I spent two days at Ghyllgrove Junior School, Basildon last week. I go there three days in every term to work with a group of year sixes.
The children we work with are called the Football Writers.
Sixteen girls and boys.
Last year’s group wrote a short novel together.
This year the children want to script, plan and produce a book trailer for one of my books. We chose my forthcoming fifth Foul Play book, Own Goal, which is out in May 2011.
That gives us a deadline.
We started by looking at book trailers on YouTube. Charlie Higson’s The Enemy. The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney. And another couple.
The first thing that struck me was that, as soon as the kids saw the trailer, they wanted to read the book. It showed the power of book trailers, I suppose.
During the first day we created storyboards of the book trailers we’d seen to help us design one for my book.
Then the children looked at a guide to making short films, seeing all the different jobs there are to do: producer, director, location manager, etc. After reading that through they all chose two jobs they’d like and wrote a letter to me saying what job they wanted, why and what made them a good person for the job.
Next – in my absence – they are going to read the book.
Then we will work together in November on how to create a compelling trailer.
I love working with the Football Writers. Each year we find new ways to read and write about football – and get the children into books. I learn so much working with them and I feed that into the work I do in schools the rest of the year.
After all that we took to the fields at the back. Eight-a-side. It was tight and tense, even interrupted by a fire drill, but my team went on to win 1-0.