Dear Mr. Walliams...

Scottish Book Trust’s Authors Live events are a great opportunity to get your class excited about books and writing, and with our Roald Dahl Celebration event fast approaching, now’s a good time to gather ideas!

Below, SBT’s Chris Leslie shares a great idea from a teacher at Easdale Primary school, which can be applied to any event!

Our free Authors Live events have been the spur for some amazing work from schools: whole school author celebrations, illustration workshops and James Bond-themed literacy evenings, to name but a few.

In May, we broadcast our live event with David Walliams, and teacher Mairi Livingstone from Easdale Primary watched the event with her pupils. The class was already familiar with David’s books, having chosen David as the focal point of a whole school event celebrating World Book Day earlier in the year. They heard David mention that he was writing a new book, and an idea began to form...

The class decided to create characters to pitch to David for his new book. After looking at some of the personalities in David’s books and picking out key characteristics, the class made their notes and came up with a collection of characters, ranging from champion boxers to magic shop owners. Click here to download the full list of the class’ creations!

Mairi told us that the task really engaged reluctant writers, with one such pupil producing more in the task than some of the most able writers in the class.

Our next Authors Live event is a celebration of the life and work of Roald Dahl. If you want to get your class involved, we have a free teaching resource with some ideas to get you started. If you like the thought of creating a marketing campaign to sell some Marvellous Medicine, designing a Witch Awareness website or creating a criminal line up of big unfriendly giants, the resources are the place to go!

In other news, National Poetry Day is coming up on 4th October, and the Scottish Poetry Library is running some great CPD to help you make the most of the day.

The CPD session is entitled Stars and is open to teachers, librarians, literacy coordinators, subject leaders and learning assistants. Poet and teacher Liz Niven will provide a host of teaching ideas and inspiration for you to get your teeth into!

Click here to find out more about this great opportunity. SPL also has a great range of free resources to help you introduce pupils to the delights of a good poem!

Finally, we now have teaching resources available for this year’s Scottish Children’s Book Awards. This year, the three books in each category are combined into one resource, and there is much more emphasis on comparing and contrasting. The resources aim to encourage enjoyment and choice, and to help you integrate the awards seamlessly into the curriculum.