Hello hello, dear blog readers! I am just back from my return visit to Sunshine Academy in Dollard-des-Ormeaux. (I was there earlier this winter to do writing workshops.) Today, I worked with a Grade 6 and a Grade 4 class, and then I stayed around to meet with individual young writers over lunch. Usually, I only get one or two students when I offer an extra writing session like that, but today I had about FIFTEEN!! So that was exciting -- and also inspiring because some of the stories I read were really good --imaginative, with lively narrators, and full of interesting details that made me want to keep reading.
If you're wondering who's who in today's pics, let me explain: in the top pic, I am with two students named Tabitha and Kelly. I asked Tabitha to be in the pic because I decided she looks as if she could be child (notice the curly hair!!). Kelly, her friend, is one of the students who turned up for our lunchtime extra session.
In the second pic, that's me with super librarian Mrs. Susan -- thanks Mrs. Susan for the invite and for getting the students so excited about my visits. Thanks, too, to Principal Marie Wahba, with whom I had a quick fun conversation at recess.
So, here are a few details about my visit to Sunshine (I am always reminding students to use details to bring their stories to life, so now it's my turn): a student named Denis demonstrated that he is a good observer when he noticed I was wearing the same necklace that he saw on the spine of my book What World Is Left. A student named Kiely was writing the word "Candy" on her arm.
When I was talking about secrets with the Grade 4 group, a student named Mia asked, "So 'Don't keep secrets?' or 'Do?"" -- and I told her my theory: we writers need to UNCOVER secrets as part of our storytelling work.
I'll end with a few notes about what happened during the lunchtime session. A student named Kayla is writing in the same kind of journal I use (hardcover with black splotches on it) -- Kayla is four chapters into her own novel and I can tell it's going well. I love the energy in her narrrator's voice. Jasmine is working on a story that starts with a letter written from a detention center (very cool, Jasmine!). Salyna is writing a first-person account having to deal with friendships in her own life, and Adrian has come up with an imaginary town peopled by some fascinating characters.
So, usually my job when I do school visits is to inspire young writers, but you know what happened today? The young writers at Sunshine Academy inspired ME! A big thanks to all of you. And KEEP WRITING!!!!
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To Monique Polak,
Thank you so much for lending your time to read our stories!!! I am very glad that you liked my story! Don't worry I will work on my punctuation.
By the way you and your stories are amazing on Wednesday the librarian showed us your books and EVERYONE took them