Bruce’s interactive presentation style and entertaining poems motivate children to read, perform and write their own poetry. Bruce gets children and their teachers involved in his programs by inviting them to perform with him (both from the audience and/or on stage). The positive reinforcement they receive from Bruce and the audience motivates them to read and write more.
During four to six action-packed workshop sessions, “The King of Giggle Poetry” teaches elementary- and middle-schoolers how to write several kinds of rhymed and unrhymed poems. By the time he leaves a school, kids think reading and writing poetry are fun! Teachers tell him that students who’d never been interested in reading and writing suddenly can’t get their noses out of his books. And they are often the students who performed with him in the Assembly Program or who shared their creative ideas in the poetry or fiction writing workshops.
Bruce has recently developed two new programs: an entertaining writing workshop for middle-school students that takes a STEAM/STEM approach to science; and a new program for high school students that offers a highly engaging assembly program featuring performances by students and teachers plus writing workshops.
Bruce offers two kinds of presentations when he visits schools: assemblies and workshops. Equipped with his guitar and an engaging sense of humor, he usually kicks off the day with his “Giggle Poetry Concert,” an interactive and entertaining 45-minute large group assembly for either the entire school or two groups broken into younger and older students (e.g., K–2nd grade & 3rd–5th grade). He also offers poetry workshops for grades 2nd-6th, and a picture reading presentation for K-1st grade. Plus, new programs for both middle-school and high-school students.
Assembly Programs: Bruce performs 10 humorous poems with students to demonstrate how much fun it is to add gestures, sound effects, movement, music, props, and extra voices when performing poetry. Students also compete in a “poetry race,” solve a “poetry mystery,” and perform in a skit. (Before the assembly, Bruce will prepare seven 4th and/or 5th grade students to perform a hilarious poetry skit with him, on stage, during the assembly.) By the end of the assembly students are “thinking like poets” and can’t wait to read one of Bruce’s books (in the library or at home).
Bruce’s Poetry Madness assembly for high school students includes “engaging poems” tested on high school students and performances by high-school students and their teachers. His entertaining middle school writing workshop for middle school students (featuring funny science poems) also works as an assembly.
Poetry Workshops: Students (and teachers) learn how to write some of the poems they enjoyed in the assembly program and are encouraged to write more poems of their own. The workshops end with a simple writing assignment for “extra credit.” It’s common for students to show Bruce their finished (or partially-finished) poems for comments, before the workshop is over.
Bruce has recently developed writing workshops for middle-school students that get them started writing humorous, free verse poems on scientific subjects. (Science was never this much fun!) And Bruce has also developed writing workshops for high-school students to get them started writing sonnets like Shakespeare’s famous 18th sonnet and poems like Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” to name just a few.
Fractured Fairy Tale Workshops: Bruce starts by explaining to 4th and/or 5th grade students how to write “fractured fairy tales.” The students form teams to brainstorm story outlines. Then Bruce helps the teams revise their outlines and coaches them as they perform their stories as improvised skits. Because this workshop includes two steps: creating the outlines and performing the skits, it requires two 45-minute sessions from start to finish.
Kindergarten-1st Grade “Picture Reading” Workshops: The pages of one of Bruce’s award-winning wordless picture books (Early Birdy Gets the Worm, Polar Brrr’s Big Adventure or Monkey See, Monkey Do) are projected on a screen and students “read the pictures” to tell the story in their own words. Students who haven’t learned to read yet are amazed to discover how much fun picture reading is! Click here to see a video of picture reading in action!
Teacher Workshops: Bruce discusses and demonstrates his award-winning Giggle Poetry Reading Lessons (an entertaining and motivating fluency intervention that dramatically boosts fluency gains) with teachers—either before or after normal school hours.
Bruce has recently developed a workshop that focuses on improving fluency for struggling elementary readers and improving poetry performances for elementary and middle school students. In addition to describing and explaining why Giggle Poetry Reading Lessons (a successful fluency remediation program he created with reading specialist Amy Buswell) is so effective, he also demonstrates some of the entertaining performance tips included in the book and gives teachers an opportunity to try them out.
Evening Events: An entertaining and inspiring poetry presentation is perfect for children and their parents! Bruce invites parents to join their children in a variety of interactive poetry activities and to perform poems together (readers’ theater style) as duets and trios. Parents learn the importance of reading aloud to and with their children and listening to their children read aloud.
Bruce’s newly developed Poetry Madness assembly for high-school students is ideally suited for presentation in the evening when their parents will be able to attend. (Their presentation should be improved after presenting it in school for their peers.)