Archive | February, 2013

Creative Mess

16 Feb
An Untidy Room Suggests a Tidy Mind...

An Untidy Room Suggests a Tidy Mind…

Now I Know How Not to Be a Bully!

16 Feb

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Dear Margaret Shaw-Mackinnon,

Hello, my name is P., and I’m in Mr. Popiel’s class [at] Scott Bateman Middle School. I’m from The Pas, MB. I’m writing to you because we finished The Beech Nut! (HOORAY)!! Thank you for coming to our class. It’s cool that we got an author to come to the class. The book was really good, and now I know how not to be a bully! Thanks!

I really liked the book when Munro, Al, Dean, and Mike did that prank! It was really funny! This book is really good. It’s one of my favorite books! One valuable lesson that I learned is that I really don’t want to be a bully!!! My favorite characters are Munro, Alison, and Mike. I also liked when you drew pictures on the board. My favorite one was Alison’s nightmare because it was scary! (Sort of—ha ha!)

The book was really funny! I learned to be yourself, and don’t let anyone change who you are! I have my own experience with a bully. It’s not fun!

I hoped that you had fun like I did! Bye!

Sincerely,
P.!!

Anti-Bullying Lessons in the Classroom

Anti-Bullying Lessons in the Classroom

December 11, 2012
Dear P.,

Thank you for your letter about my visit to your school and about reading The Beech Nut of Big Water Beach. I was so glad to hear that you finished reading my book! It’s great to reach the end in a book that you enjoy, to find out what happens. I was pleased to hear that you thought the book was good and that you know how not to be a bully. That’s fantastic.

I agree that the prank was very funny. I think that it’s wonderful that The Beech Nut of Big Water Beach is one of your favorite books! Authors love to hear such positive feedback!

I was sorry to hear that you have been bullied, and that it is not fun. As I’ve said to other kids, when bullying doesn’t stop, go to a trusted adult like Mr. Popiel, or like the counselor, Mrs. M. and they can help out!

I did have fun, just like you, in coming to your class. You were all such good listeners, and enthusiastic students, and it was my pleasure to work with you!

Best wishes,
Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon

Harry Styles is not a Character in a Book Called One Direction

12 Feb

Oops!

Dear Margaret Shaw-Mackinnon,

Hi my name is P. C., and I’m [from] Scott Batman Middle School, and I love One Direction so much. My favorite is Harry Styles. I am writing to you about the book and what I like about it, so yeah. Thank you for coming to The Pas and it was nice meeting you. Thank you for a valuable lesson about bullying. I like your drawing and you should make a Part Two. P.S. I found your book. It was wonderful knowing you.

What I like about your visit was you reading to us, and I like The Beech Nut, and it was funny drawing with you. The book was good and awesome. My favorite characters were Jane and Munro. I liked Munro because he is an artist and he loves drawing like I do. And [the reason] I like Jane is because she pretty and she wanted to be nice to Alison or be her friend [even when] Lisa and Becky don’t want to be nice to Alison. A valuable lesson that I learned was about bullying and how it [feels] to people and you should never [bully] because you might be made the victim. The activities you did with the class were drawing, thinking about bullying, or drawing all the characters and what Alison dreamed about. My favorite part of the book was the end because Munro told his friends that he liked Alison, and Al and Jane were together. That was my favorite part.

My feeling about the book was that it was awesome because it was a really good book to read. I would like to read it again. Okay, this is me [about] myself. When I was in grade four, I got bullied by lots of people and teased because…I don’t know why. In grade five I was always alone. I only have like five friends to hang out with but some would ditch me for other people, and yeah, but there was that one friend that would never ditch me and that was Hope but she moved to Millville and she only comes to visit once in a while and thank you for coming to Scott Batman Middle School.

Sincerely, P. C.

December 11, 2012

Dear P. C.,

Thank you for your letter about The Beech Nut of Big Water Beach and my visit to your school! I was interested to learn that you love One Direction. I wasn’t sure what One Direction was so I looked them up on You Tube. I can see why you like them!  Harry Styles is very impressive!

I was so pleased to learn that you thought my book was good and awesome and that you wish I’d write Part Two. Your comments about Jane and Munro were great! I like the way that you noticed that Jane was not only pretty, but she was also nice in sticking up for Alison—unlike Lisa and Becky. I agree that a good part of the book is when Munro admits he likes Alison, and Al and Jane get together.

I’m so happy that you would like to read it again! You definitely should, maybe just before the summer.  I was sorry to hear that you were bullied in grade four, and that in grade five you were always alone. I was sad to learn that Hope moved to Millville and can only visit sometimes. My advice to any kids who feel lonely is to go ahead and talk to the counselor in your school. I stayed in a cottage beside her home at Clearwater Lake, when I was in The Pas, and she’s really nice! I know she’d give any kid who came to see her good ideas for getting more friends together—and good ways to do it.

All best wishes,

Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon

Musings

8 Feb
In the Deep Silence

In the Deep Silence

Musings

7 Feb
Ephemeral as Fireflies

Ephemeral as Fireflies

Another Thoughtful Student Letter

5 Feb
Munro, The Beech Nut, Alison, Al, Mike, Dean

Munro, The Beech Nut, Alison, Al, Mike, Dean

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dear Margaret Shaw-Mackinnon,

Hi, my name is R. and I’m from Scott Bateman Middle School in Mr. Popiel’s class. I’m writing you a letter to you because I wanted to thank you from coming into our class and teaching us a valuable lesson about bullying. Also I wanted to tell you that we finished The Beech Nut book!!!! I really liked it and what it’s about!

I really liked your visit with us because you read to us and gave us activities to do. I really liked how you taught us a valuable lesson on bullying and why we shouldn’t be a bully and I also really liked the Beech Nut book!! I really liked the book! It’s about friends lying to each other because they think they won’t accept them but they do accept them for who they are! My favorite character is Alison because when Munro bullied her, she just stuck up for herself. My favorite part of the book is around the end when everyone becomes friends with Alison and The Beech Nut.

I really liked how the book told me just to be myself, regardless of what other people think, and don’t be a bully. You shouldn’t hurt other people’s feeling just because your feelings are hurt by someone else. I was bullied before and it really hurt. They called me names and talked about me behind my back. Soon she stopped and apologized and we became good friends. So again, I just wanted to thank you for writing an awesome story and coming to our class.

Sincerely,
R.

December 11, 2012
Dear R.,

Thank you for your kind letter about my visit to Scott Bateman Middle School and about your enjoyment in reading The Beech Nut of Big Water Beach. I’m glad you liked being read to, and that you liked the activities.

Jane, Lisa, Becky, Jack, Mr. McLean, Nicholas, Mrs. McLean

Jane, Lisa, Becky, Jack, Mr. McLean, Nicholas, Mrs. McLean

I was so pleased that you liked Alison, and noticed how she stuck up for herself. She has a lot of courage! I like the ending too, where everyone becomes friends with the Beech Nut and Alison.

You really understood the book very well, that we shouldn’t bully and we should be ourselves. It is difficult not to try to hurt others when they hurt us, but you are right, if we don’t hurt anyone, then the pattern of bullying gets broken. Also, when we get help from caring adults, we can help the bully and the person who is getting bullied. I was so sorry to hear that you were bullied and called names behind your back. How wonderful that the girl who was bullying stopped and apologized and that you became good friends! If the bullying ever happens again, you know that it’s best to try to get help with it and keep trying, for the good of all!

All the best,
Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon