Jackie offers assemblies, small presentations, single-class writing workshops, and multi-day writing residencies for students in grades Pre-K to 12th grade, as well as in-service teacher training. A one-day visit includes up to four presentations, and schools are welcome to mix and match programming to suit their needs. Please feel free to query if you have any questions. 

Presentation Programs

A Writer’s Life 

Presentation for Grades 1–8
Through lively stories, Jacqueline answers commonly asked questions about her writing life: how she began writing, where she finds her ideas, and what are the three basic story elements every story needs to be successful. She talks about strategies for becoming a better writer and encourages students to think of themselves as the writers of tomorrow. 


Birds, Books, and a Boy Named Audubon 

Presentation for Grades 1–4
Using The Boy Who Drew Birds as a launching pad, Jacqueline introduces students to the remarkable paintings of John James Audubon. She talks about birds and allows kids to get “up close and personal” by examining real birds’ nests. Jacqueline then uses 15-inch paper dolls to tell the story of how The Boy Who Drew Birds became a book—from idea through editing, illustration, and printing. It’s a story the kids will never forget! 


Sounds All Around 

Presentation for Grades PreK–1
The Night Is Singing, Jacqueline’s evocative poem-book, is about the sounds we hear as we drift off to sleep. Working with hand-held musical instruments and large letters, Jacqueline directs the children to think about the qualities of sounds we hear, as well as the qualities of letter-sounds in our alphabet. Children gain an increased awareness of the craft of poetry. 


When Life Hands You Lemons 

Presentation for Grades 4–8
The idea for The Lemonade War began as Jacqueline watched her two sons arguing over a lemonade stand. How did that first idea evolve into a book? What did the author keep from that real-life incident and what did she change? This presentation explores the three story elements of main character, motivation, and problem; story shape and structure; and the sequential stages of writing (thinking, prewriting, writing, and revising). 

Please Note: All students must have finished reading The Lemonade War before the Author’s visit. The presentation depends on the students knowing the story from beginning to end since we will be discussing the ending of the book. 


Writing Workshops 

(All writing workshops are limited to 25 students per session.) 

Map Me a Story 

Writing Workshop for Grades 1–3
How can young writers come up with ideas for stories? Jacqueline draws a map of a childhood home of hers and shows how the map is filled with potential story ideas. Students are then given a piece of drawing paper and encouraged to create a map of a favorite place. Where are the story ideas hidden on the map? Time permitting, each student begins to write a story that was “discovered” on the map. 


Metaphors Be With You 

Writing Workshop for Grades 4–8
What is a metaphor? Why is it a writer’s best friend? How do we create metaphors that are powerful and unique? During this hands-on writing program, students work collectively and individually to write poems composed entirely of metaphor. 



Writing Workshop for Grades 4–8
Any writer will tell you: The most important paragraph in a story is the first one. Does it hook the reader? Draw her in? Make him want to read all the way to the end? Jacqueline talks about story openings and how to make them irresistible to the reader. She discusses the techniques that writers use to write compelling first paragraphs and shares some examples of the best openings ever written. Students then have time to write a brief story opening using the techniques they have just learned. 


The Plot Thickens 

Writing Workshop for Grades 4–8
Motivation, rising conflict, climax, resolution. These are the elements needed to create effective plot within a story. But how to do it? In this workshop, Jacqueline explains how plot works, why a story's problem needs to get bigger and bigger, and what story structure looks like. Students play a fun board game in which they create an effective plot, then use a graphic organizer to develop the structure for a story of their own. 


Residency Programs

Beginning to End: Story writing Residency 

Five-day story-writing residency for Grades 4 –8
What are the elements of a good story? How do you take an idea and shape it into a satisfying tale? In this five-day writing intensive, students work through each step required to envision, draft, revise, and polish a complete story. 



Five-day poetry-writing residency for Grades 3 –8
The root of writing nature poetry is observation: looking closely at the world all around. Jacqueline begins this five-day residency by taking the children outside with sketchbooks in hand. They draw the world around them, capturing images and words on the pages of their nature journals. Then they bring those words inside and begin to write poems that use the poets’ techniques of rhyme, alliteration, and assonance. 

Watch a Slideshow of this Program →



In addition to the writing workshops, assemblies, and residencies listed below, Jackie can customize presentations to meet the particular needs of your school. She offers up to four presentations per day and speak to students in grades pre-K through 12. 

List of Programs →


Jackie charges a per-day fee (which includes up to four presentations) and is happy to share a single day between two schools that are close to each other. If you would like Jackie to keynote at your conference, please inquire using the school-visit contact form.

Schedule of Fees →