stories
- Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) – The Love Letter
- Women’s History Month Planting Stories; A Girl Named Rosita
- National Library Week – (April 5-9) Planting Stories
- Siblings Day (April 10) – Bunny in the Middle
- Springtime – Planting Stories, Bunny in the Middle
- Cooking and Baking – Pigs Love Potatoes, Baking Day at Grandma’s
- Imaginary Friends – Bella and Stella Come Home
- Creativity/ Performing Arts – Starring Carmen; Lights, Camera, Carmen!; A Girl Named Rosita
To schedule a FREE STORYTIME with Anika: email anikadenise [at] anikadenise [dot] com to receive a link to the Google sign-up sheet.
To schedule a VIRTUAL SCHOOL VISIT with Anika, please fill out this form and someone will be in touch soon.
If you would like to book a FULL DAY VIRTUAL VISIT, we can still make that happen.
Yes, I can still sign books for your students! We can do this a number of ways. You can order through the publisher, order through my local indie bookstore, or I can send signed bookplates.
For all other school visit and appearance-related questions, please email: tjshay [at] gmail [dot] com.
Please read this Code of Conduct for Virtual Visits before you book an online appearance or school visit with Anika.