FableVision Learning founder, Peter H. Reynolds has been chosen to be this year’s author study for Global Read Aloud (#GRA14) which is spans from Oct 6- Nov 14. This project, founded by Pernille Ripp, was created in 2010 with the goal to use one book to connect children around the world, similar to International Dot Day inspired by Peter’s book The Dot. In just four years, Global Read Aloud has made over 500,000 connections in 60 different countries.
In addition to choosing a single book to dig into, Global Read Aloud also selects one author each year for participants to study. Peter received news earlier this year that he had been chosen for the GRA Author Study. "I was thrilled to have been chosen. It is quite an honor, but for me it was exciting to think that this was a way for the messages in my books to reach more children, teachers and families. Having teachers help students really do a "deep dive" into my work and explore the big ideas, reflect, think, share and create is... well, a wow. My hope is that the experience inspires students to never give up on their own creative journeys. I wish that for their teachers too."
Peter's books being studied include The North Star, The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, and I'm Here. It also includes a collaboration with his twin brother, Paul called Going Places.
"Educators understand the power of learning through storytelling." shared Peter. "They also get that reading a story aloud is MUCH more than reading it verbatim. It is the questions peppered along the way, the pause to check for understanding, the invitation to chant a chorus, or to look more closely at the art for deeper appreciation of the story. It is also not just what happens DURING the read aloud, but what happens after. Great teachers know how to riff on a story with hands-on, minds-on creative extension activities."
One of the thousands of GRA14 inspired projects is this delightful film, "Ish Drawings" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1zCC7IGfSA) created by classroom teacher, Rachel Hyland from Coppell, Texas.
Many of Peter’s own teachers helped him extend the learning "beyond the book." His 7th grade math teacher, noticing Peter's penchant for drawing and storytelling, suggested Peter try using his talents to teach math. Peter made a comic book which Mr. Matson pointed out was also called a storyboard- adding that a storyboard is a tool that filmmakers use to plan out their films. Peter took his cue and made his very first animated film at age twelve!
"That experience inspired me to keep going – to see how I could use my energy and skills to teach, to inspire, to make the world a better place. I can trace it all back to a teacher who took the time to "connect the dots" with me in a creative way. He changed my life. Today, my company, FableVision uses media, story, and technology to inspire, inform and teach. I guess it's not surprising that I developed animation software for "kids like me." Amazing to think my teacher could see a glimpse into my future way back in 1973."
He enjoys sharing that story and message to remind all educators to appreciate the impact that they are having on their own students.
“I am optimistic about a future where all children are encouraged to navigate their true potential. We have to be creative in the ways we reach all learners — to help them find their voice, be brave about expressing it, and be inspired to use their gifts to ‘make their mark.’”
GRA has made a recommended schedule for when to read Peter’s books so that schools, classrooms, libraries, and homes around the globe can be "on the same page" during the study: 10/7 Week 1: The North Star 10/14 Week 2: I’m Here 10/21 Week 3: Ish 10/28 Week 4: Sky Color 11/4 Week 5: Going Places 11/11 Week 6: Your Choice!
You can find Peter’s full collection, including books he has illustrated, at his very own bookstore, The Blue Bunny Books and Toy Store in Dedham, Massachusetts. Peter is busy working on several new books and some new software to allow young kids to become engineers, but he still is managing to follow Twitter and social media to keep up the exciting news, questions and photos from GRA participants worldwide.
Click here to share and be connected for GRA. We would love to hear how you are using Peter’s books in your creative classroom — connect with us on Twitter! Also, explore the FableVision Learning site to see Peter's posters and our software designed to support your creativity and literacy mission in your school.