Adventure Writing Assembly & Workshops
Peter takes students on adventures around the world and shows them the passion that lies at the heart of travel and writing. In this lively multimedia adventure presentation he will take children into cloud-forested jungles to look for Inca treasure, up Mayan and Aztec temple walls, into the Arctic world of Eskimos and polar bears, out to prehistoric early human excavations in East Africa, down historic rivers and waterways, and deep into the history and foreign cultures studied in elementary and middle school. His Adventure Assembly helps children understand the process of a writer - researching topics, collecting journals, and perfecting the writer's craft. Optional follow-up writing workshops and peer critique residencies help teachers and students bring adventure to the page as they perfect their writing skills.
For same Adventure Presentation with more of a focus on the Hudson River see Hudson River Presentation.
One School Prepares
When I am at one school for a day, I can speak to a large
audience (Adventure Presentation), from 100-400
students, grades 1-2, 3-6 or 7-8, or any combination
of those.This assembly requires a cafeteria, gym or auditorium,
and takes a good solid hour (for the little guys I often
shorten it to 50 minutes). I need a room that can
get dark and quiet (Please, no skylights! No blowers!).
During the presentation, I will show slides and
take students on many adventures and to many countries, or I can focus mostly on the Hudson River, taking kids down one of America's great rivers, telling
stories along the way. (If within driving distance
of my home in Vermont, I'll bring my canoe!) See
Hudson River Presentation.
Me for An Author Visit
After the assembly I usually need about a half hour to
put my gear away and then grab another bag of writing
and journal materials in order to either continue
in the same space or go to a smaller and more intimate
space, like a library, where I can meet 25 to 100 students
for one or two writing workshops (I've done these "workshops"
as mini assemblies, too, but smaller groups work best,
and a library is always better than the cafeteria or a
After or between workshops, I can sign books and eat lunch,
drink coffee, whatever.
The workshops are not workshops in the strict sense
of the word.
My goal in this 50- to 60-minute session,
aside from answering specific questions, is to inspire
young writers to embark upon the writing process. "Okay,"
I'll tell students, "you've just seen one adventure, but
now let's talk about the long and sometimes laborious and
yet rewarding and exciting process of getting from an idea
to a book, a three-year process of research, journal-keeping,
drafting, revisions, and publication." In this
session I'll cover details about research, which is another
word for EXPLORATION. I'll talk about he pitfalls
of the internet and the joys of interviewing experts. I
will talk about my own problems as a reader and writer
when I was young, and how I overcame those problems. I'll
also talk in depth about various forms of journal-keeping.
As with the assembly, I try to convey information through
stories, often now with a focus on my Amazon travels.
Contact for Book Signing
Some schools are so large they need assemblies without workshops.
This can be two or even three assemblies in a day.
When I travel beyond the Northeast, and when I can't bring
my 18-foot canoe and all my paddling gear, I like to do
one assembly at one school in the morning and then go to
another school in the afternoon for a second assembly.
This has worked well in Texas and other states far from
home. To make it worth the long-distance travel,
however, I like to have at least four days of school visits
in any one area (which would be 8 assemblies, or two assemblies
far away: Transportation, food and lodging in addition
to daily fee.
within driving distance: lodging in addition to
WHAT A Hudson River Paper SAYs ABOUT PETER'S SCHOOL VISIT
"Peter Lourie's adventure in a canoe captures the spirit
of the Hudson River from the mountains to the sea." - Robert
H. Boyle, author of The Hudson Rive: A Natural and Unnatural
Geo-Education Using Pete's books
Teachers are using this book to teach Geo-education at Bank Street:
the folliowing is how some teachers do it (this is from Bank Street News)
Posted by Kate Marcus on May 08, 2014
Connecting students to the natural world both in the classroom and outside has been happening at Bank Street for years but now that connection has an official name: Geo-education. This spring, National Geographic launched the Geo-educator Community, an intiative aimed to prepare students for the world they will inherit. In the short-term, geo-education exposes students to subjects in-school and experiences outside of school that give them information about the human and natural worlds. In the long-term, it readies people to deal with the global issues: the environment, military conflicts, depleting natural resources, and threats to the community. At the recent inaugural Teaching & Learning 2014 Conference (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) in Washington, D.C., I was invited to present the Hudson River project as an exemplar of geo-education.
The Hudson River is close to our school and is familiar to most of the children from having lived in the city. (As with all of our studies at Bank Street, when working with young children, we begin with what is close by and accessible.) Studying a river leads naturally to learning about people, geography, topography, plants, animals, and the relationships of humankind to the world around us. From a Social Studies standpoint, rivers are at the heart of every civilization. Rivers have helped people to obtain all of their basic needs and have enabled them to create thriving civilizations. The curriculum begins with learning about the modern day river, then travels back in time to study the environment and the Lenape Indians who lived here long ago. Field trips to observe the Hudson River may include art (sketching and painting the river) and/or interviewing actual river workers.
“Hudson River, An Adventure From Mountains to Sea,” by Peter Lourie is the main resource used to teach the children about the parts of the river not visible from New York City and helps children gain a sense of the river in its 315-mile entirety. As students observe, examine and learn about the river, they construct a large interactive model, incorporating mapping skills, geography and topography. Along the way, they learn about the river’s history, how people and animals use the river at different points along its path, and see the importance of cleaning up and sustaining the river. They talk to people with direct experiences using the river – especially river workers – but also recreational river users and environmentalists. Ultimately, the hope is that they will be inspired to become active users of the river and active protectors of it as well.
Making the model
The mapping aspect of the model begins as soon as we begin taking trips and have read Peter Lourie’s book. We sketch the river on the homosote and begin placing post-its that show the “footprint” of where we’ve been on our trips and what we know about what exists along the three sections of the river (Upper, Middle and Lower.) As soon as we’ve learned about the 3 sections of the river, we can begin the model building process. It is ongoing and we add to it as we learn. As soon as we have boats, people and animals, children naturally begin playing. Children engage in fantasy play without guidance and will go over to the model during breaks in the day to play. We also have more guided playtimes, when the model is completed, in which we encourage the children to remember the stories they heard from our visitors and on our field trips and to think about playing out what they have learned. In the spring, we learn about what existed in the environment 500-600 years ago. The modern day model is dismantled and we leave only the natural elements (mountains, the river itself, trees, animals). We look at the work of Eric Sanderson and his team of landscape ecologists who worked on the “Mannahatta” project to learn how the physical environment looked and what plants and animals existed when Henry Hudson arrived in 1609 and we adjust the model accordingly, adding water, trees and covering sidewalk with land and making more animals. Then, as we learn about the Lenape people, we build a big settlement including wigwams and longhouses and the tools the Lenape used in their daily lives. Play about Lenape life is also a big part of the learning.
—Danette Lipten, 7/8s Head Teacher
Contract & Book
The Lost Treasure of Captain Kidd: Classroom Activities, Writing exercises, discussion questions
Highlights for Children article
Inca Treasure in the Cloud Forest
it downloads onto your computer, it will be called
From A Presentation."
Sales & Signings
you are interested in having me visit your school, please
share this page with your principal and teachers.
more information about signings and ordering books for your
contact Peter at 802-233-5253 or peter's email