A writer at school helps to get children excited about reading and writing. I like to be in front of the class, but I also perform in libraries and at teacher's evenings in bookshops. Do you want to know what to expect from me? Keep on reading or go to the contact form below.
I have been performing for all grades of primary school for years. Sometimes I give writing lessons, sometimes I tell something about how you actually make a book, and I sit in the circle with the very youngest to read. I adapt to what I encounter and I try to win all children over to writing and reading because I know how important that is. You need words to understand the world. You also learn words on game channels and TikTok, but not as much as through a book and, moreover, a book stimulates your imagination and creativity in a completely different way. If children enjoy reading, they learn through play. But how do you achieve that? By making them laugh, by having fun together while reading, and by letting them think a little about what they just heard. Because of course it has to be about something. And of course it helps if they are presented with all that on a tray by a real writer.
In grade 3, 4, and 5 (Dutch system), I use my books about Lotte and Roos for the lessons. From grade 5 I choose The King of the Flat and for grades 7 and 8 I use Umbrador. My lessons are interactive. That goes without saying, but sometimes something is prepared in consultation. I talk to kids about fantasy, and how they have it naturally, just like creativity. I let them tell stories from their own lives and explain how you can make something special out of it with a little twist. Sometimes we also talk about the topics covered in the books, such as teasing or being teased, moving and starting over, the relationship between siblings or discrimination (a theme in The King of the Flat).
There are schools I work with for a longer period. Often I teach two classes or I come back a few more times. Then I have the opportunity to give attention to all children. Every child likes to feel seen and heard. There is room for that, and that's nice. This can happen in all sorts of ways. For example, I organize a writing contest. First I explain to the children how to write a story. Because there are tricks for that; useful ways to put your imagination to work. Usually they are so enthusiastic that they want to start writing immediately after class. Of course, a real competition also includes a real winner, but I try to make sure that everyone is satisfied afterwards and goes home inspired.