Year 7B students wrote their own book in term two. This was an anthology of their own short stories based a theme that they voted upon. Their theme was ‘Billy Goat’, but all they had to do was touch upon that idea in some way; their story did not have to have any actual billy goats in it. Students learned how to format their documents to make them the right size to be published, and then undertook a series of lessons on how to write effective beginnings, middles and ends. Students were taught to use four effective story opening techniques, that included using an action, a thought or question, dialogue (talking) or the description of a sound. Students were given examples of effective openings from various books, and given a chance to revise ‘boring’ beginnings using the techniques they had been taught. As they wrote, students also had the chance to sit one on one with their teacher and edit their work. The book turned out fantastically, and all students extended themselves to come up with work beyond what they had imagined themselves capable. Students will be able to showcase works at a lunch this month. some copies of the book are now in the school library.
Here are a few excerpts form the book:
The ward is extremely overcrowded. There are only beds for those who have no strength left to sit. The dirt is everywhere, no floors, and my hand comes off the beds with a thick, mucky layer of dust. The nurses and children have no sparkle left in their eyes. It sometimes seems as if they are robots, with just one task; living.
They keep coming. Loads and loads, night and day. This is so far from the hospital care I’m used to. I feel guilty for any time I’d pouted that I didn’t want my veggies; when all these kids want is fresh food…
-Sylvia Akers, ‘Africa’.
“Class dismissed”, calls Ms Walters. I head over to my locker and stuff it up as usual. I always do the wrong code. Dammit, James! Get it right! And after what feels like 10 thousand tries I get it open. I mumble, ‘I hate school so much’.
I think about how easy primary school was. We didn’t have lockers, we just had bag hooks. High-school is so challenging, and Ms Walters doesn’t help me at all. She doesn’t understand that I’m not good at math.
-Takara Barns, ‘I’m called the Billygoat.’
My mum and I work in the goat market. We make cheese and milk and cheese and soap and butter and cheese and yogurt and cheese. Sorry, I’m getting a bit carried away, and I haven’t even introduced myself! I’m Abby Larsen, I’m 14 and as I’ve said, mum and I have a goat farm. It’s called the Green Goat. Life’s pretty peaceful on the farm and nothing much happens that’s extremely unusual, but that doesn’t mean nothing exciting happens!
I guess you want to know about my mum. Well, she’s a single mum, and she has an amazing, helpful, joyous and wonderful daughter, and she’s the best cheese maker ever! She has long mousy hair that’s always scraped into a bun. Her favourite thing to wear is a canvas apron I made her, and she is the best mum in the world.