For Teachers

A Twisted Tale!


According to (Creativity in the Class), Fractured fairy tales are a retelling of popular fairy tales but with changes to the characters, setting, or by changing the villain into the hero.

In fact, it was a fractured fairy tale at the book fair (when I was in third grade) that set me on a path forevermore to be in awe of picture books! That book was THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS.


I was absolutely delighted how the author turned this story on its head and wrote Wolf as a misunderstood victim instead of a villain. And the illustrations portrayed the pigs as just plain wolfists who judged Wolf without really knowing him! So, Wolf didn’t even have a chance when he asked his pig neighbor for a cup of sugar to make his dear old granny a birthday cake and then accidentally sneezed and knocked the pig’s house down.

Later in life I came across this cute story: LITTLE RED WRITING. The characters are pencils and pens and the big bad wolf is a pencil sharpener!


After I became a parent, I had a blast reading SLEEPING CINDERELLA AND OTHER PRINCESS MIX-UPS with both of my girls! These characters rewrite their own stories to suit them much better :)


After I experienced a major bout of depression (after some eye health stuff), this book resonated with me very much… AFTER THE FALL: HOW HUMPTY DUMPTY GOT BACK UP AGAIN.


And one of my dearest book friends (Shelli R. Johannes) just released this STEM/STEAM genius- PENNY, THE ENGINEERING TALE OF THE FOURTH LITTLE PIG.


And one of my dearest book friends (Shelli R. Johannes) just released this STEM/STEAM genius- PENNY, THE ENGINEERING TALE OF THE FOURTH LITTLE PIG.


Shop these fractured fairy tales here on Bookshop.org! (Sleeping Cinderella is not available on Bookshop but is available on Amazon).

Fractured Fairy Tales in the Classroom for all ages


Rebecca Kraft Rector says, “A fun and useful skill taught as early as kindergarten is to compare (what’s the same?) and contrast (what’s different?) a fractured tale with the original tale. Children can compare/contrast characters, setting, themes, and even illustrations.”

Rebecca and I put together some fracture fairy tale lessons and activities in the Little Red and the Big Bad Editor – Educator’s Guide! These lessons can be tailored to Kindergarten up to higher elementary.

Wow, 10 years makes a difference!

It’s so true.

Yesterday, my husband (Ben) texted me the image (below left) and said “You’ve come a long way in 10 years”.

side by side old work and new work

These postcard images were created by the same artist (me) and had the same theme (little red riding hood) with a frizzy red-haired character. The difference is 10 years.

That first image is odd, right? Not very kid friendly and extremely stiff. It humbles me to look back at this, because now I remember what a beginning beginner I was!

Sometimes I forget. But looking back at this reminds me how patient and kind other creators and industry professionals were with me at conferences or other bookish events. They didn’t dismiss me and say “you just don’t get it”. Thankfully, they found tidbits of good in my work and praised those things while also giving me gentle nudges to improve over and over and over again.

My dreams were never crushed, and I’m so grateful for that.

Little Red and the Big Bad Editor cover

Just 2 weeks until Little Red hits shelves!

Preorder below!

Read It Again Bookstore (Suwanee, GA) Request a “signed by Shanda” copy in the order comments.

Little Shop of Stories (Decatur, GA) Order 2+ books for free shipping!

Bookshop.org

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Book Depository (International)

I invite you and your family to join me at Read It Again Bookstore in Suwanee, GA on Oct 8, 2022, 12-2pm. This in-person event is perfect for Kindergarteners, 1st graders, 2nd graders, and their teachers. We’ll be reading, drawing, coloring, and writing a thank you letter just like Little Red!

Everyone will get a bookmark and stickers, and of course I’d love to sign a book for you or your class :)

Teachers: I’ll be giving away one FREE in-person writing workshop for students! All attending (K-5) teachers will be eligible.

Read It Again Bookstore
3630 peachtree pkwy, suite 314
Suwanee, GA 30024

Thanks so much for reading!
Love, Shanda

Kids Writing Workshops and Author Visit Programs for 2022-23

Filed under: For Teachers,Growing Up Writing,School Visits | August 4, 2022

Hello friends!

Here in north Georgia our school year has just begun! This past Monday, my girls started 7th grade and 3rd grade. I can barely believe it! Our Summer (full of broken bones, birthday parties, puppies, swimming, fireworks, and a friend from Hungary) swirled by like a twister! But now I am ready for Fall.Every Summer, I give my school visit materials a facelift. And depending on my experiences/feedback from the previous year, I might add, adjust, or even take away a presentation. Sometimes prices need to be adjusted or maybe I want to implement a new logistical strategy in my school visit workflow. Each year is different!


What’s New For My 2022-23 Visits?
For this new academic year I was inspired to add some writing workshops to my school visit program menu, partly because I love seeing students streeeetch their minds to create a completely unique story of their own, and partly because I got the “writing workshop scoop” from my author friend, Lola. (See podcast below)



Photo: 11-year-old young author and I at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, 2022, UAE.

Two New Writing Workshops!


Thank You Letter Writing Workshop
Best for grades K-3rd (45 minute session)

NEW! This workshop uses LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR to model how to write a thank you letter (complete with punctuation, capital letters, finger spaces, as well as a greeting and closing)! Shanda will read the book, brainstorm with students about who they could write a thank you letter to, walk them through writing it, and encourage them to actually deliver it!



Cheesy Comics Writing Workshop
Best for grades 3rd-5th (2 or 3 one hour sessions)

NEW! This silly educational workshop (part 1) starts with students imagining, drawing, and creating a main character (that also happens to be a slice of cheese :) with unique wants, fears, histories, and problems. The next session (part 2) will focus on telling the character’s story by creating a short comic with the cheesy character pitted against its greatest fear, whatever that may be! A third session (part 3) may be added for students to give/receive constructive feedback using the “critique sandwich” method then revising their stories to be even better!





New Podcast Episode!

Educators: If you’d like to know more about bringing an author to your school for a writer’s workshop (and possibly even earn some PD), check out this latest podcast episode where I interview my author friend, Lola Schaefer, about just that!Authors: If you’ve ever thought about doing writing workshops with kids, this episode is a must!


Go to the episode

I can’t wait to start visiting schools this year :) Let me know if you’d like to set something up! Visit my school visit info page for all programs, pricing, and available dates.As always, thanks for reading!

Handwriting and Cursive Practice (Printable)

Legible handwriting is a basic communication tool. Cursive handwriting is also (and a signature can come in handy as well as the ability to read old letters and the Declaration of Independence). Practice writing in print and cursive with the printables below!

Critique Sandwich Graphic Organizer for Students (Printable)

Filed under: For Teachers,Free Stuff,Printable Activities | August 2, 2022

Read LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD WOLF to your class, then challenge students to write their own versions of a fractured fairy tale! Afterward, have students trade stories and read them. Last, students can be much better editors than Wolf by making their peers a “critique sandwich”!

How To Draw A Pencil

Learn to draw Wolf’s pencil from LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR by following these 5 simple steps!

LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR coloring sheets and comics!

Have fun coloring and creating your own dialogue for the comics with these printable pages…

Educator’s Guide for LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR!!

Filed under: For Teachers,Free Stuff,Printable Activities | July 19, 2022

Thanks for using LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR in your classroom. Rebecca Kraft Rector and I (Shanda McCloskey) hope you will find something useful inside these activities to enrich learning for your students. This GUIDE includes …

Reading & Writing Activities (with Printables!!)

1, 2, 3! Sequencing!

Similes, Cool as Cucumbers

Story Predictions

Write a Thank You Letter

Fractured Fairy Tales – Compare & Contrast

Finish the Twisted Tale of “Slipping Beauty”

Write Your Own Fractured Fairy Tale

The Critique Sandwich

Complete the Comic (your way)

Artful Activities (with Printables!)

How To Draw a Pencil

Draw a Delicious Writing Snack

Handwriting Practice

Cursive Handwriting Practice

Make a Map of Red’s Journey

Coloring Pages

Graphic Novels: A Brain Workout

I didn’t grow up reading comics. I am a new lover of the comic medium. When I found stories AND informational books in comic form, I fell in love.

But it wasn’t super easy to read at first. My brain was used to reading prose, so it took me a minute each time I opened a graphic novel to recalibrate to this form of reading. Kids seem to read comics so effortlessly, but my adult brain can tell you that there’s a lot going on up there when you read a graphic novel!

Have you (grown ups) tried one yet? I’m telling you – it’s a great brain workout!

And I’m not just making this stuff up…

“Traditional text is limited to presenting the same information sequentially. But when we read comics, we simultaneously interpret a multitude of visual information such as setting, mood, time, emotion, dialogue, and action.” (Read the full article here.)

My Favorite Informational Comics:

My Favorite Story Comics:

Grownups, I hope you’ll try a graphic a graphic novel THIS summer! If you do, you’ll appear much cooler (than you already are) to the kids in your life!

If you are already a reader of graphic novels, what’s YOUR favorite one to date? Comment below! I’d love to know.

Reading Poster and Matching Coloring Page

With schools starting back in-person all over, I wanted to share a “Read and Recharge” poster (with character’s from my first book, DOLL-E 1.0) that’s FREE for printing, laminating, and decorating your classroom! AND there’s a free matching coloring sheet so your students can also make their own poster!

Print Poster

Print Coloring Page

As always, I’d LOVE to see photos of your using these in your classroom :)

All My Best,

Shanda

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Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author