Author-illustrator Mark G. Mitchell

School visits

School visits
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The French conspirators in La Salle's murder enter the Hasinai village.( Mark Mitchell )

                  An explorer, Indians and a shipwreck...

In his school visits, Mark uses PowerPoint slides of his own drawings and paintings, along with photos of the Texas Historical Commission's  archeological excavation to make the "La Salle Shipwreck" story come alive.

Suitable for all grades, the presentation builds on Mark's award-winning book for young people, Raising La Belle.  

It ties in well with Texas history, archeology and "Pirates of the Caribbean" curriculum themes.

The program includes a “chalk talk” -- with Mark drawing for students while staying on topic on La Salle, his fellow French settlers and the Indians and animals that played into their lives on Texas shores in 1685. 

Mark can do up to four presentations in one day and these can be on more than one campus. He does not have an audience size limit other than he wants students to be able to comfortably see the projection screen and hear him.

The story of La Salle and his ships is really our (Texas') Plymouth Rock, Jamestown or Roanoke Island "colony saga."

But unlike Plymouth Rock or Jamestown, Texas has the shipwreck from
its 17th century settlement. 

The ship's hull is now undergoing chemical presentation at Texas A&M
University's Institute of Nautical Archeology in College Station. And many splendid
artifacts from the ship already are on display at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. 

Mark has been a featured children’s book author and speaker at the Texas Book Festival, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin,  the Museum of the Gulf Coast, the televised Writers' League of Texas author interview series "Writing Across Texas and more than 80 schools.

He provides a teachers' packet in the weeks prior to a visit with lessons, puzzles and a resource list.



In 1686 explorer La Salle's ship "La Belle" ran aground in a Texas bay. 

In 1996 the Texas Historical Commission decided to pull her up.
Your students will want to hear about this.

"Really relevant to fourth grade history. The pictures were really interesting and the students were very engaged."
Christy Hames, Library Media Specialist, Webb Elementary, McKinney ISD

"The historical background added real life and purpose to the story.Very visual -- enjoyed all of it. Love the drawing at the intro."
Debbie Hartleben, 5th grade teacher, Malvern Elementary, McKinney ISD

"The kid-friendly presentation helped pull the students into the subject and kept their interest."
Laura Harkey, Library Media Specialist, Burks Elementary, McKinney ISD

The Seventh graders study Texas History, and this book about La Salle was right in line with the curriculum…The kids responded so well to the slides about the actual excavation of the ship….We all here at Nichols thoroughly enjoyed your visit.”
Sharon Little, Librarian, Nichols Junior High, Arlington

"I think the presentation was especially appropriate for the 7th grade Texas History students. The students really enjoyed answering your questions. You were very patient with their responses."
Stacy D. Green, teacher, Victory Lakes Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD

"The PowerPoint was very engaging. The satellite photos brought another depth to the presentation that really engaged the students. The shots of the excavation and artifacts were compelling."
Jeanie Dawson, Librarian, Victory Lakes Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD

"Fits in great with course of study and made connections students could relate to."
Alexsa Fitzgerald and Cathy Corbett, teachers, League City Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD


Photo by Dee Anne Hinkle, Librarian, Neidig Elementary, Elgin ISD

Click here  to download Mark's award-winning book Raising "La Belle" for free. 

"I liked the way it connected to the students' experiences and lessons, i.e.e the Caddos, Karankawas, La Salle's exploration and claim of Louisiana Territory... Students asked well thought out questions about the presentation and they were very attentive."
Donna Cashion, Librarian Fairview Elementary, Sherman ISD

"We study La Salle in 4th grade. It was great to see and hear more about this explorer. The PowerPoint was fabulous! The students were engaged during the entire presentation."

Karen Manicom, 4th Grade teacher, Malvern Elementary, McKinney ISD 

Mark and Jo Martin, Librarian, Keefer Crossing Middle School, New Caney ISD

"He related very well to our students. He was relaxed and respectful."
Kathy Fester, head librarian, The Shelton School, Dallas, Texas

“My second and third graders were very interested…Kids listened intently and asked excellent questions.” 
Cheryl Mullins, Librarian, Highland Park Elementary,
Austin ISD 

“Definitely appropriate and of value. I had presented some excavation info to my classes but your slides made it more meaningful…I thoroughly enjoyed it!”
Edith  Smith, teacher, Texas history, Lamar Junior High, Lamar ISD

“I thought it was an excellent presentation. He answered and valued all questions and students asking questions.”
Maureen Slocum, Librarian, Pease Elementary, Austin ISD

They are learning about everything you presented.”
Carla Norris, teacher, 4th grade Social Studies and Language Arts, Bells Elementary School,
Bells ISD

The staff was very pleased with the presentation and the captive audience. Being the bilingual group, the children connected with his story."
Sandy Bateman, Librarian, Washington Elementary, Sherman ISD

“I especially liked the discussion about the excavation of the ship. I talked to several of the
students, and that was their favorite part of the program, too."
Deborah Pirtle, Librarian, League City Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD

"I feel that his PowerPoint was great. There was a lot of information. I liked taking the time to
understand more about French exploration. We often get a heavy dose of Spanish exploration and have very little to do with the French. Mark Mitchell also had excellent tie-ins for how
French exploration spurred Spanish interest beyond the Rio Grande."
Troy M. Scott, teacher, Space Center Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD


to schedule a visit or to learn more.

"La Belle" drawing by Justice of Austin

                                            Visits in 2008-2009

Brentwood Elementary, Austin ISD

Kocurek Elementary, Austin ISD

Menchaca Elementary, Austin ISD

Sims Elementary, Austin ISD

Metz Elementary, Austin ISD

Del Valle Middle School, Del Valle ISD

Ojeda Middle School, Del Valle ISD

Del Valle Elementary, Del Valle ISD

Crocket Middle School, Fort Bend ISD

Griffin Middle School, Frisco ISD

Wester Middle School, Frisco ISD

Henrietta Middle School, Henrietta ISD

Henrietta High School, Henrietta ISD

Henrietta Elementary,Henrietta ISD

Western Heritage Museum, Hobbs, New Mexico

Broadmoor Elementary, Hobbs Municpal Schools

Sanger Elementary, Hobbs Municipal Schools

Fowler Elementary, Killeen ISD

Merkel High School, Merkel ISD

Merker Middle School, Merkel ISD

Merkel Elemenrary, Merkel ISD

Spring Hill Elementary, Pflugerville ISD

Cedar Valley Middle School, Round Rock ISD

Frostwood Elementary, Spring Branch ISD

Sulphur Springs Public Library Gala Luncheon Keynote, Sulphur Springs, Texas

The Shelton School, Dallas, Texas

Visits in 2007-2008

Hyde Park Baptist Middle School, Austin, Texas
Space Center Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD, League City

League City Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD, Houston

Victory Lakes Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD, League City

Barton Hills Elementary, Austin ISD

Ferguson Elementary, Clear Creek ISD, League City

Fairview Elementary, Sherman ISD

Washington Elementary, Sherman ISD

Wakefield Elementary, Sherman ISD

Perrin Elementary, Sherman ISD

efferson Elementary, Sherman ISD

Crutchfield Elementary, Sherman ISD

Piner Elementary, Sherman ISD

Webb Elementary, McKinney ISD

Caldwell Elementary, McKinney ISD

Burks Elementary, McKinney ISD

Malvern Elementary, McKinney ISD

Press Elementary, McKinney ISD

The Shelton School, Dallas, Texas

Keefer Crossing Middle School, New Caney ISD

Crippin Elementary, New Caney ISD

New Caney Sixth Grade Campus, New Caney ISD

Mathews Elementary, Austin ISD

Bee Cave Elementary, Lake Travis ISD

Lakeway Elementary, Lake Travis ISD

Krueger Elementary, Marion ISD

Mae Stevens Elementary, Copperas Cove ISD

Halstead Elementary, Copperas Cove, ISD

Patton Elementary, Austin ISD

Little Walnut Creek Elementary, Austin ISD

Cibolo Creek Elementary, Boerne ISD

Davis Elementary, Austin ISD

Highland Park Elementary, Austin ISD

Bell's Hill Elementary, Waco ISD

Alta Vista Elementary, Waco ISD

Sul Ross Elementary, Waco ISD

Brook Avenue Elementary, Waco ISD

N. Waco Elementary, Waco ISD

Hillcrest Elementary, Waco ISD

Mountainview Elementary, Waco ISD

Boone Elementary, Austin ISD

Casey Elementary, Austin ISD

Carthage Junior High, Carthage ISD

Baker Koonce Intermediate School, Carthage ISD

Krahn Elementary, Klein ISD

Kiker Elementary, Austin ISD

Clayton Elementary, Austin ISD

Artie Henry Middle School, Leander ISD

Strange creature encountered by the French in Texas. ( Mark Mitchell from "Raising La Belle.")

Visits in 2006 - 2007 school year  


Laura Welch Bush Elementary, Leander ISD, Leander,

Stephen F. Austin Elementary, Goose Creek Consolidated ISD, Baytown, Texas 

Junior High, Goose Creek Consolidated ISD, Baytown

 Hutcheson Junior High, Arlington ISD, Arlington Texas 

Nichols Junior High, Arlington ISD, Arlington, Texas 

of Texas Quest Club, Austin, Texas

Lamar Junior High, Lamar Consolidated ISD,
Rosenberg, Texas

Ford Middle School, Allen ISD, Allen, Texas 

Bells Elementary School, Bells ISD, Bells,

Pritchard Middle School, Bells ISD, Bells, Texas 

High School, Bells ISD, Bells, Texas

Sinclair Elementary, Houston ISD,
Houston, Texas

Oak Forest
Elementary, Houston ISD, Houston, Texas

Thomas Middle School, Houston ISD, Houston, Texas

Christian School, Austin, Texas

McBee Elementary. Austin ISD,
Austin, Texas

High School, Boling ISD, Boling, Texas

Iago Junior High, Boling ISD,
Iago, Texas 

W.T. Hanes Elementary, Irving ISD, 
Irving, Texas

Pease Elementary, Austin ISD,
Austin, Texas

Neidig Elementary,
Elgin ISD, Elgin, Texas

Goodman Elementary,
Fort Bend ISD, Fresno, Texas

Highland Park
Elementary, Austin ISD, Austin, Texas

Barton Hills Elementary, Austin ISD,
Austin, Texas

Palo Alto
Middle School, Killeen ISD, Killeen, Texas

Live Oak Elementary, Round Rock ISD, Round Rock,

Graham Elementary, Austin ISD,
Austin, Texas

Goforth Elementary, Clear Creek ISD,
League City, Texas

Robinson Elementary, Clear Creek ISD,
Seabrook, Texas

Dodd Elementary, Wylie ISD,
Wylie, Texas

Intermediate, Wylie ISD, Wylie, Texas

Elementary, Hempstead ISD, Hempstead, Texas

Museum of the Gulf Coast
, Port Arthur, Texas


(Photo courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission)
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"Raising La Belle" by Hayes

Content Copyright 1998-2007 by Mark G. Mitchell, Carus Publishing, Cobblestone Publishing Group, Eakin Press, David R. Godine Publisher, For Kids Sake Press
Austin, Texas - U.S. - 78759
Phone 512.258-8348