Elementary school literary lessons come in all forms, but it’s not every day that students get writing tips from a professional author. That’s what happened on January 31 when students at Stephen Foster Elementary School 67 got a special visit from renowned children’s author John David Anderson. Anderson was part of the Indiana Humanities Novel Conversations Speakers Program. School 67 was one of 20 organizations awarded the opportunity to host a special author.

Anderson’s presentation focused on 3rd through 5th grades discussing why writers write, how they find their inspiration and the process of organizing their thoughts on paper. Anderson is known for several books popular with young readers, including Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, Posted, Sidekicked, Standard Hero Behavior (a Young Hoosier Book) and several others. His latest book, Granted, is available February 13. 

Students in 6th grade participated in a Writers Workshop led by Anderson and were challenged to come up with a “hook” to draw readers into their own stories. Then, they had a chance to practice writing and share their work.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the excitement and enthusiasm this event fostered in our students,” said Media Specialist Tammy Kuhn. “It is my hope that the time our students spent with Mr. Anderson inspires them to use their imaginations and hone their literacy skills to become lifelong heroes of their own narratives.”

The Novel Conversations Speakers Program is made possible by a grant from the Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation. The program assists nonprofits that want to host a speaker from the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, a program of the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.