Educational Writer

In addition to writing her own teaching materials, exams, project guides and curriculum, Tara is also a seasoned educational writer.

Since 2006, Tara has created high-quality educational materials including lesson plans, activity guides, magazine articles and complete custom curriculum pieces for a variety of clients. She expertly incorporates the latest curriculum standards, including Common Core, into engaging educational materials spanning diverse topics and grade levels. Below is a selection of her work.

Denver Arts & Venues’ Youth One Book, One Denver Program:

YOBOD – Title to Be Announced Soon! (2018/2019) – Tara provided input for the selection of the 2019 book, created an activity booklet for families and an extensive guide for educators to use with children enrolled in summer programs across the city. Will conduct educator trainings in May 2019.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (2018) – Brought in early in the book selection and development process, Tara provided input for the selection of the 2018 book, created an activity booklet for families and an extensive guide for educators to use with children enrolled in summer programs across the city. Conducted educator trainings. + Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus Activity-Guide

Upside-Down Magic (2017) – Brought in early in the book selection and development process, Tara provided input for the selection of the 2017 title, created an activity booklet for families and an extensive guide for educators to use with children enrolled in summer programs across the city. + Upside-Down Magic Activity Book   + Upside-Down Magic Educator Guide Sample

Tara worked with Scholastic to create an adaptation of her original Upside-Down Magic educator guide, which was distributed to educators through the Scholastic Book Club program: Upside Down Magic Guide

Book Scavenger (2016) – Tara created a family guide packed with fun educational activities inspired by themes in the book that was distributed via Denver bookstores and online.

HarperCollins: Ungifted/Supergifted Teacher Guide (2017) Ungifted_Supergifted Teacher Guide

Scholastic National Partnerships Including:

Sony – Inspired by the “Smurfs” movie, Tara created resources supporting writing and language standards that also encouraged students to think about how their interests and skills can connect for a big future. +

Amazon – Drawing inspiration from Amazon Prime’s “Just Add Magic” and “The Stinky & Dirty Show” series, Tara composed lesson plans and family activities for grades Pre-K through 5th that encouraged caring and sharing.

3M Post-it – Tara wrote, crafted and photographed fun educational activity ideas for grades K-8 using Post-it Notes that was featured on their co-branded website.

American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons – Tara authored “Decide to Drive,” a program featuring Common Core-ready activities that raise driver awareness among teens while reinforcing key language-arts and mathematics skills, including text analysis, supporting claims, summarizing data, and understanding statistics. 

Con Edison – From 2012 to 2014, Tara created activities to teach students in the New York City area to use electricity safely and efficiently through engaging reproducible worksheets and informative family take-home magazines.

Corporation for National and Community Service – Incorporating the messages of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the remarkable stories of other Civil Rights leaders, John Lewis and Ruby Bridges, Tara created curriculum-focused service lessons for grades 3–5 and 6–8 to inspire students to “lead in deed.”

Elmer’s Teacher’s Club – What can you do with glue? Through wonderfully creative Common Core-ready lessons, Tara showed teachers how hands-on activities can lead to great learning outcomes.

 Scholastic Instructor Magazine Articles Including:

“20 African-American Heroes Your Students Should Meet” – There is more to Black History Month than honoring Martin Luther King Jr. This article introduces students to a new generation of heroes through a series of short biographies with relevant links.

“Be a Hero for the Planet” – Paint your school green with Earth-friendly activities! This article includes easy-to-understand explanations of the science behind global warming followed by suggestions for making “greener” choices at home and school.

“Speak Out: Public Speaking Activities for Grades 3-5” – Five Common Core-ready lesson plans to develop public speaking skills.

“‘Visit’ the National Parks” – Take students on an end-of-school road trip with these virtual activities celebrating the beauty, richness, and diversity of America’s national parks.

“Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere” – Take pumpkins off the front porch and put them to work in the classroom! Creative ways to use pumpkins in every subject for grades K-2.

“Let’s Go Fly a Kite!” – Breathe fresh air into springtime lessons with kite-flying fun that teaches math, science, social studies and visual arts.

Denver Art Museum:

Creativity Resource Lessons – Through the Creativity Resource at the Denver Art Museum website, teachers can access dozens of high quality lesson plans that use artworks from the museum’s collection to teach language arts, social studies and visual arts. Working with art  history experts at the museum, Tara created 18 lessons for grades 3-5 featuring works of American Indian art.

Samples from this body of work: American Indian Art History Detectives  Create Your Own Parfleche! Pack your Parfleche!

Webinar: “Promoting 21st Century Skills Through Collaborative Classroom Projects” – Tara shares how the year-long collaborative project she developed with the Denver Art Museum helped her students acquire 21st century skills and motivated them to learn about Chinese culture and art, all while creating activities and games for museum visitors to use. Watch webinar

Colorado Academy:

Cultural Revolution English Language Arts Curriculum – At the request of the Head of the English Department at this Denver area independent Pre-K through 12th grade school, Tara drew upon her years of study in Chinese language and history to create a custom curriculum for 9th grade students reading Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. This dynamic curriculum invited students to explore the Cultural Revolution era in China from a myriad of perspectives while analyzing primary source materials including music, art and fashion of the time period.

Nick Cave Soundsuit-Inspired Music/Visual Arts Curriculum – After a summer filled with soundsuit-related projects with her young son in response to the “Sojourn” installation at the Denver Art Museum, Tara has become quite knowledgeable on the life and work of the visual artist Nick Cave. Tara collaborated with the lower school music teacher, art teacher and a local seamstress to guide the 2nd graders at CA on a journey through sound, movement and costume construction as they prepared a performance art piece inspired by Nick Cave’s Sounduits to present at the annual CA Art Show. Article: CA Art Festival Redux.