Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Children's Book Week: The Importance of a Teacher’s Guide for your Children’s Book

The Importance of a Teacher’s Guide for your Children’s Book
By Donna McDine

After I signed the book contract for The Golden Pathway I took the time out to discuss with teachers what sparks their interest in children’s books for their classrooms beyond what the school provides. Many times over I heard they are under strict confinements with their curriculum and books need to fit into their daily teachings. I then took to task to research state curriculum guidelines and learned the creation of an educator’s guide for The Golden Pathway needed to be a comprehensive across the curriculum guide. After meeting homeschool specialist, Amy O’Quinn through the Working Writer’s Club I approached Amy about hiring her to write a teacher’s guide for The Golden Pathway. The end result was beyond my expectations!

The teacher’s guide is a teaching tool for English, Social Studies, Math, Science, and Art teachers, as well as for Homeschooling families. Activities include:

  • Language Arts: Writing/Vocabulary
  • Integrated Language Arts/Social Studies: Topical Study/Presentation Boards
  • Social Studies: Timeline, Mapping and Geography
  • Math: Map Work Mathematics, Calculations, Time, Recipe Math, Quilt Math
  • Science: Astronomy, Skin, Plants and Crops, Alcoholism, Five Senses
  • Role Playing, Disguises and Escape/Safe Houses
  • Toys and Games of the 19th Century: Make a Rag Doll, Make a Nettie Doll, Information on Games/Toys
  • Songs of Slavery and the Underground Railroad: Background Information and Lyrics
  • More Fun Art Projects, Activities, and Resources: Coloring Sheets, Printables, Juneteenth, Make A Tin Can Lantern 
It is in my opinion well written children’s books have a better chance of finding their way into schools when it is accompanied with an educator’s guide. By having this guide for The Golden Pathway it has certainly helped spark additional interest with school visits. Case in point, when I participated in the New York State Reading Association, October 2011 I had the opportunity to meet with teachers from across the tri-state area (NY, NJ, and CT) and many commented on the educator’s guide I was chatting up with them as they stopped by my table. They were delighted and impressed to learn of this complimentary addition to The Golden Pathway, explaining their time is at a premium and to have activities already planned for them saves them valuable time. At this point in time, one of these conversations has turned into a weeklong visit to a local elementary school. The Parent Teacher Association purchased The Golden Pathway for each classroom and when I presented each teacher with the complimentary CD of The Golden Pathway Educator’s Guide their responses where overwhelming positive. Knowing even beforehand how essential an educator’s guide is, I’ve already hired Amy O’Quinn to create educator’s guides for my future books.

As writers many of us can and do create our own teacher’s guides, but for myself I wanted someone with the expertise of being in the trenches of teaching to formulate my teacher’s guide. By outsourcing this project, it has freed me to up to work on new manuscripts, marketing, and client work.

Details of my author school visit workshops, visit:

To learn more about my writing career or to order an autographed copy of The Golden Pathway visit, Gift with purchase: The Golden Pathway Educator’s Guide.

Additional ways to order The Golden Pathway:


I invite you to visit with my fellow Guardian Angel Publishing authors at their blogs during Children’s Book Week 2012 and beyond:
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Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval Recipient and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist


  1. Terrific post, Donna! I can't wait to have a teacher's guide for my new book, The Water Cycle.


    1. Hi Mayra,

      I'll be emailing you later to discuss the quote from Amy.

      All the best,

  2. This post is such a wealth of information that it's absolutely amazing and powerful

    Thanks for sharing, and continued success for the rest of the week and beyond.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      I'm glad you have find my post helpful! Wishing you all the best and everyone else continued success too.

      Best regards,

  3. I agree that an educator's guide is an important tool. I'm envious of authors who have the experience and expertise to write their own. Amy will be hearing from me soon ;-)

  4. Again, something I hadn't thought of! Do you think a teacher's guide can be written for a fiction as well as non-fiction book? Great information here.

  5. Thanks for this great information, Donna.

  6. I completely 100 percent agree with you. It is so important to reach out to teachers and homeschoolers. I try to do that on my blog and hopefully in the back of my children's books, too. Great ideas here.

  7. Donna,

    you are so right, teacher guides are essential. I plan on creating guides for my future books too. The guide certainly helps make your book more marketable. Thanks for sharing.

    Nicole Weaver
    Trilingual Children's Author


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