Children’s Book Festival – Eve H

35 children, 4 teachers, 2 sixth formers and 1 Tsunami. What could go wrong?

On Monday, me and my fellow English nerds helped local year 5s to learn about Tsunamis through literature, poems, music, art and science. I must admit initially I was not thrilled with the idea of dragging Littlegarth children around with me all day and this experience has heightened my respect for primary school teachers A LOT but by the end of the day I had met a talented author, heard some Japanese music and got paint on my hands so it cant have been that bad, now time for the round up…

So it started at 9:00am sharp where I met the little tykes in the assembly hall, all 35 of them. A shock to the system when I learned that me and one other year 12 would be involved in caring for them the rest of the day but we carried on. We had a talk from author, Julian Sedgwick who had some interesting stories to tell about Fukushima and his experience along with some ghost stories which I found too much for a 16 year old let alone 9 year olds. He told us about his books and even gave us a short reading of his latest book.

After this we took our herd to the art block where Mrs Barber got them to paint waves with their hands. After initial refusal to dirty myself, I was pulling my shirt sleeves up and putting and apron on. It was a nice start to the day to be able to let my creative expression free and after a quick wash up (and a cup of tea) we were on to the next activity.

We joined Mr Allen in the music school where the year 5s learned about traditional Japanese music and tried to create and play some of their own. They all really enjoyed it after telling me they didn’t like music and has some very talented pieces to show off.

I then took them off to Mr Corby who wowed them with some honey and a digestive biscuit. He showed them how tectonic plates pull land apart and showed them how it causes Tsunamis. He then used Lego men and a picture of the clocktower as ‘land’ and water to show the destruction that can be caused by tsunamis. They really enjoyed ‘pinging’ pieces of wood to create an earthquake themselves.

The final activity was writing Haikus with Mr Cocker, Miss Taylor-Payne with the Julian Sedgwick. They focused on the senses they might have been able to feel in the abandoned village such as the sights and sounds. They also focused on the different seasons and how to merge the senses and seasons together. Some of the haikus I read used the beauty of flowers blooming against the loneliness of the towns themselves.

anyway, in the end all parties enjoyed their day but I was definitely in need of a nap at the end of it all.

till next time,

Eve x

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