Timeline Project – Alan Woo, our first guest speaker

We have just learned that we will be starting a new project for the rest of the school year – Carl’s last day is Friday June 5 and the project will start after they leave.  The new project is about Timelines!  The criteria gives us guidelines about our finished product but the choice of topic is up to us.  We will be in groups of 3-4 and have different time frames of an overall timeline administrated to each of our group members.  Each group member has to have 10 important dates as part of each time frame.  We have lots of choice about medium and artwork and this will be a great project.

Like when we started our TMIH project, guest speakers will come in again to talk about their personal or passion timelines.  They will inspire us to think of unique ways to approach the topic and to rise to the occasion in our project work.


Yesterday we had the joy of having Alan Woo, children’s author, come and tell us about his personal timeline of becoming a writer.  He did a great job of explaining his journey and how committed you have to be when you are a writer like he is.  Spoiler alert, he wrote a book called “Maggie’s Chopsticks”, which is a book about a young girl who is learning how to use chopsticks. Maggie talks to her family members, and each member has their own attributes and personalities that make up how they use their chopsticks.  For example, the sister uses them elegantly because she is a dancer. Everyone says she’s wrong but she discovers that it’s OK to be diverse and not to be the same as everyone.

Alan was a poet, but after being convinced by his teacher, he entered a contest and wrote a book.  That’s how he became an author.  His book started out as a poem. It was inspired by something that happened in his own childhood. He expresses his emotions when he writes and says that writing creatively about his own experiences was how he found his voice.

It took three years to get the book published, and he, his illustrator and his editor had many compromises and changes of decision to make during that time.  Even though it took three years, he never gave up and he felt good about the experience. He is a very descriptive writer and I hope he prospers and succeeds into the future. He is starting a second book that he plans to call “Chinese Skip” and we hope it will be another great book like “Maggie’s Chopsticks”.

Since he was such a great guest speaker, we are looking forward to the other guest speakers and hearing about their timelines.   He helped us understand how personal and complex people’s timelines can be, and how your own relationships and experiences can turn your work into something spectacular.


by coolschoolscout

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