Who knew that being attacked by zombies and holed up in the Library results in research, planning and writing outcomes for students?
On Friday 9 November, the township of Tullamore awoke to an eerie silence. On a visit to the Library, tweens and teens in Year 4-11 from Tullamore Central School discovered it had been trashed, and soon after had to lock themselves in as zombies tried to break down the doors to feast on their young, creative brains.
It was those brains, however, that enabled the students to research and plan ways to survive the zombie attack and make it back to the safe haven of school.
This was all the brainchild of British educator Dr Matthew Finch, who travels the world promoting reading and writing and his belief in ‘occupying literacy’. Matt develops exciting events to encourage students to write so that writing is an integral and enjoyable part of an experience, not something separate and irrelevant to their lives. He also encourages participation by the community, an essential part of making literacy projects sustainable in the long term.
On Friday, I joined a band of enthusiatic Tullamore ladies and Tracie Mauro in dressing and acting like zombies to create a memorable writing experience for the students. It was an exhausting day for all volunteers, who discovered the true talent needed for ‘method acting’, even as characters whose deepest thoughts were “Aaaarrgh!”
You can hear and interview with Tullamore Central School Principal Sandra Carter and ABC Local Radio on the Parkes High School Website (because I can’t upload MP3 files here)