“Libraries are filled with authors’ journeys.” This was something that Vermont author Steve Swinburne shared with my students last week. We are so fortunate to have authors like Steve who share those journeys with students!
I’ve said before that Steve’s books prompt the “lean-in” effect when read aloud. He weaves the power of story into all of his books, fiction and nonfiction alike. Even facts have a story to tell! You may read Steve’s thoughts on this yourself on this blog post “How to tell the story of sea turtles?” Seeing him in action, interacting with my students, made me realize that it’s really his words that have that effect, because he completely captivated his audience.
He incorporated movement and music while teaching students about his research and writing process. He encouraged students to think like scientists as he talked about how he researched his books, highlighting Turtle Tide and Sea Turtle Scientist. They were participants, not just listeners.
He left them with five reasons to love nonfiction. My favorite? “You may discover your passion.”
High fives for everyone as they left the library after the presentation left my students feeling connected and kept them thinking as they went through the rest of their day.
The best part of this story is that Steve not only got my students thinking, he motivated them to take action. By the end of the day, I had a teacher telling me to expect persuasive letters from her 3rd graders. They were making the case for CCS to support the conservation efforts of WIDECAST, The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network. Now that’s passion!I met Steve at a conference the following day, and he donated the first dollar toward the students’ efforts.
A huge THANKYOU to our PTO group for making this author visit possible. This event provided the opportunity for an author’s journey to inspire our students’ journeys. I couldn’t make this happen without their continuous support!