Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Annie's Author Visits are lots of Fun!
Introduced by PaperTigers, children's book author and former teacher Ann Martin Bowler (or Annie to her friends) visited Freeport Elementary School in Sacramento, California to present lively, interactive readings of two of her books, Adventures of the Treasure Fleet: China Discovers the World and Gecko's Complaint: A Balinese Folktale. Each reading was brought to life with the use of special props and participation by students and teachers, and ended with a sing-along to Annie's songs written especially for the stories.
In Adventures of the Treasure Fleet, 4th through 6th grade students were introduced to instruments from faraway places such as Champa, Java and Malindi. Students participated in the lively reading by playing their instrument with each mention of its country, while other students produced sound effects of turbulent, thunder-laden storms and swords at battle. The Emperor of China was read by PT Outreach Coordinator Theresa Gee, along with her brother Vince, reading the part of the Admiral Zheng Hu. Both Theresa and Vince were students at Freeport in the 1960s and '70s.
In the reading of Gecko's Complaint, kindergartners through 3rd graders participated with instruments representing the many critters in the tale, such as the gecko, the woodpecker and the water buffalo.
Students from grades 3 through 6 were also treated to a variety of workshops: using her books as examples, Annie shared drafts and illustrations. She talked about how books are created (from concept to final product), research methods, and her deep connection to the Pacific Rim through two of her five children, who were adopted from Korea, and her son's family, living in Indonesia.
Throughout the day's engaging presentations, Annie encouraged and inspired young students to travel and explore new worlds by simply reading a book: in their own school library, at home or anywhere!
Read the students' words about Ann's presentation: what they've liked and what they've learned...
"My favorite part was when the person reading the part of the Emperor of China waved her hand and we all had to say 'Yes, Your Majesty'." (Eugene B., 5th grade)
"My favorite thing was when the author was singing and telling the story using different instruments." (Kamina, 5th grade)
"I loved when the author gave out the instruments and we got to play them." (Peter, 5th grade)
"Singing along with everyone was great!" (Kimberley P., 6th grade)
"My favorite part was when some of us had to act in front of the kids in the cafeteria. There were lots of ideas, and the story was magnificent." (Briana M., 5th grade)
"I learned about different instruments people play around the world." (Dominic J., 5th grade)
"I loved the sound effects." (Kallem, 4th grade)
"I learned about the Chinese people and what they did 600 years ago." (Tiantai A., 5th grade)
"The story was very exciting!" (Alba J., 5th grade)
"I liked how the Chinese Emperor was the biggest and strongest, and how he bossed everyone around." (Michael H.,6th grade)
"My favorite thing about it was the music. I had never heard music like that." (Nailah M., 6th grade)
"I didn't know the Chinese had sailed so far, 600 years ago." (Kevin, 4th grade)
"It was great to know that the story of the Chinese voyages was real." (Ezequiel M., 4th grade)
"I didn't know that some Chinese men have long, braided hair." (Xai, 4th grade)
"I liked when the author told us about doing research for her books and about going to Asia." (Dèja A., 4th grade.)
"She told us she had to rewrite the story seven times before it was ready to be a book! I didn't know it was so hard." (Otuabijole J., 4th grade)
"I learned that you have to be good at spelling, and that you have to work hard on your story to make it better." (Kamina, 5th grade)
"I learned that many people can write a book if they put their mind to it and work hard." (Pavel L., 4th grade)
"The music part was good fun and her songs had great lyrics." (Malik L., 6th grade)
"I liked to hear about the big Chinese ships sailing all over the world." (Eseta T., 5th grade)
"I liked to know that two of the ships were bigger than a football field. I never knew there were ships that big." (Chan F., 6th grade)
"I liked the part when she told us she kept all of her mother's writings when she passed away, and how she loves words." (Pakou Y., 6th grade)
"I liked the song. It kind of reminded me of my old life and of my mother." (Wang V., 6th grade)
"I loved when she sang. She sings so well!..." (Chrishanae C., 6th grade)
"My favorite part was when we acted out the story." (Jose R., 3rd grade)
"My favorite thing was talking to the author and asking questions." (Toshona T., 6th grade)