Click on the presentations for more info regarding an author visit:

ASSEMBLIES

WRITING WORKSHOPS

For more information: irenekelly@verizon.net

ASSEMBLIES

Creating Books
(It is important that the students not be familiar with Ebbie & Flo before my visit).

How does an idea become a book? I lead the students through the process of creating a book, using my original artwork from Ebbie & Flo to illustrate each step along the way. During this engaging and informative presentation, I show the evolution of my illustrations from sketches and storyboards to pastel drawings and finally the printer’s full-color press sheets. We also explore the writing process, with an emphasis on the importance of character development, plot, editing and rewriting.

Running time: 30-40 minutes
Grades K-2 (250 audience limit, though the smaller the better)
Up to 4 presentations per day


A Dog’s Tale
(It is important that the students have read A Small Dog’s Big Life; Around the World with Owney before my visit).


This assembly is based on my book, A Small Dog’s Big Life; Around the World with Owney. I start with a PowerPoint presentation about writing, focusing primarily on the mysterious origins of ideas. This presentation is similar to Creating Books in that we discuss how a book is made: writing, editing, sketching, editing, dummies, editing, storyboards, editing, final artwork, and editing (can't emphasize editing enough). The different challenges of working with a fiction and a non-fiction subject are considered, regarding both writing and illustrating.

Running time: approximately 40 minutes
Grades: K-5 (250 audience limit, though the smaller the better)
Up to 4 presentations per day

 

It’s a Butterfly’s Life
(It is important that the students have read It’s a Butterfly’s Life before my visit).

This assembly is based on my book, It’s a Butterfly’s Life. I start with a PowerPoint presentation about writing, focusing primarily on the mysterious origins of ideas. This presentation is similar to Creating Books in that we discuss how a book is made: writing, editing, sketching, editing, dummies, editing, storyboards, editing, final artwork, and editing (can't emphasize that enough). The different challenges of working with a fiction and a non-fiction subject are considered, regarding both writing and illustrating.

Running time: approximately 40 minutes
Grades: K-5 (250 audience limit, though the smaller the better)
Up to 4 presentations per day

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WRITING WORKSHOPS

(The writing workshops are based on the A Dog’s Tale or It’s a Butterfly’s Life assembly).

A Dog’s Tale Writing Workshop

This writing workshop takes students on a ‘round the world’ writing adventure in which they look at Owney’s life from his point of view. Students examine character, ‘voice,’ and other driving forces involved in the composition of a story. These sessions are collaborative, creative, and lots of fun. By the end of the workshop, each student will have written and illustrated their story in an accordion book shaped like a doghouse.
Grades 2 – 5.

Dear Diary Writing Workshop

In these workshops, we consider the importance of ‘voice’ in writing, with an emphasis on non-fiction. The students create a diary from the point-of-view of a caterpillar, using the ‘voice’ of a caterpillar. Working as a group, we discuss metamorphosis and with my guidance, the students make their own books based on this process. The students leave the workshop with their very own accordion book, as well as a renewed appreciation of how much fun science, research, reading and writing can be.
Grades 1 – 5.

I can conduct a maximum of 4 presentations/workshops per day, and each session is between 35 and 40 minutes. Many schools mix the presentations to create a customized day for their particular school. Please email me for my fees.

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Comments on author visits:

“Thank you so much for making our Writing Workshop so memorable for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. They are all extremely proud of their books; my class had a great time sharing their work. Your presentation captured and motivated an entire gym full of kids to want to be authors and illustrators. What a rewarding, cultural experience for these youngsters. I truly hope we can make this an annual experience for them.”

Donna LeBlanc
3rd grade teacher
Meadowvale Elementary School
Havre de Grace, MD

 

“Irene Kelly was wonderful! She really connected with the children and gave them realistic and practical writing suggestions. We are very fortunate to have such unique and special opportunities.”

Brenda Morrow
5th grade teacher
James StoyElementary School
Haddon Township, NJ

 

“Irene Kelly’s author visit was fabulous! The writing workshops she did with our third grade classes fit perfectly into our writing program. Outstanding program!”

Mrs Kolb
3rd grade teacher
Mansfield Elementary School
Port Murray, NJ

 

Irene Kelly did a phenomenal job working with our Kindergarten through 5th Grade students. She tailored her presentations to meet our needs and kept the children completely engaged. We were fortunate enough to be able to bring her to our school for a week. During that time she not only explained to the children how she found her inspiration as a writer, but also gave them active instruction in the writing and illustrating process. One of my favorite moments occurred near the end of her week with us. Irene was working with two of our fifth grade classes. There were forty-eight 5th graders in our Art Room and Irene had every single one of them actively engaged in creating stories. They were all eager to share their creations with myself, Irene, and their teachers, and they were so very proud of the fabulous tales they had written and illustrated.

Kathy Mikalsen, PTO Co-President
Stony Brook Elementary
Pennington, NJ

 

Irene Kelly's visit to our school was a tremendous success. All of our
students were thoroughly engaged throughout the assemblies, and our first-through fifth-graders were thrilled with the book creation workshops. In
addition to being a talented author and illustrator, Irene is a wonderful
teacher. She instructed, coached and mentored our students throughout their
projects. When their books were completed, the children themselves were astonished by the results (and proud of their achievement). How wonderful to see our kids learning when they think all they're doing is having fun!

Lisa Donaldson
Co-chair, Assembly Committee
Hopewell Elementary School, Hopewell, NJ

 

Irene Kelly was such a valuable experience for the students at Toll Gate. Her writers workshop was instructive and students enjoyed the hands-on attention from a real Author.

Chris Morgan
Librarian
Toll Gate Elementary School
Pennington, NJ

 

Thanks again for your wonderful visit. Our children at Bear Tavern, as well as the staff, still rave about it!

Armelle Daniels
PTO Cultural Arts
Bear Tavern Elementary School
Pennington, NJ

 

Irene Kelly's elementary school presentations were amazing! All students from kindergarten to 5th grade loved hearing her read and explain the process of finishing a children's book. The writing seminars for the 3rd-5th grade were wonderful.

Patrice Baranker, President PTO
Pine Beach Elementary School
Pine Beach, NJ

 

Your presentation was met with such enthusiasm by students and teachers alike…our principal was especially excited to see the children’s response to your visit and how nicely it fit into our yearlong objective of writer's workshop. Thank you, again, for enriching our K-2 students and demonstrating the art of creating a book from start to finish. They also got a glimpse of what an author/illustrator does as a profession!

Barbara Lombardo, Media Specialist
Riker Hill School, Livingston, NJ

 

The writing workshops were an extremely useful exercise for the children. They were able to create their own story with your guidance…and the best part was they had fun without realizing they were actually learning.. I received much positive feedback from the teachers. They were thrilled to see their students caught up in a creative writing assignment. One teacher said she has many ideas on how to incorporate this into her own lessons!

Renee Soracco, Co-President, Parents Association
Washington School, Bergenfield, NJ

 

Ms. Kelly's presentation to my class was wonderful. She has a real knack for tapping into the creative juices of students and bringing out the best in them. They were fascinated by the process that she goes through to write and illustrate her books, and they did their best to emulate her process as they wrote their own dog stories.

Jacqueline Moore, 4th grade teacher
North Chevy Chase Elementary School, Chevy Chase, Maryland

 

Irene Kelly was wonderful! Her presentations went beautifully. The children were absolutely caught up in the story of Owney and his trip around the world. After Irene read her book aloud, she showed the children real pictures of Owney that added to their enjoyment. The original artwork added to the presentation as Irene showed the students how a book is made. What a great way to celebrate Read Across America!

Jeanne Connell, Librarian
St. Benedict School
Holmdel, NJ

 


We had Irene back for the second year in a row and our 3rd grade students loved the Owney Assembly and the writing workshop that followed. The kids were really engaged and enjoyed writing and illustrating their own story in a book dummy shaped like a doghouse. The third grade teachers really enjoyed how Irene was able to get the kids to write from a different perspective – in this case being the dog telling the story! We will definitely have her back again!

Patti Blosfelds, PTA Assembly Chairperson
Delran Elementary School

 


The Ebbie and Flo presentation was perfect for our students! The visual aids enable the children to see the writing and illustrating process from idea to finished product. Ms. Kelly’s presentation sparked questions and enthusiasm. The children left with a greater understanding of how a book is made. Our teachers and librarian all agreed that Ms. Kelly’s visit was both memorable and successful. We look forward to more visits from her in the future!

Melissa Azarian, PTO Visiting Authors Committee
Gillette School
Long Hill Township, NJ

 


Irene Kelly’s presentations were well received by students and teachers alike. She provided our students with valuable information that they will be able to apply in their own writing. They truly benefited from her interesting and informative presentations.

Colleen Scrimenti, District ILA Supervisor
Lillian M. Dunfee Elementary School and
Cecil S. Collins Elementary School
Barnegat, NJ

BOOKS MEET IRENE SCHOOL VISITS COACHING