A year ago I was sorting through a very dusty pile of books. In the middle of the pile, I was delighted to discover a little book I had made at primary school about stamps. It was nothing but blank pages stapled together, and there had clearly been some rough editing done with white-out, but I remembered the project well. I had been very proud of my little book, lovingly researched, written, and edited.
My little book about stamps came in handy a few weeks ago when I was asked to talk to my son’s grade 1 class about writing books. I could do little more than show the 6-7 year olds, what my novels looked like – but the little book about stamps was so well received that when I suggested the students write their own books, the project was met with overwhelming enthusiasm. I also read a children’s book (The Bedtime Band) – They loved it.
I went back this week to see the books they had written. The range of genres was amazing; I found fiction, non-fiction, biographies, dictionaries, and information books.
I discovered that, not only did the project instil pride in their work it also inspired the children to look at books differently. Writing their own books fostered creativity, improved writing skills, and prompted the students to read more. The project was so successful that I have been invited into other classrooms.
I want to encourage other authors to get out into schools and do more of this sort of work. It is a wonderful opportunity for the children, and an amazingly gratifying way to share your skill and love of writing.