Bestselling author BJ Novak, our unofficial resident author, shares the joy of writing with lower school students.
Bestselling author BJ Novak, our unofficial resident author, joined us on Wednesday, November 29, to share a new book he's working on with our students, "The Alphabet Book With No Pictures." Everyone had fun exploring his stories and giving feedback! Students from first, second, third, and fourth grades participated in these writing workshop sessions.
BJ has visited before, and enjoys the opportunity to get feedback on his writing from our students. Center kids are avid readers and love the opportunity to discuss literature with BJ!
As our (unofficial) resident author, BJ's visits have made it possible for CEE children to understand the behind the scenes work that occurs during the writing process. Not only do our students have an opportunity to hear a draft of a new, sure-to-be popular book before it's published, they come to understand the importance of revision. They learn that authors create many drafts of their work, and benefit from reflection and feedback from others.
Many children will be able to apply this positive experience when they workshop their own writing with peers in the classroom, and when they collaborate on projects in the future. Several students mentioned that they are authors, themselves, and BJ kindly acknowledged and honored this.
"This is a funny book!" and "This is hilarious!" were common responses as he shared his thoughts with children. Center kids eagerly shared their thoughts, and gave BJ the constructive criticism he requested. He asked what they liked about each story, and what they would change to make it better. It was lovely to hear a group of third graders discuss the importance of being kind when delivering constructive criticism, showing our core values at work!
Not all students in these grades had an opportunity to visit with BJ, but when he returns next time these students will get the chance to work with him! He is working on several new books and will continue to seek feedback as his stories develop.
Thank you to Librarian Lucy Rafael for sharing this story with us.