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Sing Me a Poem - K-12 plus!

This is our original and still most-requested 'Ski workshop. We always have so much fun singing and writing with kids - we can't wait to enjoy it with your group! (This workshop has an easy PTA Fundraiser attached to it, so check out the link.)

How a 45-minute to one hour workshop works:

First we sing some well-written children's song(s) to get the kids excited and involved in what we're doing. Then we ask the kids to pick a topic they want to write a song about. If you have curriculum requirements, you can pick a topic beforehand, or suggest a general area of study you'd like us to write about. Once we've picked a topic, the group thinks of all the details that they know of or want to write about the topic. This gives students a clear idea of what we're hoping to fit into our song. After we write down ideas, we ask the kids to pick a tune to write to. This works to insure children will remember the tune of the song that they wrote. It would be terrible for them to write a song and not be able to sing it! Next the kids suggest lines to fit the meter, tune, and topic of the song - and we get to see what their growing minds come up with! Once we have a finished song, we sing it with the kids to help cement it in their minds. We also give each child a copy to take home and sing for everyone they know. (This may happen the next day, depending on scheduling.) If you'd like, we can facilitate a school assembly or concert of the kids as they perform their songs for other writers in the school, or even set up a school concert for parents to enjoy the fruits of their child's writing experiences. 

A longer workshop gives the opportunity to expand one or more segments above. Many classes use longer periods (1 1/2 to 2 hours) to divide the group up and, after an initial instructive session, write in their small groups. (Or you can choose to sing with 'SKI for part of your time.)

We also offer for older audiences a lecture / performance that discusses and illustrates our thoughts on writing. This lasts from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, and entertains and informs.

School costs for 'SKI workshops, concerts and Residen-'Skis are on our Rates Page.

How to Write Right - K-12 plus!

This lecture/performance instructs the class on the mechanics and procedures involved in writing. We sing our own songs to illustrate different aspects of writing and show students how we use these techniques and concepts. This workshop works best for junior high and high school ages as younger classes need a more interactive approach.

This workshop can be easily tailored to your group's particular interest. Our basic workshop focuses on the mechanics of writing a story, poem, or song. We can also go into writing for newspapers, the business of writing, or the publishing industry. (We'll do a better job of it if you let us know in advance!) Workshops tend to last 45 minutes to an hour, but more time is always appreciated.

And, with all of our How to Write Right workshops, the class gets Kathryn's Six Tips on Writing, an invaluable list of things that will help in any area of writing, and many areas of life.

Tell Me A Story - K-12 plus!

This workshop is geared toward actually completing a story by the end of our time together. 'SKI takes the class quickly through the process of coming up with an idea; the beginning, middle, and end; and finally, the editing/revising process.

Although the task of asking an entire class to come up with a story may seem daunting, it's really a fine learning exercise that many children are already predisposed to enjoy. Simply 'playing pretend' on a playground can lead to ideas and stories if the child focuses that creative energy toward words. The idea of this workshop is to show children that not all writing is onerous and that the point behind a story is to communicate their idea.

Don't be afraid to try this workshop with classes that are reluctant to write*. We tend to bring enough fun with us that kids hardly realize that they're writing until a story is ready to share. Let us pull on a few brainwaves and see what your class can come up with.

*Although sneaky teachers may also choose Sing Me a Poem - kids don't think songs are "writing".

The Knows for News - Grades 2-12

For a workshop geared specifically toward non-fiction, we have The Knows for News. This workshop covers the five W's, how to structure news and / or feature stories, interviewing and deadlines.

Kathryn's experience as a writer for newspapers and feature writer for magazines gives flexibility to our possible approaches to nonfiction. Whether you choose straight news or features, or whether you want to put a publication together from your class's effort, is up to you.

After explaining the different elements that go into writing, 'SKI will help your students come up with articles to write and guide them through the writing process. We may pretend to be different characters for interviews or send them off to cover school personalities or events. After the writing and sharing portions of the workshop, Kathryn will discuss what newspapers and magazines look for in work they publish. This workshop also includes Kathryn's Six Tips on Writing.

The Knows for News works best with students second grade level and up so the mechanics of writing don't pose too many barriers. We need a minimum of 45 minutes, but this works better with two class periods.

That's the Theory - Grades 2-12

This workshop is for classes second grade or older(We want students who can read with some facility and who understand number concepts), with some exposure to music. We'll go into the structure of music as it's written and sung as we discuss:

    *The Staff - treble clef emphasized

    *What are all those signs and symbols?

    *Note values

    *Intervals and keys

All this, in just one hour, with singing included! We'll have some handouts for your students to help them remember what went on, too.

The Science of Music - Grades 2-12

Who knew how much science and math was hidden in music books? From how sound works to intervals and note values, the sweet sounds are buoyed by lots of facts.

We'll try to draw a line between straight fact and music, using instruments and voices as well as written materials. Visual aids will show the class music in it's natural form, playing on the instruments that 'SKI brings in will help them feel music, and demonstrations will give the kids different ways of looking at something they might take for granted. It's fun and learning - an unbeatable combination!

The Science of Music works well with classes 2nd grade and up, but feel free to inquire about special programs for younger classes. For specifics about meter and theory, check out our That's the Theory workshop, or ask for a conglomeration of the two. Please allow at least 45 minutes for this workshop.

Strike a Prose - Grades 4-12

Learn how to make your feelings known clearly and persuasively. Although it may be easy to tell someone what you think, it's much harder to make sure they're listening.

What makes a compelling argument? How can you enlist your audience's sympathies? What key words do people respond to positively and negatively. Strike a Prose illustrates how to make the power of words work for you.

This 45 minute to hour long workshop suits students with an ability to grasp philosophical concepts. We ask that your group be 4th grade or older.