Patricia McKissack connected to Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale, New York today for her first videoconference with the participating students. Their area of focus for this series: Historical Fiction/ Biography Writing. This is actually the second time Pat has connected to Howitt Middle; the first videoconference was with the teacher to discuss expectations- on both ends. In this second videoconference in the series, Patricia tells the students about herself, her books, and gives them a writing assignment to be completed by March 12, the last connection. During the third and final videoconference, students will share their written work with Pat and get her input on the stories.
Today, Pat introduced herself to the students, which included showing them a table covered with some of her books (“some” of her books covered the entire table top- she is the author of over 100 books). Pat also spoke about being a writer, and some of the subjects of her books, such as Frederick Douglass. Using the document camera, she placed one of her books, Frederick Douglass: Leader Against Slavery on it to show the students a photo of the famous African American abolitionist. Pat has quite a bit experience writing biographies; she (sometimes with her husband, Fred) has written biographies on Satchel Paige, Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, among others. Historical Fiction by Pat includes Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters, and A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl.
Pat said the videoconference went very well and the students asked great questions.