Posted on 05 September 2019
This week author and illustrator Gabrielle Wang visited the Ormiston College Centre of Learning and Innovation to conduct a book talk with Year 5, who will study her novel “The Garden of Empress Cassia” next term.
Gabrielle intrigued us with how her own lived experience created memories, dreams and everyday moments, which have been turned into stories. She encouraged our students to do the same. Often the first idea that comes to mind when we want to write or be creative is simple or ordinary, but with further brainstorming and teasing out an idea it can turn into a whole new world. Gabrielle’s novels are a mix of realism and fantasy; Year 5 got to channel some of this fantasy by creating a mythical Chinese creature, the qilin.
Some students from Years 3 to 6 also got to participate in a writing workshop with Gabrielle, where she delved further into her writing process. She edited her first novel 64 times, which shows incredible perseverance and resilience – as well the fact that the editing process is just as important as the writing itself. By starting with a stimulus “I remember when…” our students swapped memories and used their imagination to extend someone else’s idea. Things got tricky when extra words had to be added, like ‘chocolate soufflé’ and ‘explosion’, which resulted in some hilarious stories being written.
If students would like their own copy of one of Gabrielle Wang’s books, use the following link here to order. We have some signed nameplates which can be added to the books once the order arrives.