Kimberly Simms

Kimberly Simms is a first generation American, a writer, a mother, and an educator. Her teaching is influenced not only by her creative writing credentials, but also by her experience as an award-winning slam poet and trained actress. Her first full-length poetry collection, Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017 and ties in with Common Core history standards. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Kimberly’s poetry has been featured in over thirty literary journals and magazines.  Kimberly Simms offers the following unique services: research-based creative writing; vocabulary building activities to create context for Social Studies, Reading, and Science; the Writing Process as explained by a published author; figurative language and imagery scaffolding for every level of writer; and brain breaks including tableau theater activities to help students focus, explore their creativity, as well as to access prior knowledge and make inferences. Recently, she has also facilitated teacher PD workshops.

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Arts Disciplines: Creative Writing, Poetry/Spoken Word, Theatre/Drama

Core Content Curriculum Areas: Social Studies/History, English/Language Arts

Specialized Content Areas: Arts Integration, STEAM, Literacy, Anti-bullying, Character Education, Healing Through Creative Writing

Grade Levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Special Populations: At-risk Students

Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development: Post-Secondary/Pre-Service Learning, Professional Development for K-12 Teachers, Professional Development for Teaching Artists

Geographic Availability: Metro Atlanta, Southwest Georgia

Program Fees:

  • Performances: $250 for 60 minutes plus travel
  • Workshops: $300 for 90 minutes plus travel and supplies.  (Can be negotiated as part of a residency) Residencies: $70 per classroom hour plus travel and supplies

Artistic Profile:

Kimberly Simms is a first generation American, a writer, a mother, and an educator. In March 2017, she was recognized by the Metropolitan Arts Council with The 2016 SmartARTS Teaching Artist Award. After completing her term as the 2016 Carl Sandburg National Historic Site Writer-in-Residence, she relocated to Coweta, Georgia from her hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. A certified South Carolina teacher, she taught in middle schools for ten years and has worked with the SmartARTS arts integration program for five years. She is also on the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster. Her teaching is influenced not only by her creative writing credentials, but also by her experience as an award-winning slam poet and trained actress. She started her passion for poetry in her twenties in the world of poetry slam where she became the 1998 Southeast Regional Poetry Slam Champion, a certified Slammaster, and a 2016 National Poetry Slam ‘Legend of the South.’ Since then, she has continued to walk the line between the page and the stage. Her first full-length poetry collection, Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017 and ties in with Common Core history standards. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Kimberly’s poetry has been featured in over thirty literary journals and magazines.  Her first chapbook of poems was published by Furman’s University’s Ninety-Six Press as part of the book Quintet. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University.

Teaching Experience:

Put poetry bang in your classroom with a poetry slam, haiku battle, tribute poem, or poetic performance. Be amazed at the rich narratives, strong imagery, and figurative language that your students produce, using Kimberly’s unique Poetic Language Generator. Or stomp, clap, and snap your student’s attention as they have a blast bringing poetry alive. Help students improve their vocabulary across a variety of core subjects. Kimberly draws on her ten years of experience as a classroom teacher to scaffold and accommodate all levels of students, while working in partnership with the teacher to incorporate standards and pacing guides. She offers the following unique services: research-based creative writing; vocabulary building activities to create context for Social Studies, Reading, and Science; the Writing Process as explained by a published author; figurative language and imagery scaffolding for every level of writer; and brain breaks including tableau theater activities to help students focus, explore their creativity, as well as to access prior knowledge and make inferences. Kimberly was initially trained in arts integration by the Metropolitan Arts Council and the Peace Center under the direction of Kennedy Center Teaching Artists in 2003-2004. In addition to her master’s degree, she holds 25+ hours in graduate-level education classes. She is a SC certified middle grades language arts teacher with a Gifted & Talented endorsement and a certificate in both Springboard and International Baccalaureate curriculum. Recently, she has facilitated teacher PD workshops at League Academy, Greenville Middle Academy, SmartARTS Summer Institute, and Woodmont Middle. She has completed 7 residencies this school year. She has 5 years of experience as a teaching artist. She recently attended the “STEAM: Every Child Succeeds” Arts Integration Conference in Columbia, SC.

Sample Programs:  

  • Communication Class: In this 8-day unit in 8th grade communication students focus on, “How can I personally connect with a historical figure through poetry?” As part of the unit, we proceed through an extended writing process that includes group work, research, pre-writing imagery and figurative language, and finally drafting. The unit concludes with a poetry slam. Classes may include all levels including students with IEP’s. These units are $70 per classroom hour.
  • Creative Writing Class: In this 8-day 6-8th Grade (RA) Creative Writing class, students explore, “How can I tell my story and express myself through creative writing?” As part of this unit, students each write three poems, then choose one to revise and perform as part of a poetry slam. The unit also introduces Poetry Slams to the students. This unit may include students of all levels.
  • Creative Writing and Arts Integration: In this 16-day unit, Kimberly meets with each class 3 times from K4-5th grade across elementary school art classes. In this unit we integrate curriculum standards, visual art, and creative writing to create rich units. All the units bring in the concepts of emotions in order to help students connect with the topic of empathy. Example: http://www.kimberlysimms.com/2017/02/emotionpoemsatmountainviewand.html

Sample Lesson Plans/Study Guides:

Program Photos and Videos: