Connecting educators interested in innovation
For 10 weeks during September, October and November, a group of 9 students who wish to pursue their love of writing would assemble in the school library on a Wednesday lunchtime to linkup with Christopher Herz, an author from Brooklyn, New York. See more at Lunch with an author - a reflection.Christopher would set them tasks each week. The following week, he would discuss the progress of students on an individual basis and set the next task.
As we completed the sessions in 2011, Christopher's new novel, Pharmacology, was released. He asked whether I thought the students would like a copy and I said I am sure they would love it. The only concern was that it had been written for the older teenager. In January, whilst we were on summer holidays the box of novels arrived. As first term was crazily busy and there were different students away from school on most weeks, we delayed the ceremony until Thursday this week. I wanted Christopher to share in the excitement and give each student their copy virtually and combine it with a special celebration. Celebrations are important in sharing what has been done.
Parents were invited and special permission letters went out to ensure parents were happy for their child to receive the novel (as some students were in their early teens. They all agreed to the signed book being given to the students). Staff were also asked to come along. Students were asked to bring a plate to share, with drinks and hot nibbles provided.
As the day drew closer, Christopher and I ensured we had the right day for each of us and the correct time as we had finished daylight saving. On Wed night at 11:00pm for Christopher and Thursday afternoon at 1:00pm for us, we assembled in the library. Unfortunately, two students were absent due to school commitments and illness.
Where to from here?It is hoped to commence linkups at lunchtimes towards the end of this term or the beginning of next term. Instead of assignment style work, images and videos may be used to trigger writing tasks. I wonder how many of these students we will keep. I wonder whether more students will come on board!
What do you think of this kind of activity? How could we include more students from across schools and the globe in such activities. Imagine if students of different cultures all created a character and others involved grabbed some of these characters to include in their stories. How can we publish student stories online? What tools are available? So many questions, so much learning still to be done!
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