Students in B.J.’s literature residencies are writing poems or stories together as a group within the first five minutes of her active and engaging classes, and composing their own work by the end of the first session, using short verbal or visual prompts, as well as poems shared aloud in the classroom. Her young writers are introduced to the best poems and stories from their region and from other cultures, and encouraged to seek out work they like and to share it with others. Her stimulating exercises all include material from Nebraska’s core curriculum standards in language arts. Student work may be published as collections for the school library, as individual hand-made books, or on the school’s website.
Teachers are welcomed as active partners in all residency activities. B.J. also provides at least one teacher in-service, which includes hands-on activities and various resources for further literature activities following the residency. She has extensive experience in helping special needs, Native American, and English language learners become happily engaged in the writing process. B.J.’s community residencies have included hospitals and other healthcare settings, libraries, senior centers, and homeless shelters. She often includes additional book arts activities in conjunction with writing, such as origami with haiku and animal poems; a series of simple handmade books; Japanese paper marbling; cut paper illustration; collage; and printmaking.
Though B.J. resides in Montana, she frequently works in the Midwest. She looks forward to additional artist residencies in Nebraska, and is open to home stays instead of motels to minimize residency expenses.
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