February 6, 2019 - Michael Salinger

Champion Middle School, Champion , Ohio


Emoting before personifying. 

Sara and I love our visits to Ohio schools.

We also love our travels around the country and the world – but our home state is still special to us, and the folks at Champion Middle sure made it easy to love this visit.


How’s this for a welcome!?

This was one well prepared school thanks to our main poet wrangler Andrea. The kids had been reading our stuff for weeks before our visit. They had written response pieces to some of the poems and plastered their lockers with their results.

We did a couple assemblies to kick things off – one for 5th and 6th graders and then one for 7th and 8th. It’s so nice to have the opportunity to dial in to such specific audiences. We tailored each assembly to be just a little bit different for the age groups – it’s a luxury for us and makes for such richer experience for the kids.


After the assemblies we were treated to the traditional early middle school lunch – delicious and with great company – we signed some books afterwards and then it was into the classrooms where Sara and I each led a couple writing workshops.


Discussing our stories before preparing our memoir pre-write.

Needless to say, the kids were prepared and engaged. We practiced personification, memoir, writing about setting and change.  During our sessions there were even extra teachers sitting in observing – we love this kind of stuff. When your staff is this engaged it’s almost impossible for the students not to follow suit. A whole lot of credit to the Principal for nurturing this atmosphere.


A poetic conversation at the lockers.

Now we’re off to Istanbul with a warm Ohio glow to accompany us on the trip.

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“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
“Sara and Michael bring magic, and a contagious love of words to both students and teachers alike!” Georgia Heard - Author of Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School More testimonials...