Yesterday was World Book Day and millions of kids all over the world celebrated the power of books. Most schools took part and allowed the pupils to dress up as their favourite book character. It’s a fun day where you’ll see lots of Harry Potter lookalikes and a few famous princesses dotted around the classroom.
World Book Day is a celebration of the written word. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it highlights reading.
This is the 19th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 3rd March 2016 children of all ages came together to appreciate reading. The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books. But it doesn’t just stop there, some schools go one step further by inviting authors into the classroom to hold creative writing sessions.
As an author myself, I regularly visit schools to hold workshops and creative writing lessons. It’s not easy to get books noticed in a modern world though. As authors, we certainly have a fight on our hands. We have to contend with Hollywood blockbusters, dazzling computer games and of course, Facebook.
World Book Day shines the spotlight on how great books really are. Young readers learn how they can connect with imaginary characters, and I believe it’s part of my job, as an author, to inspire the future generation.
The creative writing sessions need to be fun and most importantly enjoyable. The worksheets I created especially for the day at Immingham’s Oasis Academy, were based on what I thought the pupils would find interesting. I did a mixture, a combination of superheroes, dragons and a worksheet on Hogwarts. I’m pleased to say the pupils were very keen to participate.
I asked them specific questions. For example, for the subject of a superhero, I wanted them to write and tell me about their great disguise. Did they have a trusty sidekick and what plans did they have to save the world?
Those which chose the worksheet about a dragon, the questions were simple. What kind of dragon were they? Did they ever have a fight? If so, was anybody injured and how?
Harry Potter and the Hogwarts worksheet proved popular too. The pupils could choose whether they were a student or a teacher. They then had to create a spell and tell me it’s purpose. Did they have a wand or another magical instrument they used? What pet would they buy if they visited Diagon Alley?
The pupils were soon engrossed writing their stories, excited to use their own imaginations. Once the pupils created their characters, there was no stopping them. The year 7’s were so enthralled that they wanted to carry on long after the bell had gone. Much to my delight, the teacher said they could continue in their next lesson. The pupils were ecstatic and later, the same teacher came to tell me that the group had worked really hard and produced some amazing work. She also told me that their concentration was so good you could hear a pin drop in the classroom.
For me as a writer, her words were simply music to my ears. I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again … If I can inspire just one child, then I have made a difference.