About Margy’s books and Discover Your World blog

Thanks to all the teachers and students who joined me for my workshops during the 2016/17 school year. I continue to be so inspired by the VTS  protocol and have had great fun introducing, practicing  and talking about this very pliable discussion based teaching and learning strategy.  Teachers have realized that  Content VTS can include all four domains of language learning and  is an effective strategy across the curriculum.

I started this blog for teachers to let them know about my work and  my school visits. I also share articles, lesson ideas and other books that relate to the themes of my books and my  Who’s That  Lady? project. If you want to know more about  my work including school visits scroll down past recent posts and archives and look for categories  Contact me at margyburnsknight@gmail.com

People have been using  and building  walls for years. Talking Walls Discover Your World introduces readers to places and cultures by talking-walls-discover-your-worldexploring the stories of walls around the world.

Meet a loyal dog from Japan, a poet from Chile  and an artist from Mexico. Visit the Great Wall of China, the Lascaux Caves of France and Great Zimbabwe.

Talking Walls: Discover Your World




who belongs here



Who Belongs Here? tells the story of Nary, a young boy fleeing war-torn Cambodia for the safety of the United States. To some of his new classmates, however, he is a “chink” who should go back where he belongs. But what if everyone whose family came from another place was forced  to return to his or her homeland? Who would be left? This story teaches compassion for recent immigrants while sharing the history of immigration in America and some of the important contributions made by past immigrants.



Welcoming Babies is a vibrant and tender celebration of life and diversity. As children and adults explore the welcoming of babies from all over the world they can share stories of their own welcoming , traditions and culture.

Africa _Africa Is Not A Country enters into the daily life of children in many countries of modern Africa. Countering stereotypes the book celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the vibrant continent at experienced by children at home, at school, at work and at play.


All about illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien http://www.annesibleyobrien.com











Maria’s Shoes is a true and timeless story from a Roots of Empathy http://www.rootsofempathy.org/classroom. Maria is bullied about her shoes being “unfashionable,” and her friend desperately wants to help but doesn’t know how. When we see injustice, empathy — the ability to identify with another person’s feelings — can empower us to take action to help others. The friend’s empathy and moral courage result in a lesson that all of the children in the playground learn — we are all capable of standing up against injustice and helping people to feel less alone.


Circular Wall Memorial dedicated in Salem,Ma.

Area residents attend a memorial dedication at Proctor's Ledge in Salem Wednesday.(Stephan Savoia/AP)
Area residents attend a memorial dedication at Proctor’s Ledge in Salem Wednesday.(Stephan Savoia/AP)

Salem residents and descendants of people put to death gathered in chairs abutting the new memorial for the dedication ceremony. The memorial is a freshly landscaped crescent-shaped plot with plantings, mulch and a swoop of granite wall. Chunky, gray blocks are etched with the names of the victims and the dates they were killed.

The Rev. Jeffrey Barz-Snell, of the First Church in Salem, welcomed the crowd.

“We should not be here today,” he said firmly. “We should not be here dedicating this memorial and setting aside this small patch of rocky earth. We should not be here commemorating the heartbreaking and tragic loss of life, people who were falsely and unjustly accused of being in the snare of the devil.”

Barz-Snell added that in 1692, Rebecca Nurse, who was one of five killed at Proctor’s Ledge on a hot, July afternoon like today, was a member of his congregation. Barz-Snell said his predecessor, the Rev. Nicholas Noyes, helped fan the flames of hysteria that engulfed Salem.

“We would like to think that we’ve learned from the evil and traumatic choices made 325 years ago. We would like to think we’ve become better people,” Barz-Snell said. “The truth is the lessons of Salem are not just learned once, but must be learned and relearned by each generation.”

Among the descendants was Gail Garda, president of the Towne Family Association and a relative of Rebecca Nurse. Towne was Nurse’s maiden name.

Rebecca Nurse was one of five women hanged as witches 325 years ago today at Proctor's Ledge during the Salem witch trials. (Stephan Savoia/AP)
Rebecca Nurse was one of five women hanged as witches 325 years ago today at Proctor’s Ledge during the Salem witch trials. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

Garda asked the crowd to imagine how hard it was for the settlers who emigrated from England to Massachusetts, searching for a better life and religious freedom.

“Who could’ve ever imagined amidst all the other fears they were facing at the time — Indian attacks, invasion of the French, health epidemics — that over a brief period of months, from February to September, that these 19 innocent people would be convicted of witchcraft and brought here to Proctor’s Ledge to be hanged,” she said. “As far as we can tell from all the records, the accused were just ordinary people, no different than any of us here today.”

Others drew parallels to society today, including Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.

“Proctor’s Ledge is a place, an object, but it is also an idea and it’s also a memory,” Driscoll said. “The legacy of what transpired here crosses into the imaginations and consciousness of our community, our commonwealth and even our country.”

City Councillor David Eppley evoked the names of neighborhoods in Salem — Witchcraft Heights and Gallows Hill — as he shared how impossible it was to offer apologies to the affected families and descendants.

“The only way I know that Salem and its political leaders can atone for such heinous acts is to continue to serve as a story of warning for the rest of the nation and this world on what could ultimately happen when you turn your neighbor into ‘the other.'”

Karla Hailer, a fifth grade teacher from Situate, makes a video of the Proctor's Ledge memorial. (Stephan Savoia/AP)
Karla Hailer, a fifth grade teacher from Situate, makes a video of the Proctor’s Ledge memorial. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

Proctor’s Ledge was identified as an execution site in January 2016 by a team of researchers that included Salem State University professor Emerson “Tad” Baker.

“It’s my sincere hope that today marks a new chapter in how Salem treats the witch trials,” the historian said from the stage. “We became the ‘Witch City’ in 1892 on the bicentennial of the trials. While done largely for commercial reasons, I see the moniker as Salem’s self-imposed Scarlet Letter. After all, the term ‘witch hunt’ is synonymous with Salem and stands as a symbol of persecution, fanaticism, injustice and rushing to judgement.”

Baker added that with that title comes responsibilities.

“So from this time forward I hope that residents and visitors to Salem will treat the tragic events of 1692 with more of the respect they are due,” he said. “We need less celebration in October and more commemoration and sober reflection throughout the year.”

Rev. Barz-Snell concluded the dedication ceremony with a “prayer of committal” — usually evoked at funerals to aid the victims to a peaceful, eternal rest.

The Proctor’s Ledge memorial is meant to be a place of quiet reflection. It’s situated in a residential area, just a block from a Walgreens. It isn’t the first witch trial memorial in Salem — another was unveiled in 1992 to mark the 300th anniversary of the hangings. Even so, some say this new one has been a long time coming.


A Thank You Teachers raffle at Children’s Book Cellar in Waterville!

Thank You TeachersIf you are in Waterville,Maine this summer stop by Children’s Book Cellar and  enter my author visit raffle.

 Winthrop Author

 Margy Burns Knight wants to spend a day  in your school in 2017*

Grade 2-8 Parents,students and teachers enter to win.

School must be within 50 miles of Winthrop

Winner will be announced on Labor Day Weekend

  •   * will work with one grade level and can bring six original Talking Walls
  •  illustrations!