Morris Gleitzman visited SIDE this week as part of our Authors Online program. Morris is the current Australian Children’s Laureate, and spoke to SIDE students in Years 5 to 10 about his writing using our new web conferencing platform, Webex.
Morris is one of Australia’s most prolific and well-known writers, and his works are a favourite for lending from the SIDE Library Resource Centre. It was an honour to have him in the school presenting to our regional and remote students. Students who were on-site on the day were also able to participate in the secondary session in the SIDE Theatrette.
During his online sessions Morris spoke passionately about his writing and shared some of the inspiration for his 41 published books.
His session with Year 5 and 6 students focused on the way in which writers engage their audience. He let students in on ‘the secret’ of writing a good story to involve the reader with characters, events and the theme of the story.
Secondary students and staff reflected on the sensitivity with which Morris spoke about his Once series of books about Felix, a Jewish boy and his survival in Poland during World War II.
Students Hemi and Hiermaru from Pannawonica described how they had read his books and liked them. Fortunately, they were in Perth to see teachers and were able to come to SIDE to see Morris in person. Likewise, travellers Kayla and her brother Owen were also able to attend the sessions while they were visiting Perth. While waiting to see teachers they caught up with Morris between sessions.
Thanks to all the students who participated in Webex and contributed to the discussions. Our thanks also to Westbooks who brought Morris to Western Australia and made his time available. Most of all, thanks to Morris Gleitzman himself. We were privileged to have this great Australian visit us and work with our students.