How to use an Author Visit: Peter Bently
In this step-by-step guide Donna Bullivant describes how her class went about using an author session in the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour with Peter Bently as a stimulus for learning across the curriculum. They integrated the session into their learning context for the term which was Farming as a way of engaging children with Farmer Clegg's Night Out and to promote reading.
Step 1: Read
We contacted the local library to ask if Peter Bently books were available for learners to borrow. This provided the opportunity for learners to visit the local library - one of the children brought in one of Peter's Books which she had borrowed to share with the class. Encouraging learners to visit the library helped develop links with the local village library.
Step 2: Share
Prior to the session Parents/Carers had an opportunity to read the book during the Family Time session and were informed about the forthcoming author session and a background to Peter. Visitors also found out about the opportunity to purchase books during the session to develop a reading culture at home. As part of reading promotion, learners and visitors collaborated to complete a selection of reading activities based on the Farmer Clegg story which will be discussed in step 3.
Step 3: Create
* Character profiles of favourite characters/animals from the story
* Promotional posters to advertise the Tractor Factor contestants
* Bookmarks linked to the story
* A vocabulary/word hunt to find words to describe each of the contestants in the Tractor Factor
Step 4: Display
All the work produced before the visit was displayed on the corridor wall, children were able to vote for their favourite act using the promotional posters displayed. Children have since reflected on the session and have written comments to display on the wall alongside photographs taken during the session. This draws attention in the wider school community to the work carried out in the individual classroom and also showcases the excellent individual work of the pupils.
Step 5: Inspire
The author visit was really motivating for our pupils - when Scottish Book Trust left we had our weekly Literary Circle session. During the session we were able to talk about what we were reading and discuss how Peter had said a lot of his inspiration came from reading. This helped learners to make links with their reading focus and a 'real author'.
If you are interested in using Donna's experience as a stimulus for your own projects why not have a look at our Learning Resources for some excellent ideas to get your creative juices flowing in the classroom!
Donna Bullivant is the Primary 3 teacher at Cowie Primary School, Stirling. She produced this work in preparation for the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour with Peter Bently.