From the Laptop to the Library:
How ideas become books, blogs, and articles.
Emily Schlinker ~UCA~ November 2013
My event took place in a creative writing classroom. It was the beginning of a unit on publishing. I began by asking the teacher to conduct an interest survey about genres they like to read or write. I took the most popular choices and created a handout with suggestions of books in those categories that the students could read for inspiration.
We began with a chart where students participated in a kickoff (this is SOP for this classroom) where they wrote on a post-it note something the already knew about how an idea becomes published and placed on a KWL chart.
Students were then encouraged to share any work they brought with them that had been published in any way. There were several that had articles in the school paper they shared, another had several sports articles printed in the local paper, and one girl had a short story published online through a teen writing contest.
I then has a guest speaker visit with the students about writing and publisheing. This author is Sarah Guillory. Her debut novel "Reclaimed" was released about 2 weeks ago. She visited with the students via Google Hangout. Sarah gave them tips on bringing their ideas to life, editing, and finding a publishin outlet.
The students were required to write one question to add to the KWL chart and were encouraged to ask those questions of our guest speaker. Sarah was a great speaker and the kids were thoroughly engaged with her and asked several questions.
At the end of the program the students were to record something they learned and place it on the KWL chart. Their answerers were picked off the board by the teacher and read to the class. He then allowed them to choose a door prize.
I was fortunate to have the author send me five signed book posters and bookmarks. I also purchased two copies of her book and gave one away at the event. The other I donated to the library so that all students would have access to it. The PTO also donated two insulated tumblers to be given away.
I really had a wonderful time with this creative and gifted group of kids. I was surprised at some of their insightful questions and writing. They had some great thoughts and learned a lot. I look forward to doing another event soon!