Our Year 5 classes were privileged to have a wonderful excursion to Perth City to see the Royal de Luxe Giants (gigantic marionettes) walk through Perth. The students followed the Little Girl Giant from Hay Street to Wellington Square where she went to sleep after reading a story. The students were fascinated by the fact that she even snored in her sleep. Mrs Jo Pulsford, one of our Year 5 teachers had arranged an interview with Dianne Wolfer, author of the Lighthouse Girl, the students and the West Australian. The Girl Giant was inspired by a character from this story. See Dianne Wolfer’s blog about Day 1 of the Giants visit and meeting our students: http://diannewolfer.com/2015/02/21/inspiring-giants-day-one/
Dianne Wolfer then came on a school visit to Kingsway the following week and met both the Year 5 and Year 6 classes. The students were extremely excited to meet the author of The Lighthouse Girl. Everyone had questions and wanted her signature and Dianne made time for them all, signing books and giving everyone an autographed bookmark!
Dianne shared how she worked through the story writing process and that it took several years to write The Lighthouse Girl. She explained what it was like to work with illustrators and editors and gave the students some insight into what it takes to be an author. The good bits, researching, and the hard bits, editing and drafting at the computer. Finally she talked the students through writing historical postcards based on World War 1, similar to those they had seen in the book.
The students are studying historical narratives in English and with the Gallipoli ANZAC centenary coming up, we wanted to engage them with relevant stories to help them appreciate the significance of the event. We were really lucky to be able to get Dianne to come and share her experiences so shortly after the Giants weekend in Perth. The students left her talk hugging their freshly signed books to their chest and eyes wide with inspiration for their next story, a historical narrative!