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Archives | Sylvia McNicoll

Memorable Event–Sixth Annual CANSCAIP OLA Booklaunch

I can’t remember having a better time than at this years CANSCAIP Launch. So many different approaches. Some read–authors read beautifully. Some sang–yes authors sing beautifully. Ted Staunton played

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a mean banjo and had the audience clucking and wiggling in their chairs like chickens laying eggs. Spring showed up in full costume and promises to return later. Some of the authors dressed up in crazy hats to help demonstrate Kari-Lynn Winter’s book–all the while I was timing. So much fun watching them try to beat the clock. Next year it might be nice if we didn’t launch on a blizzard day and if more librarians showed up to enjoy the wonderful performance.


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New Writers on the job

Here they are hard at work, creating stories about some strange stuffed animals, most of whom want to go for the gold at the Olympics. I love the Artist in Education Week,( it gives me much more of a closer and longer contact with my readers than an author visit) and it was especially fun at BrierPark School because the teachers and principal understood how much creative writing can contribute to their curriculum. It’s often difficult to convince educators, despite the literacy push, that giving up half a day to writing stories with a professional author can enrich, empower as well as educate the students. If they can reason through the peaks and valleys of a story, thinking about how stuffed crocodiles can practise shotput let’s just say, they will increase their powers of critical thinking for all subjects and for the real problems in their life. And along the way, they’ll also learn some writing technique, practise their computer skills and sure, improve their spelling.

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Brier Park Public School


Forgot to charge and bring my camera or there would be a photo here of some outstanding actors delivering the great lines they wrote today. Two grade five and one grade six class write with me in the morning and in the afternoon. It’s already day three of this Ontario Artist in Education sponsored week. Day three is always dialogue one of my favourite activities. I pair the young writers and they collaborate on one of three scenarios involving (usually) a young person trying to talk an adult into something.

It’s interesting how the parents respond. In these skits they always seem to cave in and the young person wins. Is this wishful thinking or do all adults allow their kids to have dragons and aliens as pets?

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SkyRide in Death on YouTube

Jade only has a week to live or really a week to relive of her previous life. Except she changes everything by committing to a list, essentially a bucket list. On it is skydiving which you can’t do unless you’re 18 and she’s 14. So she goes indoor skydiving at Niagara Falls instead. Yes you have to be 18 to try it without a parent present but even a 7 year old can do it with her parents there. I figure it’s easier to get by the rules with someone else’s ID

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than it would be actually jumping from an airplane. After the “skydive”, Aiden, the boy who will ultimately kill her, suggests the SkyRide.

Well you can research blogs and study advertisement on the ride all you want, you’re never going to feel the experience unless you do it. I would ordinarily never go on the SkyRide because I would expect to feel nauseous. But because of Jade’s list, I went on and it was lovely. Not scary, just a very slow turn up in the sky which gives you yet another view of The Falls.
After the SkyRide, I think I will try the ferris wheel on Centre Island too.
Next Jade’s dad will give her a surprise ride on a hotair balloon. It’s winter, there’s no way I can try it. I’m waiting for a friend to tell me all about her experience this year trying it.

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