Giving Thanks

November is a time for giving thanks and here at Island Readers & Writers we have much to be thankful for. We are thankful for the patience and determination of teachers, students, and families who continue to find ways to connect despite the numerous obstacles placed before them. Mainers are known to be resilient and resourceful and, from what we’ve seen, everyone is living up to that description quite well.

IRW’s online creative writing program, WordCraft, concluded this week with participating schools. Celebrations were held where students proudly read from their writings and gave peer reviews. One young writer noted the good choice of words by her fellow writer and said, “You inspired me to do more descriptive writing.” Others celebrated by participating in a virtual scavenger hunt where they had to search for;

  • Something to take with you if you were to run away
  • Something that would make a really good scary story
  • A good book

(and more)

A few “Mock” awards were given out as well, below are some samples.

  • Award for making life difficult for your main character
  • Award for Worst. Punishment. Ever.
  • Award for that little visual detail that just sticks in your brain

(“After reading the letter, I started to cry which started to smudge the paper. I thought I was going to die.”)

We are grateful to the authors, John David Anderson, Elizabeth Atkinson, and Anica Mrose Rissi, who supported and coached the creative spirits of these budding writers.

Islands Final Wrap party with Anica Mrose Rissi.

Ten classrooms across our school partner network are participating in “No News is Good News with Ivy & Bean,” and attended mid-session check-ins with Caldecott Medal winning author and illustrator, Sophie Blackall. We got to hear snippets of news stories in the works, for their various newspapers,  including “The Great Taco Explosion,” and an investigative story about how Mr. Momany’s classroom gets so dirty and who’s responsible for cleaning up the mess. There’s also a story about mold. Stay tuned to see how that one grows. Sophie shared a cover reveal for the next and possibly last title in the Ivy & Bean series, “Ivy & Bean Get to Work,” letting kids know they are some of the first to get to see it. So exciting!

Ivy & Bean No News is Good News mid-session check in with Sophie Blackall at Woodland Elementary

Here’s another note on being thankful. We invite you to visit this Padlet created from 7th Grade Read feedback forms to see what participating students learned and thought about after reading Abdi Nor Iftin’s memoir, “Call Me American.” We think you’ll find their comments quite thoughtful.

Here at IRW we are grateful for all who support the work we do. Keep reading, keep writing, and stay safe.

Posted in: Artists, Author visit, Authors, Mount Desert Island, Uncategorized

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