Ashley Spires visits South Slope!

Today we had the pleasure of hosting author and illustrator Ashley Spires.  The students have been reading her books in the library and in their classrooms.  We are all big fans and were excited to meet her.

She talked to the students about her creative process and where she gets her ideas.  Often her characters begin from drawings she just does for fun.  Sometimes they are inspired by feelings, real people or animals, like Binky the cat.  We also learned about the editing process and how hard she has to work to make everything work for her books.  For example, it takes one whole week to create one Binky page spread! Wow!

One of our favourite parts was when Ashley taught us how to draw her characters.  With Divisions 6, 7 and 19 she drew Binky.  And with Divisions 8, 9, 10 and 20 the students drew the penguin from Penguin and the Cupcake.

Don’t forget to come to the library and check out some of her fantastic books!

Have a great Spring Break!

Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!

Yesterday we had the pleasure of a visit from Canadian author, Eric Walters. He spoke to divisions 3, 4 and 5 and then to divisions 1 and 2. We learned how Mr. Walters gets his ideas and how he really gets into his research. He traveled to Africa for his book, Alexandria of Africa, and encountered lions, elephants, deadly snakes and more. For his book, Tiger by the Tail, he found not one, but two tigers to promote his book and was bitten by one in the process. For his book, Between Heaven and Earth, he climbed Mt.
Kilimanjaro with his son. He also picked two of the “cool” dudes in the audience to demonstrate how he creates his characters.

For division 1 and 2, he spoke about his charity, The Creation of Hope, and how it partners with Kenyans to care for orphans and also works on community projects such as building wells. This was a great connection to the students’ current social studies unit on water. It was also incredibly inspiring.

What did you enjoy most about the presentation? What did it make you wonder and think about? Please leave your comments below.  And don’t forget to come to the library to check out a great book by Eric Walters!

iPads in the Library

Students are beginning to use our iPads in a variety of ways. Last Thursday Division 3 used them in the library to read about author Eric Walters. They went to his site and had to report out about what they learned. Then they created a list of questions for his visit on March 11th.  Stay tuned to find out what happened at our visit with this fantastic author.