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Children’s Literature Symposium Nov. 9 features storyteller and writer Joseph Bruchac

BOONE—Current teachers, librarians and education majors will learn ways to use reading, creative writing and storytelling to excite their students about social studies, history and other areas during the Children’s Literature Symposium Saturday, Nov. 9, at Appalachian State University.

View larger imageJoseph BruchacView larger imageJoseph BathantiView larger imageEdie Hemingway

This year’s featured speakers are Joseph Bruchac, Joseph Bathanti and Edie Hemingway.

Bruchac is a well-known American Indian author of children’s and young adult fiction. He writes historical fiction, contemporary fiction and re-writes folk tales. He also lectures on the importance of using traditional literature in teaching. He will deliver the symposium’s keynote address titled “The Timeless Value of Traditional Tales” and lead a session on teaching with myths and legends.

In addition he will present the free program “Stories and Songs of the Earth” Friday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. at Watauga County Public Library. The public is invited to attend. Bruchac also will lead a program and workshop for students at Ashe County Middle School Nov. 8.

Bathanti is N.C. Poet Laureate and a professor of creative writing at Appalachian. He works with audiences from children to war veterans and prison inmates on creative writing. He will lead a session titled “Creative Writing: Imagining Yourself, Imagining Your World” focused on teaching creative writing in middle school.

Edie Hemingway, author of “The Road to Tater Hill,” will lead the session “Helping Your Students to Read as Writers.” She frequently leads workshops for those interested in writing children’s literature. Her talk will show how to use literature as a model for children’s own creative writing.

“We hope symposium attendees will learn the importance of using multicultural literature in their teaching,” said Margaret Gregor, a librarian in Belk Library and Information Commons Instructional Materials Center.

“Teachers are required to use the state’s common core standards, which emphasize reading and writing throughout the curriculum. These books just fit in with the social studies curriculum so well,” said Connie Green, a professor of reading education in the Reich College of Education.

“Being able to use them to teach about history, social studies and values is really important,” she said of Bruchac’s and Hemingway’s books.

The symposium runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University. Registration is $20, which includes lunch. Teachers can earn 0.5 continuing education units for an additional $10 fee. The event is sponsored by Belk Library and Information Commons and the Reich College of Education. For more information, contact Margaret Gregor at or Connie Green at

Individuals can register for the symposium online at The registration deadline is Nov. 1.