I love that Amara’s Dad is involved at her school. He works full time so he doesn’t get the opportunity to be there as much as her Mom does but he always takes the day off for special events like the trip to the OC Animal Shelter, The Gold Rush Days and Jog-a-thon — just to name a few. Recently he took the day off to speak to Amara’s class.
I asked Justin how this all came about. According to him, Amara’s teacher had asked him if he would come in and help with a writing project. Most of Amara’s classmates know Mr. Justin and they know that one of his books, Underhouse, is on the shelf in their classroom. Underhouse is not available to the public yet. He has also written 2 other books that are, Dúranaki Chronicles and Quarantine Lost. They are both available to download free at Justin’s site. As long as we are bragging about Justin let me just mention he is also an inventor on 4 patents.
Back to his visit to Amara’s class… He suggested making a parody musical of their play. Mrs. S’s class always does a play each year that ties in with something they are studying. Last year I got to see the 5th grade do The American Revolution and it was amazing. I can’t wait to see what she has planned for this year. But back to Justin, she already had fixed plans for the play. Instead, she suggested they work on Fractured Fairy Tales. They would be short parodies that the students would write and then perform.
According to Justin he spent about a half hour in the class giving a presentation to the students titled “So You Want to be a Writer”. He even created a 23-slide power point presentation. This is my favorite slide!
A month later, Justin took another day off and I went with him and Jenna to watch Amara’s table and a couple of others perform their Fractured Fairy Tales for some of the younger grades. I think I enjoyed watching it as much as the students did. My face hurt from smiling.
Since I had asked Justin about this project, I decided to ask Amara about it, too. I wanted to get her perspective on the whole thing. She said that Mrs. S had asked Daddy to come in and talk to them about “being more creative in their writing”. After he left each table (which is 5 students) picked a fairy tale to write a short parody they would act out. Her table had wanted to do Red Riding Hood but “another table got it first” so they were doing Jack in the Bean Stalk. They spent the first week coming up with ideas. They spent the second week writing their scripts, which “the whole table had to agree on” and apparently, that wasn’t always easy! Week 3, they practiced and made signup sheets so that the other teachers could sign up and the different groups would come and do their skit for their class. After each performance there was even a Q&A. Amara’s table began by explaining to their audience that they had to use a stand in as “Jack” had gone home sick! They were still great.
I am such a lucky Grandma to get to be part of all of this.