*I connect my students with authors and illustrators because so many of them would never meet an author if we didn’t connect via Skype or actual school visits. We are fortunate to be in an area with a lot of authors and illustrators and to also have the connections with bookstores that will arrange for authors and illustrators to come to the school. Children have been truly inspired by the authors and illustrators that they have met. Some have started to write stories when before they didn’t even want to write a paragraph.
*Chalk is an amazing book that literally inspired a whole school community to celebrate literacy not only through classroom activities but also by having every classroom join together on the school’s sidewalks to re-enact the book through chalk drawings. It was truly magical.
* Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about how students’ attitudes about books and writing were changed after they experienced Chalk. One teacher told me that he had one student who had refused to write more than a sentence but after reading the book Chalk wrote out his only text for the whole book. Another teacher told me about a student who said he hated books but that Chalk was his favorite book. Another teacher told me about a student with limited oral language skills who through words re-told her the whole story of Chalk. Bill Thomson’s book is magical in more than one way.