Corinne Fenton Author School Visit – St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School – Chelsea
On Monday I had the privilege of sharing my craft and books, face-to-face with students at a Melbourne school. Although I’d presented to students in country areas in Victoria and New South Wales in the last few months, and shared sessions on Zoom and other video conferencing tools, because of Covid it’s been a while since I’ve actually presented physically in a Melbourne class room – and it was wonderful.
I’ve visited St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Chelsea a number of times over the years and I’ve always been greeted with friendliness and warmth from both the teachers and students. This visit was no exception. I talked to the students about many of my books, concentrating mainly, for this visit, on To the Bridge, illustrated by Andrew McLean and published by Walker Books Australia.
As my audience was four classes of Years 3 and 4 students, many of them are nine year olds, exactly the age of Lennie and Ginger Mick when they began their journey from Leongatha to see the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932. I shared a powerpoint about the research of the book and also folios of sketches and artwork by Andrew, including a handout of drawings and a guide of Lennie’s Tin Boat for students to make with cardboard and foil.
I answered a field of terrific questions and we all had a great time. We talked a lot about how stories begin and the students were able to leaf through my folios gaining a sense of the writing and publishing process. I explained that sometimes stories begin on scraps of paper. It was wonderful to be out in the classroom once again.
There are detailed Teacher’s Notes on the Walker Books Australia website, if you’d like to know more about To the Bridge:
There’s also a terrific section on the Book Illustrated website called Stories About Stories which gives the background on the writing and illustrating of this book: