High Park Day School’s Second Annual Book Week has been a major success, and a huge leap forward from last year’s humble (but still amazing) beginnings!

On Monday, guest speaker Marion Gadsby visited the school to talk about co-authoring a science text book! Not only did students learn about her innovative teaching methods (which ultimately lead to the necessity of writing a new science text book), they also learned about copyright laws in Canada and the benefits of working with a partner to write a book! As an added bonus, Mrs.Gadsby brought some hands-on science tools for students to experiment with.

On Tuesday, another guest visited the school: illustrator Matt Cassan! Having worked in illustration and character design for years, Mr.Cassan shared his passion and knowledge of drawing by teaching the students how to capture emotions when drawing characters of their own. Students volunteered to model different expressions while the rest of the class noted changes to key features of the face: eyebrows, eyes and mouth. Mr.Cassan also left students a series of handouts to help them with their future illustration endeavours!

On Thursday, author Marcela Durán visited the school to share her experience writing the story Jason, a true story of her family’s beginnings in Toronto! The students learned about Marcela’s method as an author, how she chose and worked with illustrator Jillian Lim, and in general, her passion to share stories that include diverse cultural experiences. As a surprise and true honour, Marcela gifted the school two signed copies of her book!

On Friday, film maker Mark Johnston visited to talk about how story telling can translate into visual media. The students were full of incredible questions for Mark, who happily indulged by sharing his experience in filming a particular documentary about Mount Everest. Additionally, the students learned about Mark’s methods, from being inspired by a story, to writing an overview of the film, to actually pitching the film and putting together a crew.

Mark’s visit rounded off our amazing week of inspiring guest speakers!

Although this blog post covers mainly the visitors of Book Week, the students have also been busy illustrating pages to a whole-school story about a Rabbit and a Lion…come on in and check them out! As you parents also know, Friday was ‘dress as your favourite book character day’ as well, so it was an interesting audience for Mark Johnston to say the least!

A very special thank-you to all the parents who helped us to connect with such great authors/illustrators/documentarians! We really appreciate all of your support in making our Book Week such an incredible experience for the students.

Have a great weekend everyone!