Sunday, October 3, 2021

#FallWritingFrenzy Contest Entry: GOULISH GUESTS

 What better way to start October than with a Fall Frenzy Writing Contest!



We were given thirteen pictures to use as inspiration. I chose  #11, a group of children trick-or-treating and the challenge is to write no more than 200 words on whatever comes to mind for any KidLit age. This photo took me back to when my children were young and we enjoyed hours of trick-or-treating with friends and family across various neighborhoods not returning until well after dark. 


MY INSPIRATION PHOTO: 

                                               (Halloween- Credit: Bing)


GHOULISH GUESTS (photo #11)

by Linda Bozzo


Whistling October winds rattle the shutters on the crooked mansion. 

Echoes of groans escape the cracked panes of glass.

The cast of characters creep up the dark winding driveway, pausing briefly at the craggy iron gate. C-R-E-A-K 

Leaves crunch under their feet as they float up the sidewalk. 

Skeleton leads the way, pointing his narrow beam of flickering light on this moonless night.

Spider scampers up the uneven steps leading to the front door. 

The others follow closely, desperate not to be left behind.

Dangling ghosts and the smell of rotted pumpkin greet the strangers. 

Before they can knock, the paint-peeled door moans and creaks open as if inviting the ghoulish guests inside. 

The green-horned creature is the first to scream . . .

“TRICK OR TREAT!”


Winners will be announced by October 31st but, in the meantime, if you'd like join or read all the entries, you can check them out here. Thank you to the generous prize donors and our hosts and facilitators, Lydia, Kaitlyn, and Ameera who are responsible for making #FallWritingFrenzy happen!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Identifying Elements of Nonfiction

I love these elements of nonfiction posted in the library of the school I visited. I make sure I touch on all of these elements using my books as examples during my presentation. When I quizzed these students about what these elements were called it was no wonder they already knew!



I love it when the projects are targeted to specific age groups. The older elementary students either created their perfect pet using my I Like Dogs! series or composed interesting facts from my Creature Features series.



Don't they look great on display with my books in the library!


Younger elementary students chose one of my books, identified the main topic and two interesting facts they learned from the book. Listing where they found the facts is a great way to introduce young students to reliable sources.



Not only were these great writing exercises, but they also helped students become familiar with me, my books, and with nonfiction in general. This helps make for a successful author visit. You know these students were fully engaged in my presentation and prepared to ask great questions. Something all authors appreciate!

Linda Bozzo has published more than 50 nonfiction books for the school and library markets. For more information about Linda and her books, or to book an author visit, you can visit her website.


Copyright 2017 Linda Bozzo

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Creating Fictional Animals



Kids love reading about animals!
They also enjoy writing about them. What I love about this writing exercise that one school used in conjunction with my Creature Features series, is that they as used nonfiction books as inspiration for creating fictional animals. And I always like when student's are given the opportunity to illustrate as well. 




There were MANY great original animals but I've chosen two of my favorites to share.

Directions: 
Draw a picture of a new type of animal. This animal should be a combination of two existing animals. On the lines below, tell what this new animal is called, and describe the features. You can tell about how these features help the animal function.










Linda Bozzo has published more than 50 nonfiction books for the school and library markets. For more information about Linda and her books, you can visit her website.


Copyright 2017 Linda Bozzo




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Discovering Dogs!



Many schools choose to use my Discover Dogs with the American Canine Association series for nonfiction writing exercises across various grade levels. Six new breeds were ready for sharing this spring and readers can look forward to six more coming in the fall. 








 Some created original dogs of their own! Aren't these simple, yet adorable?


Others wrote using the following template:
I like _________________ because ________________.
I love how they all chose different animals and drew beautiful illustrations to enhance the text. Yay!



 Some of the older students stuck with the dog theme by writing a bit longer nonfiction text about "Our Favorite Dogs" and added a cutout.


While these books are for some of the youngest readers, grades 
K–2, nonfiction writing exercises can be created for all grade levels. All great ways to connects students with nonfiction!


Linda Bozzo has published more than 50 nonfiction books for the school and library markets. For more information about Linda and her books, you can visit her website.


Copyright 2017 Linda Bozzo

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Limericks to Improve Writing Skills


As I visit students throughout the school year I like to take photos and collect the various ways teachers are using my books to improve the writing skills of their students. It always amazes me how each school does something unique. At the end of the school year I like to share many of the writing activities so others can use them as well. 

Limericks
Writing limericks can be a challenge. I know because I wrote hundreds of limericks and the publisher chose the best ones to include in each of my joke books. 
Students modeled limericks in my joke books and wrote and illustrated their own limericks using the following simple format: 

A limerick is a funny, rhyming poem that is five lines long. Lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme. Lines 3 and 4 are usually shorter and rhyme with each other.
It's easy to write a limerick of your own. First, brainstorm some rhyming words. Write them down on a piece of paper. Example: France, dance, pants, ants, true, knew, too, blue. Next, number lines on a piece of paper from 1 to 5. Write lines 1 and 2 so that the last word in line 2 rhymes with the last word in line 1.
Example:
1. There once was a man from France.
2. His friends thought he liked to dance.

Then write lines 3 and 4 so that the last word in line 4 rhymes with the last word in line 3.
Example:
3. But that was not true
4. And what no one knew

Finally, write line 5 so the last word rhymes with lines 1 and 2.
Example:
5. Was he really had ants in his pants.

Includes step-by-step instructions on how to write your own knock-knock jokes.
Includes instructions on how to make your own funny valentine using the jokes and limericks from the book.

Includes simple instructions on how to write your own limericks.

If you've used limericks with your students feel free to share your lessons here. I'd be happy to add them to my list.









Linda Bozzo has published more than 50 nonfiction books for the school and library markets. For more information about Linda and her books, you can visit her website.

Copyright 2017 Linda Bozzo


Monday, May 29, 2017

Authors for Earth Day

Last week I participated in my first Authors for Earth Day school visit. In case you're not familiar with Authors for Earth Day (A4ED) it's a grassroots coalition of award-winning children's authors and illustrators who directly mentor young readers by giving them "an authentic research project with real-world impact." So you can understand why, when Lindenwold School #4 chose me as their visiting author, I was so excited to participate.


Students started months in advance by selecting five non-profit conservation organizations. In preparation for my visit they researched the organizations and created this great bulletin board.  



As a nonfiction author I talk extensively about the research that goes into writing my nonfiction books. This made it easy to tie in the research the student's had done on each of the five organizations. 

Students in grades K–4 created beautiful artwork and displays throughout the school. Individual classrooms added additional projects relating to many of my books. I always find it exciting to see how my books are being used in classrooms.


I used this opportunity to introduce one of my new books, When Dolphins Mourn, coming out this August. We talked about the importance of protecting dolphins and their environment so they can survive into the future.Students learned that dolphins' greatest threats come from humans and how we can make their waters a safe place for them to live. I discussed  how to keep their environment clean from pollutants like garbage and chemicals that can harm dolphins. It was the perfect topic for my Earth Day visit. 

Paperback ISBN: 0766088634     Library Binding ISBN: 0766086151     Grades 2–5
During lunch, with a select group of students, we went around the table and discussed which organization each of them voted for and most importantly why they chose that particular organization. What I learned was that they really did their research. They were able to tell me about each of the organizations and they all had good reasons as to why they chose the one they did. I was impressed!

At the end of the day, their fabulous librarian announced which organization received the most votes. You can imagine how thrilled I was when I found out that the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey was the winner, by a landslide! So, on behalf of the students at Lindenwold School #4, I'll be donating $450 to this great organization located right here in New Jersey.

If you are interested in hosting an Authors for Earth Day visit you can find out how it works, funding suggestions, and tips and tools here.



If you're interested in having me at your school for an Authors for Earth Day visit, you can contact me through my website


Linda Bozzo has written more than 60 nonfiction books for the school and library markets. For more information about Linda and her books, you can visit her web site.

Copyright 2017 Linda Bozzo

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Why Wait?

Here's a curious question that I thought of while watching the influx of people working out at the gym the other day:


Why do we have to wait until the New Year to start something new or change an old habit? The answer is we don't. As usual the gym was packed the day after New Years with people I had never seen before or people I hadn't seen in a long while.



I know we all get busy during the holidays but where were these people in November? October? or even September? Want to commit to trying something new? Want to change an old habit or create a new one? Don't wait. Start now. You'll get to your goal sooner. Get a jump on all those people waiting for the New Year. You can make a list of intentions any time. You can start your journey to kick on old habit any day of the week. If you consistently create goals or intentions in the New Year than go ahead and continue to do so. But if it's February and you haven't created a list yet, don't procrastinate.

 Start in February. Maybe during the summer months you have more time on your hands. If that's the case, then commit to writing your list of intentions over the summer Do whatever works best for you but one thing I know . . . waiting will get you nowhere.Not having deadlines will get you nowhere.



So set a deadline for starting to chase your dreams now!