Robin is available for school visits, readings, and workshops–some entirely unrelated to knitting. She has spoken and demonstrated with children at schools, libraries, fiber convergences, children's sections at conventions, and Arctic Days at Bowdoin College. A former Girl Scout leader, she enjoys bringing stories, new ideas, and new skills to children. Here are some possibilities. (Feel free to call or e-mail and suggest other directions.)
School visits Downeast. Such fun! The schools I visited were small, some with combined grades, but all the children and all the teachers were welcoming and receptive. The visits were set up by Island Readers & Writers, a nonprofit promoting books and reading in island and other isolated schools in Maine.
IRW brings in authors and illustrators — on request — for workshops and readings, then gives each child a copy of the book (Ice Harbor Mittens for me), inscribed by the author. Usually the children line up and we (authors or illustrators) get a few moments with each child as we write a message, draw a little image, and sign our name. I visited Pembroke and Charlotte elementary schools near Eastport, then went to the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy reservation to Beatrice Rafferty school. Looking up at the native children on the gym bleachers, I felt quite at home: our two older children are Ojibwe and these children were very like them in features and behavior. I hope to go back someday, maybe with a different book! (continued below)
Ice Harbor Mittens - 4th to 8th graders
Learn to knit - 3rd to 6th graders
One to two 3-hour sessions with 3rd through 6th grade classroom. This works well with Catherine Dexter’s MG historical novel Safe Return, about a young girl new to a 19th century cash-knitting community in Sweden. Children learn a basic knit stitch and use it to make a small penny pouch. Workshop includes making a plied cord to hang the pouch around the neck and can include a session on using sandpaper, dowels, and beeswax to make personal knitting needles. Robin provides the materials.
Inuit String Figures - 3rd to 6th graders
A winter workshop with children in 3rd–6th grade to learn and perform ancient cat's cradle-like figures. Works well with studies of Inuit or other native cultures. A story demonstration followed by small groups to learn two or three Inuit string figures.
This is a quote from the Island Readers and Writers blog in early December 2017:
What “ordinary thing” can turn into something extraordinary? How do you find your way home? What do the knitted symbols on mittens mean to the people who wear them? These and other questions were a part of the conversation when Robin Orm Hansen, master knitter and author, visited Pembroke Elementary, Charlotte Elementary, and Beatrice Rafferty School last week. Robin met with students in K- 2 grades, and up to 4th grade at Charlotte’s combined small school classroom. Before her visits, children from Pembroke and Charlotte schools had visited Done Roving Farm, and got to see the process from sheep to fleece to spinning and dyeing.
Some had drawn their own mitten patterns; the 2nd – 4th graders at Charlotte had written alternate endings to Ice Harbor Mittens or focused on a particular story element. Illustrations accompanied their writing and brought the stories to life.
The younger children had shared real life examples of other mittens that had been brought in by teachers and all enjoyed seeing Robin’s collection of different designs, textures, and sizes of mittens. When they worked with Robin, their own stories incorporated kids lost at sea, magical whales and dolphins, and supernatural compasses that helped their protagonists find their way home. Some commented on “how big and warm” the mittens were, and all were excited to contribute to the storytelling and practice finger knitting! “This is cool,” and “we’re making a really long knitting,” accompanied the excitement as each student got to try their hand – literally – at knitting!
Contact me to discuss fees. I usually negotiate on an individual basis.
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