Discussion-based teaching and learning that explores cultures through the lens of human commonalities.

What I Offer

I  introduce, demonstrate, and have students practice Visual Learning Strategies. Inspired by the three question visual thinking strategies protocol,  I will  show that this discussion-based teaching and learning strategy not only includes all four domains of language learning, but is an effective tool across the curriculum.

During the VLS workshop I introduce my nonfiction illustrated books, exploring global cultures through the lens of human commonalities — walls, immigrant stories, traditions for welcoming babies, and the daily life of children .

Visual Learning Strategies Are So Much Fun as you Discover Your World!

I will present up to four one hour workshops per day. Workshops are limited to 30 students or one class.

Fee Structure

School fees are negotiable

Within Maine

Within 60 miles of  Waterville— $800/day
More than 60 miles from  Waterville — $800/day plus travel and lodging

New England

Outside of Maine — $1,000/day plus travel and lodging

Beyond New England

$1,000/day plus travel and lodging

Portfolio of Previous Events

Berlin Bradenburg International School

Thank you to the students and staff at the Berlin Brandenburg International School for a wonderful day. The 2nd-5th graders and I talked and asked questions about: walls, welcoming ceremonies, heroes, the editing process, anniversaries, teasing, architects, memorials, research, new ideas and inspirations.  The school asked me to sign their piece of the Berlin Wall.

Literacy Family Night in Winthrop: Discover Your World and Talk About It

Thanks to all the Winthrop families who participated in the Discover Your World scavenger hunt with the original illustrations from Talking Walls. The families looked for, talked about and answered questions about 30 items in the illustrations.

OMG…Do They Say That in France?

I asked a group of 5th graders to look closely at the faces of the four boys in the Lascaux Cave illustration. Then I  asked them to  think about how  the boys were feeling.  I asked the students if they  thought  as the group they could compile a list of ten words.  Surprised, wowed, scared, amazed were just a few and I added awed.

I then asked , “What do you think the boys could be saying?”  and one boy said, “Maybe the boy with the hand over his mouth is saying OMG.” Then he burst out laughing and looked at his teacher who was smiling. Another student wondered if they said OMG in France!

Family Literacy Night with Talking Walls

I took six of the original Talking Walls  illustrations to a literacy night in Augusta and told the stories about the decorated walls. I  handed out a list of 30 items for the students and their families to find. The families had fun finding and talking about the items in each illustration. The little brothers and sisters created and talked about their own Talking Walls.

Do You Think Anyone Washes the Wall?

Last spring I talked to a 5th grade class about the illustration and story in Talking Walls about the WALL in DC. We talked about Maya Lin and the polished granite and  since 1982 how so many  people have spent time at the wall.

I then asked the students if they had any comments  or questions and one boy told me he had a question. He was wondering if so many people visited the wall  and touched it with their hands and tears and then left things he thought the wall would be very dirty and wanted to know if anyone  ever washed it. I told him that no one had ever asked me that question before, but what did he think? He was not sure and I told him it would be easy to find out, so I read this article, and  when I was in DC  on a sunny spring day I helped to wash the wall. It was an amazing, moving experience to  join other volunteers not only to wash a national monument, but also to meet and talk to veterans and tourists who came to visit the wall that day.  I took pictures back to the 5th graders and thanked the student  for his question and reminded them they too could wash the wall!

Themes of Talking Walls

There are so many ways to study, read, and enjoy Talking Walls. I have complied a list of themes and think it would fun for teachers and students to find the walls that  align with the  themes.   What walls are man-made? How may talk about architects?  How many hats are in the book?   What stories do the hats tell?

Let me know if you have another theme to add to my list!

Natural Walls
Man-made walls
World Heritage sites
Decorated walls
Memorial walls

Trees…Around the World

As I read about Jadav Molai Payeng and his work in India  planting trees  I thought about the other tree stories I have shared and a few new ones I am just learning about. We could learn  and teach a lot of our world through the tree stories of Wangari Matthai. Kate Sessions, Anne Frank and The Little Bonsai from Hiroshima. If you have other book suggestions let me know!

Additional links to explore:

Looking for a Course…Primary Source…Global Learning Matters

If you need credits and want to take some awesome courses look at the on line/face to face courses from Primary Source. Make sure to check out their library too!