Monica Lyman, Mater Christi School librarian, invited author Tanya Lee Stone to give a presentation on non-fiction to the 6th, 7th an 8th grade students. Ms. Stone was chosen for not only being an award-winning author of books for children and teens but also because she lives in Vermont. Vermont-based writers are traditionally the choice of MCS librarians since students seem to indentify easily with authors who live in their state, thus providing built-in role models.
Tanya offered to spend an entire day at the school so that she could give not only a presentation on her works of non-fiction and how she goes about writing them, but would also have the time to guide the students in writers workshops; helping them write a piece of non-fiction themselves. As she explained, writing non-fiction is more difficult (and time consuming) because of the research that needs to be done. After the morning presentation, individual classes joined her for writing workshops throughout the day.
Tanya Lee Stone was born and educated in Connecticut, but after receiving her Master’s Degree, she moved to Vermont and currently is teaching Writing for Children at Champlain College.
She is a full-time writer and has published more than 90 books for young readers. She writes picture books, nonfiction, and Young Adult fiction. Her newest nonfiction books have garnered some major awards.
After several minutes of research on a topic (suggested by Ms. Stone), Tanya was impressed with how avidly the students launched into their first drafts – in her words, “Throwing it all on the paper!” It is now up to the students to carry through with what they have started, and this will definitely happen in their regular Language Arts classes.
Sister Joanne LaFreniere, RSM
Director of Public Relations and Spiritual Life