I’m sad not to be able to visit your classes in person right now, but I have created two different interactive workshops based around my books that I can deliver over conferencing platforms, that I hope are just as magical and inspiring as a live visit!
Virtual Classroom Visits Based on my Picture Books
When you book a virtual classroom visit I will send you a beautiful online Padlet page to share with your class. It contains colourful illustrations from the book, engaging questions about the story, resources to print and activities for them to work on and present to me during my visit.
The virtual session will last around an hour. I will read the book and talk about what inspired me to make it. I will show them the very first drawings I did for it too. As well hearing all their answers to my Padlet questions, I will draw some new characters based on their ideas. For EYFS we will also play a fun interactive game. I will show KS1 children how to draw some characters to draw along with me and as a group we will come up with a brand-new story idea which I will draw as we go along. I can send copies of the drawings to you after the class so they may be used as visual story writing prompts outside of our session. (Many teachers have told me this exercise has inspired the most reluctant writers in their classes to write a story!)
Your two workshop choices are:
Great for emotional social learning, this book is light, fun story depicting the journey from ignorance to acceptance and celebration.
‘Meet the Ploofers. The Ploofers have been practicing something special that they all want to do at the exact same time–but wait! What’s that? One of them does something different! When one little Ploofer goes against the usual flow of things, the rest of them turn their backs on him. But all it takes is for one person to recognise the beauty in being different to spark a change in attitude of everyone. With simple, yet striking, illustrations and a cutaway cover design that adds tactile interest, A Little Bit Different is a joyful reading experience for both you and your child, providing the opportunity to spark more meaningful discussions about people’s differences and how we accept and value them.’
With themes of friendship, loyalty, and bravery this book is a great choice for story time discussion, especially in the chilly winter months! Written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by myself, this is a magical adventure story that will engage and excite young children.
‘Snow comes in the night, and Iggy and Martina make a snowbear. But then a sledge ridge takes them deep into the woods. How will they get back home again? The Snowbear is a spellbinding story about the magic of snow and the power of a child’s imagination. With a simple text and beautiful illustrations, it will be read again and again. Children will love the crisp, wintry setting brought to life by Claire Alexander’s art.’
Future Live Schools Visits
I love to share my books with children as well as involving them in the creation of new characters and stories.
For EYFS: I will read a story, encouraging interaction from the class, show them briefly how I made the book, draw a character from the book and end on a fun interactive game.
For KS1: I will read a story, show how I draw characters from the book in a draw along activity. Then as a group we can come up with a brand-new story idea which I will draw as we go along. I can send copies of the drawings to you after the class so they may be used as visual story writing prompts outside of our session. I also offer a workshop focused on learning how depict different expressions in characters. After experimenting with a specially created character, the children will learn how to draw expressive characters themselves. The drawings can used as visual prompts for creating narratives and inspiring story writing.
For KS2 and above. In one workshop I will talk about how I make my books and help children create their own expressive character in colour. In a different workshop I show how a book dummy is made and help children draw a storyboard based on their own pre-written individual stories, paying particular attention to structure, pacing and layout composition.
You will need:
A flip chart or easel, coloured paper for collage if doing the character session, pencils, rubbers and plenty of A4 and A3 paper.
The children at Parkgate House School thoroughly enjoyed Claire’s picture book and storyboarding workshop. The information and skills were excellently matched to the children’s age and they came away with so much enthusiasm and specific knowledge for our Picture Book project. Claire’s art skills, in particular, were especially admired and coveted by the children. Their picture books are going to be of a fantastic standard due to kick-starting the project with Claire’s workshop. Thanks once again Claire!
Hannah Ross, Head of English, Parkgate School, Clapham
Claire was very inspirational to the children and we were able to really enhance the children’s writing by learning from her techniques and editing tips for young children’s stories. Claire also was very clear on how to link her writing skills to the story board and planning formats that we use regularly in year 6. We would love to have her come again.
Elska Hughes, Prep School teacher, St Joseph’s College, Ipswich
I would just like to say a huge thank you for yesterday . The children (and staff!) had a wonderful time and I know they learnt a lot too. You pitched the sessions perfectly , and really inspired the children .
Julia Warner, Deputy Head Teacher, St Matthews School, Wimbledon
If you would are interested in booking a half or full day school visit, please contact me.