Continuing on from the previous post, I realised I could have got a lot more out of Book Week with more planning ahead. I only had one school visit and workshop. Schools are busy communities and, with some forward planning, I could have booked in with more schools or kinders with more sessions at local schools at least. They love help from local authors!
Also workshops and activities run so much smoother if planned and the kids get more out of it. I am still finding the balance between cramming in too much or too little in my school workshops. I want the kids to have a great experience and have lots of hands-on activities which most kids love but some kids fall behind doing. Currently my workshop format is based on Grade 3-4 levels which I add or remove complexity for higher or lower grades. The format is;
Story Ideas - where to look for story ‘seeds’ and how to build on them. I introduce story ideas lists and how the ‘crazy’ ideas are often the best.
Story World - ways to introduce or describe your setting in your story.
Characters - I love talking about Star Wars characters in this segment as they have such a great list of heroes and villains that are gender balanced or gender neutral also. Remember ‘story’ is not just about books is it?
Show, Don’t Tell - using active language.
Planning - an activity with a ‘story planner’ to plot the beginning, middle and end of a short story as well as the setting and character.
What do you like doing for Book Week?
Story Plan Template