Hooray! I have officially finished draft zero of book 4 in the Takeshita Demons series…YAY! (And thanks to Shirley Marr for the concept of a draft zero – the draft so drafty it doesn’t even count as a first draft)
– I am off to Dongara for an authory visit…hooray! Really looking forward to meeting everyone and have some fun activities planned. (It’ll be a 3-day visit counting travel time, so THANKS to hubby and toddler for manning the deck while I’m away xxx)
Even better, Meet the Authors will be preceded by a Japanese cultural presentation at 3pm by two visiting university interns from Hyogo Prefecture. The workshop fee includes all sessions and I can totally recommend them: they’re fun and interesting and if you love Japan, you’ll feel right at home.
A number of links are listed below for your reference to learn more about the disaster and the response of the Japanese people. This is a small selection of the resources that are being gathered to help you to engage and inspire your students.
• Hope Letters: Hope Letters aims to deliver letters of hope from all over the world to communities affected by devastation in Japan. Volunteers will translate letters and deliver them in a manner that limits burden on resources and infrastructures devoted to disaster relief. Through technology, Hope Letters aims for each letter to be read by multiple readers and to be preserved for future generations.
• Pray for Japan: this website has a fabulous selection of posters created by Japanese children and
children from around the world with encouraging words.
This workshop was part of ongoing work by Ms Yuko Fujimitsu, Japanese Language Advisor for the Department of Education as part of the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP).
And while we’re sharing ideas on teaching resources, the following is a news clipping from the West Australian that celebrates some of the work of some students and teachers of Japanese in Perth: Well done everybody!
Me causing chaos at the Hyogo Centre…the students are inventing some awesome monsters!
I’m just back from a terrific conference with the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators. It was great!!
I am all inspired and fired up to start work on ideas for a Takeshita Demons book 5 (and I think book 4 is nearly ready to start writing!)
If you’re looking for inspiration for your own writing, or you want a fun activity for teaching Japanese language or creative writing, check out the new Monster Self Introductions activity on my website.
We gave it a try with some Year 9s at the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre last week and they came up with some super scary (sometimes hilarious) monsters. Well done guys!!!
The Hyogo Centre’s Melissa Luyke with professional actor Shingo Usami in disguise as a tanuki.
Creative language teaching ideas
Today I was at the Hyogo Prefectural Cultural Government Centre as part of a series of workshops organised by Ms Yuko Fujimitsu, Japanese Language Advisor for the Department of Education as part of the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP).
We worked with Year 9 students from three schools (including my own school, Leeming Senior High School!) and spent the entire day in a Japanese environment…
…speaking Japanese, eating Japanese, thinking about Japanese geography and culture.
Yokai wall of fame
And that’s where I was lucky enough to come in, because a big part of Japan’s culture is its mythology, history and folklore, showcased very nicely in some of Japan’s ghost stories and yokai tales.
Language learning through art, literature and drama
There was a big emphasis on new or different teaching techniques and ideas for introducing ordinary grammar into the classroom.
The day’s activities included:
Tanukis love to use their large bellies as drums. I’m using mine to grow a baby, but still, Tanuki Shingo’s belly is bigger!
– watching GeGeGe no Kitaro (perhaps the most famous yokai in the world) fight the awesome gyuuki (or ushi-oni).
– folding and pinning origami leaves onto a money tree (for donation to the Pray for Japan cause),
– language learning through drama (led by actor Shingo Usami), art (using the Art Speaks Japanese language resource kit put out by the Japan Foundation Sydney), and literature (me and some of the Takeshita Demons)
– Japanese story-telling and song-singing
– Lots of practise in listening and speaking Japanese, especially when it came to lunchtime (no polite request for a bento box lunch in Japanese = no bento box lunch!)
It was a great day and we have more schools coming tomorrow…
GREAT NEWS #2: I’m performing at the Perth Writer’s Festival on Family Day: YAY! More details soon…
GREAT NEWS #3: I’m also appearing at the 2011 All Saint’s College Literature Festival. YAY!
GREAT NEWS #4: I’m getting heaps of fan mail from readers who love Takeshita Demons AND those with advance copies of Filth Licker…YAY!!
GREAT NEWS #5: I’m totally booked out for Children’s Book Week 2011 (in August!)…and there are more bookings coming for school hols YAY!
GREAT NEWS #6: I’ve had some great ideas for finishing off Monster Matsuri (Takeshita Demons book 3) and that will be rip roaring to my editor by year end
GREAT NEWS #7: The first review of Filth Licker is up: “some shocking twists and a fantastically involving story…” YAY!
GREAT NEWS #8: I spoke to a group of Year 9s and 10s at the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre last week about Japanese yokai, mythology, history and how it informed and inspired Takeshita Demons. They were a great group and we had lots of laughs. Plus I got to eat proper Japanese bakery goods AND a scrummy bento. YUM!
So all-in-all a terrific few weeks…Super busy! And this week is the SCBWI WA Christmas Party too, so everything is happening at once. I *LOVE* hanging out with other people who love childrens books!
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