Growing Up Writing

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.

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!

Artist/Writer in Residency at Sonoraville Elementary!

Filed under: Events,Growing Up Writing,Parenting,School Visits | October 1, 2018

All last week, and for the first time ever, I had the pleasure of working with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders of Sonoraville Elementary School in a writing and illustrating workshop! It was so much fun and very successful I thought! (But my feet thought otherwise :) I was definitely reminded how hard teachers and media specialists work for our kiddos. Much RESPECT.

Mrs. Beth Mitchell, the Media Specialist there, was awesome to plan and scheme with. She almost never sits down and remains die-hard-patient with her students. I was impressed an encouraged to be more patient with my own kids after watching her. Our whole Artist in Residency concept began with her approaching me and just throwing the idea at me. And because I’m local to her school, it worked out really well and simply.

In order to maximize the potential of our program, Mrs. Mitchell spoke with the teachers of the grades we wanted to involve and asked those educators what they would like to see covered in the program to help reinforce skills their students are already working on. After that, Mrs. Mitchell and I developed the 3 day curriculum, and I worked hard to add in some good ‘ol cheesy fun too. We put it all to the test last week, and I think we have a winner!

If you are interested in me doing this 3-day workshop at your school, click here and scroll to the bottom.

-Shanda!

This sheet was inspired by Debbie Ohi’s character sheet on DebbieOhi.com!

Shanda McCloskey, Children's Illustrator & Author