of September 11, 2011, in the United
States; her classroom study of the U.S.
Revolutionary War; and an unusual
enthusiasm for feathered creatures.
The control room’s director prompts
an email from Tornado, West Virginia,
USA. The Hays Middle School student
wants to know if Fan uses a mind map
to organize her thoughts. “Do you use
a web or a diagram?” the student asks.
Fan replies, “I use those when I
write essays [at school], but for writ-
ing a story, I don’t. I just get my ideas
Every author has a different ap-
proach to writing, says Kidd, an assis-
tant principal at an FCPS elementary
school. “Engaging students in reading
and writing is not a one-size-fits-all
proposition. What will engage one
student will not necessarily be a
motivator for another.”
Students Question Writers
An informal advisory group suggests
fiction and nonfiction writers to com-
plement K– 12 instruction, but final
decisions and logistics are left to media
specialists assigned to the program.
They also give teachers information
about how to prepare for each author’s
televised/online visit, including logisti-
cal information about time, interactiv-
ity, channel, lesson plans, and etiquette
of participation. Teachers let students
know in advance which authors will
appear, so they can read their books
and prepare questions.