“You know, James William, most of the important decisions in our part of Mississippi are made right here on the porch of your Papa’s store.”
from Mississippi Morning
(45 min-1 hour)
Through stories and power point presentation Ruth dynamically explains
the elements of a good story
importance of editing
how stories are born and come to life
the background of the stories Ruth writes
In a fast-paced, filled-to-the-brim-with-information 45 minute assembly, students are introduced to everything from good story telling to the historical dynamics which make Ruth’s stories so important.
Watching 200 fully engaged elementary school children sitting criss-cross-applesauce on a gymnasium floor is an amazing experience.
Seeing three high school boys come up, give Ruth a hug, and thank her for her story after a presentation communicates the power of the presentations and of the stories.
Observinga classroom full of teachers in a continuing education class engage with each other on the best way to create meaningful plot points in a story is exciting.
(45 min-1 hour)
Ruth believes the elements of good, authentic stories are all around us and born in our own experiences. As a former middle school teacher, Ruth, works with students and helps them discover the core from which they write while also learning the elements of story (Voice, Character, Setting, Point of View, Plot Points, etc.) All this and more in one hour. This workshop can be a building block for later classroom activities. (Length: one hour)
For fees and arrangements call
305 975 2516
Hammocks Middle School celebrated Literacy Week 2010 with a special visit from the author Ruth Vander Zee. In her presentation, Vander Zee captivated our middle school teachers and students with a thought provoking story about a young boy living in the 1930s. She challenged our students to question their own assumptions and encouraged them to make wiser decisions.
Vander Zee was truly inspirational and left an enduring impression on our children.
Amrita Prakash - Reading Coach
Hammocks Middle School
"...educators are constantly searching for appropriate material to use in teaching "controversial" topics. Your books strike exactly the note I look for in the materials I use with my students. You address topics without flinching from the realities of the situations, but with a sensitivity that reaches out to your readers. One of the young men in my class said, after your presentation, "How do authors get to be that good at touching people's hearts?"
Nadine Roush 5th grade teacher
Amelia Earhart Elemetary School, Lafayette, Indiana
"The assembly was extremely well done. The students were exceptionally focused on the presentation because of the content and manner of delivery.
Henry Kok, Principal,
"My students were captivated by Ruth's gentle, poised way of speaking. Many were moved to tears and to deeper discussions"
Suzanne Bell, Professor-Humanities/Education,
Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Our 8th grade students were spellbound with the presentation."
Nancy Flink, Principal,
Forest Hills Central Middle School, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Ruth made a presentation to two of my classes, Survey of Children's Literature and Creative Writing. In both classes, she discussed what was important to these two very different classes rather than just repeating her previous talk. My students learned things that they hadn't known.
Marta Magellan, Professor of English,
Miami Dade College
"Everyone, students and teachers alike, was mesmerized by Ruth Vander Zee's presentation. Vander Zee's beautiful manner in creating connections generated a powerful and memorable impression."
Etta Gold, Head Librarian,
Temple Beth Am, Miami, Florida
"Ruth has an ability to connect with her audience both as an author and a speaker. Her words touch the heart."
Sue Stein, Librarian,
Timothy Christian School
"My class was privileged to attend an assembly in the Nautilus auditorium to listen to a guest speaker, Ruth Vander Zee, an author of children's books. This was the most interesting and educationally effective presentation of this kind I have seen in over 20 years of teaching."
Nautilus Middle School, Miami Beach, Florida
"I was extremely in awe as you spoke to our 3rd-5th grade students. Your ability to discuss the heavy topics of your books, the Holocaust and Ku Klux Klan, and to make it meaningful and understandable was fantastic. The students' attention and interest was held for the entire hour as you spoke to them and answered their questions. Thanks for a wonderful experience for our students and staff."
Learning Resource Center, director Glen Grove Elementary School Glenview, Illinois
"Thank you for the poignant presentation you gave our students at IDS. They were captivated by your words, your message, your stories. Your phrases hung in the air and were delivered directly to their imagination.
Taking subject matter with such profound gravity and making it accessible to young ages is truly a service to us all. By conveying difficult lessons woven through stories that pattern an acute sense of humanity under extraordinary circumstance, you rally the spirit of young readers and impress upon their memory the image of your characters-inspirational emblems of fortitude."
Leah Gucciardi - fourth Grade teacher
Independent Day School, Tampa, FL
"Ruth Vander Zee did a fantastic seminar with the 7th and 8th grade students. She added honest information, humor, and writing skills to their knowledge base. I heard positive comments from my students. Kids of all ages need to hear a good story teller once in a while, and she demonstrated that well."
Allison Johnson 7th grade teacher
Eagle Crest Charter Academy