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Melbourne Writers Festival Schools’ Program at Federation Square brings power of words to kids

Tamsin Rose, May 22, 2017 5:50PM Herald Sun

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Reading level: green

KIDS are invited to take part in the Melbourne Writers Festival and discover the power of words this winter.

Across four days, students will pack Melbourne’s Federation Square for the Melbourne Writers Festival’s Schools’ Program.

More than 13,000 Victorian students are expected to make use of the program from Monday August 28 until Thursday August 31.

Festival director and chief executive Lisa Dempster hopes everyone who comes along has fun and learns a bit more about writing and communicating through words.

“The program helps student understand the broader context* of reading and that literacy* can be fun,” she said.

Festival director Lisa Dempster. Picture: supplied media_cameraFestival director Lisa Dempster. Picture: supplied

“We hope to spark imagination and fuel curiosity and open up a world of opportunity.”

The Schools’ Program will feature talks with famous authors such as Snot Chocolate author Morris Gleitzman and Fight Like a Girl author Clementine Ford.

“Our artists will engage and inspire young people to discuss books, writing and creativity,” Ms Desmpeter said.

Highly interactive* workshops on slam poetry, reviewing and writing for film and how to get published will also be on offer.

Kids at the 2016 Schools' Program. Picture: supplied media_cameraKids at the 2016 Schools’ Program. Picture: supplied

The central city location will allow school groups to discover Melbourne’s famous graffitied laneways during The Writing’s on the Wall walk.

Walkers will see the street art up close and will have to chance to create some of their own work.

With a focus on identity, belonging, bullying and digital lives, organisers are hoping the array of programs will draw classes from early primary all the way to VCE students.

Author Morris Gleitzman. Picture: Russell Shakespeare media_cameraAuthor Morris Gleitzman. Picture: Russell Shakespeare

For more information on the Melbourne Writers Festival Schools’ Program visit the website: http://mwf.com.au/schools/schools-program/

GLOSSARY

context: background information

literacy: ability to read and write

interactive: able to be changed and experienced

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1. Asking Questions

Read the article carefully.

Now write down FIVE questions about the Melbourne Writers Festival that are able to be answered from the news story.

Swap work with a classmate and answer each other’s questions in full sentences.

Extension:

Explore the Melbourne Writers Festival website (the link is at the bottom of the article) and write two more questions that can only be answered from information on the website but not in the news story.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English

Activity 2. Writer Profile

There are many talented writers who will be speaking as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Who are some writers that you like?

Choose one and write a profile about them.

The profile should include their name and where they are from, a list of things they have written and an explanation of what it is you like about their writing.

Extension:

Create a short writing piece in the same style as the writer you chose above.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English

VCOP ACTIVITY

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)

Adjective hunt

Writing is very personal and is a great way to de-stress as you can write all your emotions, worries, concerns, anger, celebrations, surprises and hurt down.

Sometimes that’s exactly what we need in order to be able to express ourselves.

Your job is to write a really emotional piece with the focus of either identity, belonging, bullying or digital lives.

These issues have positive and negatives elements — too much screen time, social media bullying, feelings of not belonging or no one caring, to celebrations of students making their own apps, taking a stance against bullying or supporting personal growth.

Pick a topic and write a reflection about a time when something negative has happened to you and how that made you feel or how you helped or supported someone or maybe a good idea you have about making a change for the better.

Use lots of emotive words to express your feelings and connect back to that time.

Your job is to make us understand what you were going through at the time, or what you are currently going through.

Time: allow at least 40 minutes to complete the task

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write, VCOP, Social and Wellbeing

EXTRA RESOURCES

CODING A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

HOW OUR CLASSROOMS HAVE CHANGED

WHEN TO WALK ALONE?

EYE SPY GRAFFITI, OR IS IT ART?

NEIGHBOURS STAR STANDS UP AGAINST BULLYING

Extra Reading in arts