School Visits

NEW! David’s Virtual Visits!

With in-person visits on hold for the time being, I have adapted two of my presentations (Writing the Scary Stuff and Two Words: Inspiration is Everywhere) into a virtual format that allows me to present the material are remain as interactive as ever!

I’ve also created a new, virtual-only, presentation:

Stories Are Adventures!

Writing a story is like setting off on a wild, action-packed adventure! Join me as we trek through unknown obstacles, meet strange and interesting characters, and craft a tale that will get the heart racing and the plot line fulfilled!

David Neilsen’s School Visits


“My students were completely captivated by David Neilsen’s presentation!  They had a blast viewing creative images, brainstorming questions and sharing their ideas.  I can definitely say that Mr. Neilsen unlocked many creative minds and my students are still talking about him!” — Abbey Gilligan, 5th Grade Teacher, Washington Irving School

I love to visit schools and talk to students about writing and have created ready-made programs which I can bring into the school to enrich the student’s day.

  • Each program is designed to run approximately 45 minutes.
  • Small Group programs are intended for a single class of students.
  • Large Group programs are intended for more auditorium-style situations.
  • Writing programs are intended for students in grades 4 and up.

Mr. Neilsen inspired a classroom full of 6th grade students. His presentation “Writing the Scary Stuff” helped the students in my class to focus their stories and develop outlines that eventually helped them to write stories with fully developed characters and settings that enhanced their original concepts. Mr. Neilsen has a way of breaking down the horror genre that not only makes sense to middle school students, but also encourages them, making them want to write.” — Joan Mullin, 6th Grade Teacher, Sleepy Hollow Middle School

 I can give up to 5 presentations during a full day, or three during a half day. Where indicated, I will require a way to present a powerpoint presentation either from a thumbdrive or my own computer onto a larger surface such as a SmartBoard or screen for the entire audience to view.


David Neilsen knows how to engage young people, he knows how to tell a story, and he knows what it takes to be a successful writer. Our students greatly enjoyed coming up with crazy story-telling ideas with him and listening to his spooky tales. They came away with both enthusiasm and useful advice for becoming storytellers and writers themselves. David clearly loves what he does, and his passion is contagious.” — Ned Bates, 8th Grade English Teacher, Suffern Middle School.

I’m also available to visit your classroom virtually via Skype or Google Hangout and answer any questions students might have. These Virtual Visits are always FREE and last approximately thirty minutes.

Two Words: Inspiration is Everywhere

(Small or Large Groups) All stories start with two very simple words–What If? This interactive presentation guides students through the basic elements of story creation, and challenges them to discover a multitude of story ideas from a single image. Students then gather in groups and are tasked with creating a the outline of a story of their own from different odd, whimsical images. *equipment required

Two Words – Part 2

(Small or Large Groups) This is an optional addition to the Two Words presentation consisting of a return visit either later in the day or on another day. I lead the students first through a series of images and challenge them to craft a story as a single group, facilitating and leading their discussion to keep them focused on the common goal. Then students return to their initial groups from earlier and take another look at the outline they created. Now they are tasked with coming up with an opening paragraph of their story. We discuss tone, theme, characters, point of view, and other aspects that go into making a story work. *equipment required


“David captivated my students with his varied voices and surprising expressions!  The students laughed, oooed, ahhhed, and really stretched their imaginations creating stories based on some of the surprising images David presented to them. When I asked them if I should have David come back next year to visit my new 6th graders, I got an emphatic “Yes!  Definitely!  He was AWESOME!” and I couldn’t agree more!” — Bridget Suvansri, 6th Grade English Teacher, Eastern Middle School, Greenwich, CT.

Writing the Scary Stuff

(Small or Large Groups) An examination into what makes for a scary story. Working with the students, I comprise a list of things any truly scary story needs (atmosphere, identifiable characters, tone, tension, surprises, etc.) and go over the basic outlines of different types of scary stories. Students will break into groups and come up with their own scary stories over the course of the session, which they can then share with the class. Perfect for Halloween season! *equipment required

A Visit with British Spy Major John Andre


(Best for Small or Large groups of students in grades 6-8) My original, 45-minute one-man show recounts the life and trials of British Major John Andre during the American Revolution. Major Andre was intricately involved General Benedict Arnold’s plot to betray Continental forces. His astounding misadventure–from receiving the plans to West Point from General Arnold’s hands in Haverstraw to his capture in Tarrytown to his ultimate execution–is filled with amazing twists and turns that together show how very close Arnold’s plot was to succeeding, an act which would have altered the course of the American Revolution.

Use the form below to contact me. Thanks!

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