EVENT KNOWHOW Special School Visits: Follow up

Our Event Knowhow series comes to an end. You've had a great day visiting a special school as an author and Elaine Cline, Fiona Barker and Sarah Morrell say, what about follow up?

You've planned your event and had a lovely author visit. Now that the event is over, this is the time to take advantage of all your hard work in preparing and creating such a great day.

Create downloadable activities

Many authors do this with activities based on their book linked to national curriculum topics and targets. However, for special school learners you will definitely need to give this some extra thought. Standard worksheets may not be suitable for use in a special school because of the wide range of needs of the learners. Instead, appropriate activities might range from something basic to provide sensory stimulation right through to more academically focused writing or drawing. The key at all levels is to think practically and to suggest a range of activities for learners at different stages. This will allow the teachers, who know their learners well, to choose something appropriate.

Props and Senses

Just as on the day, think about the use of props and engaging the senses. Suggest songs that go with the theme of your story. Include Youtube links, if you can. Perhaps there is a collage activity that would work. Are there objects in a typical classroom or playground that learners could hunt for that are relevant for your book? Could they act out the story using masks or props that they could make? You could make colouring sheets available for children who have fine motor skills or perhaps pictures of objects or events in your book that children could use for sequencing. Perhaps you can suggest out-of-school visits that are linked to the theme of the story, maybe somewhere you visited for research?

If you are able to provide a range of practical suggestions for multi-sensory experiences based on the themes of your story, individual teachers can select and adapt them to suit the needs of their class. 

This will ensure you and your visit are remembered long after the day itself is over!

You can find Part 1 of Special School Visit KnowHow here and Part 2 here.

Images provided by Fiona Barker.

L-R Elaine Cine, Fiona Barker, Sarah Morrell

Elaine Cline (pictured left) is an unagented member of SCBWI. She has taught for nearly 30 years in primary mainstream and also across all key stages in specialist schools (broad spectrum, PMLD/SLD, MLD, ASD).

Fiona Barker (pictured centre) writes picture books and is represented by Alice Williams. Her picture book, illustrated by fellow SCBWI member Howard Gray, Danny and the Dream Dog is published by Tiny Tree Children’s Books. Fiona enjoys sign language and leads a pop-up sign language choir. 

Sarah Morrell (pictured right) is a self-published picture book author with one book in print (The King and the Cockerel) and another due out early Autumn (Molly’s Magic Brolly). She is a criminologist, mum of three and currently on a career break from HMRC to focus on her writing. 


Eleanor Pender is Knowhow Editor. If there's something you'd like to know how to do, send your suggestions to knowhow@britishscbwi.org

No comments:

We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.