The Utopian Journey

A few years ago now, Judy O’Connell ran a project called ‘A book in a day”. It was one of those innovation ideas Jude magics up. A year later I helped Jeff Agamenoni with a similar book project in his Great Falls Gifted and Talented Class. It was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done to be honest, and Jeff’s ability to enthuse and motivate his kids should not be under-estimated.

Next, I highly recommend you check out the work of Martin Jorgensen. We used his Lightning Bug site to help the kids develop all sorts of writing, gradually encouraging them to write more and more around the topic theme – Utopia, where the kids studied Animal Farm. In the two years that passed, Jeff and the kids published their stories online – so parents could order printed copies. These are impressive works, illustrated, typeset and some 10,000 words of imaginative stories based on the themes in Animal Farm. They have been to book signings in the local library, and reported in the local press. These kids are publishers and writers in their own right.

This year Jeff’s taken it to a new level. Tales of Utopia 3 is on iTunes. I highly recommend you shell out the modest charge, and read their work, or use it to think about how you can get past the assessment and into the public sphere. I guess, this shows how it takes a while to go from an idea to a solution, but also how that solution can be adapted almost endlessly.