"You presented your poems with such joy and shared your writing process so clearly that the young writers in our school couldn't get to their pencils and notebooks fast enough to write poetry themselves!" Carolyn Lytle, Vestavia West, Birmingham, AL
Sharing my poetry with your students—inspiring and encouraging young writers—is some of the most important work I do. I believe that poetry strengthens students' writing skills and opens wide the doors of imagination and creative thinking.
My published titles span a wide age range so there is something for everyone at your school. There's Book! for the preschoolers and Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems for fourth and fifth grade. Little Dog and Duncan is a favorite of the beginning readers and Fold Me a Poem has inspired amazing art projects at all grade levels. My "nature" titles (The Great Frog Race, Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poemss and Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poemsare a perfect fit for science units, Earth Day, and Arbor Day.
School visit programs are tailored to the academic needs of each school and my planning starts long before I walk through the doors of your school. My goal is to partner with you so that my visits meets your individual school's needs and goals. A typical school visit usually includes two to three large-group assemblies coupled with as many informal small-group "Meet the Author" sessions, classroom chats, as we can squeeze into the day. Most schools include a book signing and I am happy to autographs books for your students. Assemblies include a lively digital slide presentation, student participation, and props. All of my presentations are designed to give students an opportunity to experience a variety of poetic forms and give them a candid look inside the creative writing process. (Yes, I discuss that dreaded topic: revision.)
Once a school visit date has been agreed upon, I provide detailed information which includes an organization checklist, display materials, and reproducible handouts for teachers and parents. In addition, there are teacher's guides and curriculum suggestions on this site that educators use to prepare students for my visit.
Please feel free check my references and contact my publisher or me to discuss a school visit. I look forward to hearing from you! No two school visits or conference presentations are alike; each speech or assembly is tailored to meet the needs of your audience.
However, I should warn you that I often show up with my less-than-chic, dented metal bucket. Stashed in my bucket are an odd assortment of items that have sparked my poetry: a length of garden hose, tambourine, monkey wrench, deceased dragonfly, tree bark, flashlight... This bucket is part of my overall message: Poetry is everywhere, even in the humble items of our everyday lives.
Skype & IChatLimited availability until mid-May 2013 ... Contact to learn more.
ConferencesI enjoy speaking to "grown-ups" and have had the opportunity to speak at national conferences for the American Library Association, American Booksellers, International Reading Association, National Council of Teachers of English, as well as children's literature conferences at Claremont University, Ohio State University, University of Redlands, and University of Northern Iowa.
Talks and presentations are tailored to the needs of the organization and audience, and have ranged from sharing the stories behind my poetry to innovative ways to use poetry in the classroom. Testimonials and References will give you a sense of the different types of talks and presentations I've given over the years.
Please feel free to contact either my publisher or me to discuss your upcoming conference.
215 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003
Or, contact me directly by using the Contact Form or the e-mail address below:
"We were recently privileged to have you visit our school for two full days, sharing your poetry with our staff and students, grades K-5. You made each program (7) very special by designing it to fit the grade, and allowing the children to ask you questions about your life and poetry you have inspired many of them to start putting some of their own ideas in writing. Several of our teachers teach poetry writing and are using your lesson plans as a guide. We all thank you for coming to our school, it will be the highlight of this school year." Marcelle Helgesen, Librarian Palmquist Elementary Oceanside, CA"We enjoyed it! My kids wanted time to write poetry when we returned to the classroom. I love that her poetry isn't what the kids think of as poetry....doesn't have to rhyme, poems can be short/long, etc. They were excited to see how FREE they could be when they write!" Mrs. McCoy, Indian Hills Primary, Cincinnati, OH
"I thought she was wonderful — engaging, respectful of developmental differences in the kids. Her warm laughter and clear enjoyment of the children was fun." Principal Harte, Indian Hills Primary, Cincinnati, OH
"When we returned to our room from the assembly it was supposed to be our math time. That plan quickly changed. One of my most struggling students came back into the room and politely asked it we could do poetry. She said "Mrs. Uhles remember that squirrel that was building a nest that you showed me, I think I need to write about it." She pulled a chair over to the window and waited and watched for her muse. She was enjoying writing and seeing the world through a poet's eyes! Thank you for touching a child's life today." Teresa Uhles 2nd Grade Teacher Robinson Elementary
"You are still the buzz around here…One teacher told me today that she had suspended all other lesson plans in her class because the kids were just so excited about your visit and what they had learned. They are writing, reading, and reciting poetry now." Karol Miller, Librarian Serrano Elementary, Moreno Valley, CA
"Kristine regaled our sixth grade students with a reading of her poetry focusing on observation of everyday objects and events. After an explanation of her own creative process, all of the students were able to apply some of her writing techniques to develop their own observation and writing skills, producing some very heart-felt pieces. If you get a chance to have Kristine come to your school or classroom, I highly recommend that you don’t pass it up!" Jasper Bui, librarian, John Adams Middle School, Santa Monica, CA
"One student went home and wrote a poetry book. I didn't have time to write yesterday, but we are going to do some today. I think it was a great way to hook kids into poetry." Dr. Ping, Indian Hills Primary, Cincinnati, OH
"One of my students went home and wrote a wonderful poem and used the up and down letters as she did in roll for the words splish, splosh. We enjoyed her talk a lot." Ms. Snyder, Indian Hills, Cincinnati, OH
"It was a wonderful day and we all really appreciated your enthusiasm. The kids are still talking about it." Lisa Von Drasek, Children's Librarian Bank Street College of Education New York, NY
"I wanted to let you know what a lasting impression your workshop has had…They are more enthusiastic than ever about writing their own poetry…Thanks for inspiring our students." Linda Friedman, Librarian Crossroads Elementary Santa Monica, CA (2 visits)
"Your presentations were wonderful. To see and hear a "real, live poet" was a unique experience for our second graders and will remain a highlight for them. The teachers enjoyed your presentation as much as the students and were very complimentary. Of course, Studebaker was a big hit too!" Joyce Hegeman, Librarian Don Benito Fundamental School Pasadena, CA
"Enjoy Kristine O'Connell George and uncover poetry as ordinary as a garden hose, or extraordinary as "the blue between." You'll have a wonder-filled day! PJ Charnofsky, Librarian, Peninsula Heritage School
"Thank you again for sharing your work with Westland's students...I heard comments yesterday and this morning from both kids and teachers saying how much they enjoyed your visit. They used words like "wonderful" and "terrific." Your enthusiasm for your work is genuine and contagious. I really liked how you tailored your presentation to the various age groups." Margery Seid, Librarian Westland School, Los Angeles
Keynotes and Workshops
Association of Booksellers for Children & Children's Book Council BookExpo
Los Angeles, CA
Speaker : "Poetry in the Classroom"
"It was clear from the enthusiastic applause that your audience ... greatly appreciated your talk..." Allan Marshall, Director Children's Book Council
Children's Literature Festival
University of Redlands
Presenter: 1997 to 2009
"Kristine George did a wonderful job sharing ideas to help us teach our students how to write poetry … [I] gained a new love of poetry." Participants' Evaluations
San Juan School District Sacramento, CA
3-hour Teacher Workshop
"I loved the activities and ideas...your use of humor and the personal touch using family and memories...inspiring...I loved hearing you read poetry...you have a wonderful voice...non-threatening!...I felt safe writing creatively..." Participants' Evaluations
Southern California School Library Association
Palm Springs, CA
Featured Author: "The Poem and the Wayward Star"
"She got me interested—I never cared much for poetry…Made poetry fun…Very well organized.." Participants' Evaluations
University of Northern Iowa
Children's Literature and the Study of the Environment
"You definitely made a difference for these teachers. Many integrated poetry into their lessons and learning centers for the first time." Lucille Lettow, Librarian University of Northern Iowa
Ventura County School District
"Participant response has been overwhelmingly positive. Comments have addressed the excellence of your teaching, the variety of meaningful topics, the excitement and inspiration you fostered." Diane Dempwolf, Director Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
I felt you had written your poems just for me. Student, Kirkwood, MO
The poems were AWESOME! How do you think of all of those poems? I was about to holler at you, YOU ARE SO AMAZING! Thank you soooooo much for coming! Christie 2nd grader
I enjoyed you reading your poems...I thought your poems were funny and very everyday-like. It was fun to see you read your poems and have some fun!...If you want to know how you did on a scale one to ten. I'll tell you the truth ten. Yes, you were great. Hannah
You taught me a lot of things and I have dreams for my future. You are a very inspirational person. Ofelia Y. 3rd grader
Hearing you read your poetry encouraged me to write more poems. I really appreciate you coming all the way to Minnesota for us to hear your poems. Elizabeth
I think we were the luckiest school to see you. Before I thought, "No way she's coming here...but when I saw you I went WOW!" Really, I was so glad to see you. Caley
No offence to the other published writers but you were the most humerous one of them all. Last night I was working on my smore poem (based on your book Toasting Marshmallows) and I thought, "Wow, think how hard poets think and how much they work." Lindsay
Adult Writing Classes
UCLA Extension Education Department
"I appreciated her warmth and enthusiasm...exceeded my expectations...terrific resources and activities...applications of multiple intelligences...got ideas I'm going to immediately apply." Student Evaluations
"Introduction to Children's Poetry"
UCLA Extension Writers' Program
"Ms. O'Connell George was fantastic! Knowledgeable, interesting, entertaining … Instructor makes you feel relaxed and is very knowledgeable … She was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable ...Course materials were excellent, very well organized … Challenging, but just enough to get us out of our "comfort zone" … Class participation was at a high level due to a stimulating instructor and interesting materials … I was thrilled with the class and Kristine's teaching." Student Evaluations