So, you want to teach your class (or small group) of Key Stage Two (or Three) pupils how to write choice-based fiction? You want to motivate them, allow them to identify as authors and to have ownership of their own stories? Well of course you do – that’s what all great teachers of English do!
Now a handy teacher’s book including over fifty pages of photocopiable resources, plans and schemes can help you do it. And I wrote it for you.
I’ll have a few copies at each of my Steam Highwayman events in the next month if you’re meeting me in person, but you can also order a copy through Amazon. I have had reports of strange delivery times, but don’t be worried by these – this is usual with new print-on-demand publications for the first few sales. None are actually printed until an order is made, but it usually takes 5 days for my printer and distributor to print and ship, and then they’re in the post on their way towards you.
You can find out more about the project, and the workshops I offer to Primary Schools in the London Area, here.
Take a look at this front cover, designed for me by Cheryl Adamos Noutch, my talented wife. What a nice piece of work it is – I can’t wait to see this glossy and printed on the front of my new book, Write Your Own Adventure: Choice-Based Fiction in Schools. My files are in process with the printer: I’ll be ordering the first proofs imminently. Write Your Own Adventure is coming soon – very soon indeed!
If you’d like to see more of Cheryl’s work, have a look at encourageart.co.uk, her website. You can also find her on instagram, where there’s lots more of her luscious, leaf-patterned calligraphy and textured landscapes. And she is available for commissions, illustrations, design and school workshops!
I’ve been busy writing a new book: Write Your Own Adventure – Using Choice-Based Fiction in Schools. It’s intended to be a teaching resource for educators who want to use the power of choice-based adventure stories to create a strong writing culture in their classes, to engage uninterested writers and to broaden children’s experience of writing.
And to change the world.
Maybe not all at once, but incrementally, in the same way that Dave Lowery changed the world when he taught me and my classmates how to write Choose-Your-Own-Adventures at Lynncroft Primary School in 1995. Without his work, there would be no Steam Highwayman, no Words and Ideas nor any Mr Noutch in any of the schools I’ve taught in.
Teaching is a strange profession and at times it can be disappointing to see how pedestrian and predictable teachers are in their methods and philosophy. I think this is essentially due to many of them reproducing their own schooling, which accounts for the inherent conservatism of the educational system as a whole. But, wild-eyed and visionary though I am to many of my colleagues, I’m only trying to build a tower on a foundation that was laid in my own childhood.
Have you read Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed? I think that’s largely to blame for my readiness to accept the responsibility, as a teacher, of changing the world by educating a new generation with a new set of values and interests – not just skills or knowledge. It’s something I’ve played with exploring in fiction elsewhere in my Teacher on Mars novel – unfinished, obviously, or you’d see a banner atop this website urging you to go buy it online and in your local sci-fi section.
But I wish I heard more stories of teachers unafraid to do something different and to actively shape their students’ futures, rather than satisfy themselves doing a job and fulfilling someone else’s requirements, so I guess that producing this book is another part of that.
Finished date? I’m aiming to have it done by Christmas. Buy it for the Literacy Coordinator in your life.