I’ve been dying to give writing workshops at Royal Vale Elementary for years now. I keep hearing about how outstanding the school is, and how the parents camp out for days during the registration period. After a few years of trying to entice the administration, I was ecstatic to be invited to their school!
I had the privilege of meeting and working with Miss. Wendy’s two grade 5 classes.
Our mission? To create a picture book, complete with developed characters, a plot, polished text, and illustrations in just THREE DAYS! Actually, it wasn’t even three days, it was three workshop of two hours each. And I worked with two classes, so the mission was to create two books. We had our work cut out for us…
I’m happy to say that we accomplished our goal! Here’s how it went down:
We had an intensive first session to get the creative juices flowing. The students learned everything from character and plot development to how to write authentic dialogue. After a lot of back and forth, they also decided what the theme of the book would be.
This workshop was the most challenging. The students first created the characters in the story. Then we all developed the plot and the structure of the story. After that, I separated the students into four groups and each group wrote a chapter of the book. There was so much to do, so we had to work fast!
On the last day, I edited the chapters with the students. We also created the list of illustrations, which they drew out. The last task was to decide on details like dedication, and paper and font colour.
I brought everything home and after a lot of editing and layout magic, the finalized books were sent to the printer. When the students saw them, they were ecstatic! I was a wonderful experience to watch them see the reward for their hard work.
A special thank-you to Miss Wendy and the entire administration at Royal Vale.