Sally Tinker and Brobot are coming to the West Australian newspaper’s ED! liftout every week in term 3.
It was a big challenge to reformat the story – I had to edit it down, rearrange the panels to fit the newspaper’s dimensions, AND divide it into 10 episodes.
Your school can get in on the action with an ED! section subscription: full details here.
Attention teachers! Fremantle Press is giving one lucky Perth metro school a free author visit from me.
To win the visit, all you need to do is check out the latest edition of Fremantle Press’ education newsletter, Classroom Express, here – then click on the ‘Forward to a Friend’ button at the top right and send it to your colleagues. The school with the most teachers subscribed to Classroom Express by 30 June 2019 will win the author visit!
But wait – there’s a second prize up for grabs! If you also happen to be a subscriber to the Classroom Express newsletter (you can subscribe here), AND you get the most friends signed up using the ‘Forward to a Friend’ button, then you’ll win 10 Fremantle Press books for your school library valued at $200.
Both competitions close on Sunday 30 June 2019. The winner for each competition will be notified by email after this date. The winners will be announced in the Term 3 issue of The Classroom Express.
My new book Gastronauts is out now in bookstores and online.
I’ve pulled together a bunch of free resources for teachers (and interested kids). You can find the full set on my website, but here’s some of my highlights:
Heaps of ideas for discussion and links to curriculum.
Download the teaching notes (pdf).
Read a free sample
Read the first 16 pages before you buy the book.
Also great for using to read the start of the book to a class.
Download the free sample (pdf).
‘Make Your Own see-through body’ activity
This is a super fun activity. You need scissors, glue, string and a piece of A3 coloured card – and a print out of the worksheet for each student. (And don’t forget to print the teacher cheat-sheet for you.)
You’ll end up with something that looks like this:
- Did you know that there are nearly 800 million people in the world who can’t read?
- Or that two thirds of those people are women and girls?
That’s why I support the amazing charity Room To Read as a Writer Ambassador.
Room To Read is looking for 50 schools around Australia to support 50 girls in the developing world. Each school needs to raise just $365 – that’s enough to send a girl to school for a year.
Two of the schools I’ve visited this year have already got involved. Maybe your school would like to organise a fundraiser around Book Week?
You can read more about the campaign (including more fundraising ideas) on Tristan Bancks’ website.
When I meet parents at events they often say,
‘my child loves to draw/write/create. How can I encourage their interest?’
Best-selling Australian author Matthew Reilly says, ‘never underestimate the power of your encouragement.’ He writes it in the thank you section at the back of every one of his books; he knows that it got him to where he is today. Encouragement is an incredibly powerful thing; young artists grow when they know that people believe in them and support their interest. (The same goes for adult artists, too!).
My advice comes from my work as an artist (who was once a young artist), my studies in primary teaching and psych (though I’m not a child psychology expert by any means), and my experience of working with kids in workshops. Here’s 9 things you can do to encourage the young writer and/or illustrator in your life … or even your own inner artist.
Children’s Book Week is coming up fast: this year it’s August 22nd – 26th.
A lot of older students will balk at the mention of picture books because those are just for babies.
But this book is different.
While it is technically a picture book, it’s definitely not a bedtime story for little ones – it’s for older readers, 8-ish and up (teenagers and adults especially seem to love this one.)
Older kids take one look at this book and know it’s not for babies, so they don’t feel like they’re being talked down to. It’s a great book for looking at rhyming texts, visual narrative/visual literacy and generic conventions. Plus it has zombies in it. Kids love zombies.
In preparation for Children’s Book Week, Walker Books and I have put together some free teacher notes for My Dead Bunny.The notes include heaps of discussion points and activity ideas, with links to relevant behind-the-scenes posts from my blog. It should all make studying the book in class super easy.
Behind-the-Scenes blog posts
My blog has heaps of posts about the making of the book; each post is tagged with ‘My Dead Bunny’.
Craft Activity – make your own zombie rabbit softie
Here’s some fun activities for early finishers – two word searches and two colouring-in sheets. Feel free to download these for use in your classroom.
– Mindlessness colouring sheet #1 –
Download now (pdf)
– Mindlessness colouring sheet #2 –
Download now (pdf)
If you choose to use the book in class, I’d love to hear about how you use it! Please leave a comment below, or send me photos of displays/student work via james(AT)jamesfoley.com.au [replace the (AT) with an @].
Buy ‘My Dead Bunny’ now
I made some kid-size Viking costumes for my talk at the Perth Writers’ Festival. Here’s how.
This year’s Perth International Arts Festival will see a 6 metre-tall girl walking down St George’s Terrace. She’s called ‘the Little Girl Giant’, and as part of her visit she’ll receive an enormous book from the children of the City of Perth. I helped schoolkids produce some art for the book. More details on the Giants and the book below.
This year, Mount Hawthorn Primary School invited myself and fellow author/illustrator Briony Stewart to collaborate on a 13-week residency project.
Our project was called ‘My Place’. The aim for each year four student (all 87 of them) was to complete a polished story and accompanying illustration based upon their favourite place in Mount Hawthorn. They also made the amazing map you see above!
Hit the link to see more work by the kids.