Shelley Pearsall grew up in the blue-collar Cleveland suburb of Parma where she began writing stories in her bedroom closet as a child. She sent her first story to a New York publishing house at the age of thirteen. Although the manuscript was never published, its themes of survival and freedom ultimately became the inspiration for Pearsall's first published novel, TROUBLE DON'T LAST, written twenty years later.
In 2003, TROUBLE DON'T LAST received the prestigious Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction among other honors. Pearsall's first contemporary novel ALL OF THE ABOVE was a 2007 ALA Notable book. Her books have received starred reviews and have been named Booklist Editor's Choice, New York Public Library Top 100, VOYA Top Shelf, Junior Library Guild, and have been nominated for numerous state reading award lists. In 2005, read more
After an hour presentation to the whole class by Mrs. Pearsall, students were broken up into three groups and rotated through three activities: 1. Author group, 2. Six word Memoirs and 3. Mural project.
On a side note, I like how she talked about the process of writing historical fiction and hoped the students understood that their blogs are historical fiction and they are doing what she gets paid to do! Not sure if they did, but I will chat about that tomorrow.
I worked with Jill Goodman, the language arts teacher on my team. She had students write six word memoirs. The goal was to write them on the sidewalk outside, but rain made that impossible. We did them on colored paper and made a collage in the hall outside my room. I was pleased with the wisdom, humor and truth many of the students shared. It did remind me we teach people first, not content. What a fun day. Check out a few of my favorites below.