Top Tips: Virtual author events

25 January 2021

Lockdown has had a vast impact on children’s schooling in so many ways including making organising enrichment events extremely challenging. With National Storytelling Month and World Book Day on the horizon, teachers who would be booking authors, illustrators, poets and storytellers for in-school events are unable to do so in the same way as previous years.

DID YOU KNOW…..? research demonstrates the positive impact of author events, showing that children who had an author visit reported higher levels of reading and writing enjoyment[1]  . With lockdown restrictions in place, how can schools bring stories to life with the help of all-important authors, illustrators, poets and storytellers?

The GREAT news is that many of your favourite storymakers offer virtual visits using the power of technology to beam their workshops direct to the classroom or home! Online story time and recordings of authors reading aloud their books have also been created and those resources that already existed are now in great demand.  Many authors have created special lockdown virtual visits and supporting resources that can help you celebrate the world of reading in school and at home.  Chris Bradford is one such author! His lockdown visit has been created to promote reading and celebrate the launch of his new action-packed thriller, The Soul Prophecy which publishes on 4th February.  You watch the show and then take part in a quiz; find out more here.

You can share virtual events with your whole school community and use them to support reading celebrations. Create whole-school enjoyment and build excitement by encouraging children to read stories written by the 'visiting' author or by sharing examples of an illustrator's work. If you're hosting a workshop online, invite children to think of questions in advance and share the excitement at home with parents and carers.  This is a great opportunity to get everyone involved!

The Puffin Storymakers Show created for Key Stage 2 audiences is the perfect example of a virtual resource that can enrich literacy learning, support reading celebrations and inspire imaginations. Featuring many celebrated Puffin authors like Jacqueline Wilson, Eoin Colfer, Malorie Blackman, Nathan Byron and Dapo Adeola, each show lasts 30 minutes. All you need is an internet connection, a screen and pens and paper for the draw-along shows. You can watch them On-Demand or find the shorter videos featured in the Video Resources section of the website. The Puffin Storymakers Show can be used to celebrate stories, support learning around creative writing, art and illustration, poetry, and more! Try the Illustrators Takeover with some of the best illustrators in the business, Jeff Kinney and Adam Hargreaves, re-creating the Mr Men and comic-book characters. Or find out about writing awesome adventures and empowering stories with author Claire Balding. Explore creating characters with all-time favourite author, Jacqueline WilsonCelebrate reading in school and at home - share these videos with children and watch their imaginations come to life!

If your school is doing something inspiring to celebrate stories this month that you'd like to tell the world about, please contact PuffinSchools@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk with 'Inspiring Ideas' in the subject line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://cdn.literacytrust.org.uk/media/documents/Writer_visit_report_-_Final.pdf

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