Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A Big WOW!

Oh, I love days like today! This morning, a small group of 4th and 5th graders met with Mary Amato for our first Skype An Author visit. It was beyond fantastic! Let's just say it's 2 hours later, and I'm still on a high from how incredibly powerful the experience was.

Skype an Author is a program where authors donate time to talk to students. Mary donated 15 minutes of her time to meet with us and talk about her book called Please Write in This Book. The group of kids had met with me to generate questions ahead of time, and we were very organized and ready to go. I liked that Mary had sent me guidelines ahead of time so we could easily follow her expectations.

Mary was so gracious and warm. Even when we lost electricity (aagggh!) in the middle of our time with her, we all gathered around the laptop in the dark and she loved it, saying it looked like we were gathering around a campfire to talk to her. We even got to see a sneak peek of her newest book, Invisible Lines, which was very cool. But most exciting for me was the energy in the room--it was the coolest buzz from the kids and me about the fact that we had just talked to the person who wrote the book we love. A 5 star authentic experience for us all, and we can't thank Mary enough for meeting with us!

Feedback from the kids is the best way to sum it up:

*I never knew that she made a lot more books.

*I never would have thought it took 6 years to write a book.

*She was nice.

*You know when you are reading a book and you have questions for the author. We always put post-its in the books, but we got to actually ask her the questions. (this one really hit home with me!)

*It was cool when the lights went out.

*Writing takes time...actually, good writing takes time.

*Even if you don't like writing like Ms. Amato didn't like writing, if you keep writing and writing, you can learn to be very good.


struan said...

So very cool Tara! Talk about helping and inspiring kids to want to read, write and connect to the real world. Your energy is infectious!

Colleen said...

Had all the kids in the group read the book? I have 1 copy of 1 of her books, so I'm not sure if it would be appropriate. I've looked at a lot of the authors on Skype An Author, but we don't have many of their books. Were you in the same situation? Maybe I just need to go for it and give it a try.