Phil Shapiro

Author Website:


Phil Shapiro

Phil Shapiro is a children’s story writer, musician and educator in the Washington DC-area. He has taught children from preschool to 8th grade. Most of his stories are aimed at 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders. His stories often deal with themes of curiosity, creativity, ingenuity and perseverance. Many of his stories have an element of whimsy. Several of his story lines gently introduce scientific concepts in the fields of biology and physics.

He loves to talk to children about the writing process and where stories come from. Through personal anecdote about his stories, he likes to explain how stories unfold themselves — that as soon as you have a good story idea, the story often writes itself.

He is also a strong believer in collaborative storytelling and encourages children to find siblings, cousins, parents and other trusted community members to write stories with. Storytelling does not need to involve writing, either. Recorded audio, using free software such as Audacity, can bring great stories to life.

He believes that some of the best teaching involves listening to children and gently guiding them in their learning journey. His presentations are interactive, where he shares some of the stories about his stories and elicits student reactions and feedback, including discussion of their own story ideas.

Watch an animated version of one of his stories, The Great Ping Pong Ball Experiment, here. (Animation and narration by Kimberly Rice, a teacher in Oklahoma.)

You can meet Phil in these two children's songs he composed. The first song was composed as a birthday present to his niece, Tamar, on her seventh birthday in 2005.

When I Was Seven

The second song was composed to encourage children to wonder more.

You've Got to Ask

And here's a talking-head video Phil created about the Wright Brothers -- more suited to middle school students, but might be of interest to some elementary school students.

His children's stories (and nonfiction reading passages) can be found on his personal web site.

Audiences: Elementary level. I love talking to students in North America, but also to students in other countries. I've lived in India, Denmark, France, and Canada and very much enjoy the international multicultural experience.

Available Times: 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, or 11 am eastern standard time on weekdays. Other times by arrangement.

No recording of Skype Sessions without permission from the author.

No Cost Meet the Author Visit: 10-15 minute visit free. Students and teacher should be familiar with my stories.

In-Depth Visit Length: Usually 40 mins to 60 mins

In-Depth Visit Cost: $100 - I do some pro bono visits, too. Since I am new to Skype an Author Network, my first two in-depth visits will be free.
I measure the success of my author visits by the ensuing creative output of students. I stay in touch with teachers via email after my author visit and provide
feedback to students' creative works.

Prerequisites: Students and teachers should be familiar with my stories

Contact Information:

Affiliations: Takoma Park Maryland Library, American University (Adjunct Professor of Education)

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