Where Words and Pictures Party

Teaching Tip

Added on by Jonathan O'Briant.

Over the past few weeks the principal and librarian have sent a couple older students to my classroom with stories they had written. One was a short fantasy tale of a knight vanquishing a dragon. It had a terrific, detailed pencil and marker drawing of a dragon that was glued to the side of the story. Very artfully done. The other was a 30 some page illustrated fanfic of the ever popular Fly Guy by Ted Arnold.


They both came to me with such excitement and reverence. We talked about story composition. Where ideas and inspiration come from. How to get books published, and how to get better at drawing. Lots of good questions that they could only half listen to, for all the pounding excitement in their heads.

It wasn't the particular answers those kids needed. And it wasn't even me repeating how important it is to practice their reading and writing. What I gave those students was validation. A grown up was there to acknowledge them, not as students, not as kids. As authors. As artists. An 'expert' in the field was giving them one on one time to talk about their creative process with a creative person.

They've read my book. They wrote their own, and got to come share it with me. I hope this is a moment they look back on fondly and remember. Those guys have really touched me.