I enjoy visiting schools and meeting the students, teachers, and staff. Of course, these visits are most rewarding for everybody when the students are well prepared. I am constantly amazed by the imaginative activities that students and teachers come up with in connection with my books. These have ranged from a student performance of rap music inspired by Axle Annie, to students dressed as Cassandra's mother, the plant (Nobody's Mother is in Second Grade) welcoming me, to a blue shoe up high in a tree outside the library window, to a re-enactment of Mrs. Toggle's Zipper, to a school-wide breakfast honoring the district's bus drivers, to an amazing original welcoming song, featuring all my books!
Be assured, having students familiar with my books is the most valuable kind of preparation for all concerned.
And don't forget you can find autographed bookmarks and author illustrations to print out on this site, under Fun Stuff.
A typical school visit:
- Three presentations per day, plus book signing.
- I'm most comfortable with grade levels 1-4, but can accommodate K & 5, with minor adjustments in program length and complexity.
- Group size should be limited to 125 students. I encourage blending grade levels.
- Each presentation lasts 45-60 minutes. I need at least 15 minutes between presentations to regroup. Don't worry! Two brief stand-up-and-stretch breaks are built in to the presentation
- My program focuses on Author Day for Room 3T, Axle Annie, and Axle Annie and the Speed Grump. Don't forget Teacher Guides for these three books and others are available on this site and at www.TracieVaughnZimmer.com. I talk about where my ideas come from and how I make up my characters. I bring plenty of "show-and-tell" items that invite audience participation. I discuss the author-illustrator connection and take time for questions.
In advance of the visit:
- Please send me the day's schedule, including grade levels and group sizes.
- Send driving directions from Pittsford, NY, preferably with landmarks described along the way, as well as the name, address, and phone number of the school. I've had some bad experiences with computer-generated directions. They don't tell you about detours or about the blue water tower that is a good marker for when to get ready to change lanes.
- Also please let me know where to park and what school entrance to use.
On the day of the visit, please have ready:
- A microphone! Most important! Please let me know in advance of the visit whether the microphone will be clip-on or hand-held.
- Seven clean and sturdy music stands
- Large-sized table
- Drinking water
- Lunch: I am not a fussy eater. But I can be a messy eater, so let's avoid spaghetti sauce and tacos and barbecued chicken and cotton candy.
Please contact me for further information.
Quotes from past school visits:
"The best school visit we've had in years!'
"Our kids will always remember Axle Annie and Rush Hotfoot!"