It’s been a few weeks since ‘team jett’ visited Bourke Street Public School during literacy week, however the thought of that day still has us buzzing.
Now, between the two of us (ok yes, team jett consists of merely two), we’ve done our fair share of public speaking and presentations. Heck, one of us even dressed up as Ali G to present a TV ad idea to the head of KFC. But this was different. We were about to face our most daunting audience of all.
Hundreds. Of. Kids.
The first session (yes, we were asked to do two 45 minute sessions!) began with the year k students entering the room in an orderly fashion. This was not the school behaviour I remembered. They sat in rows, a sea, ok a pond, of blue and yellow. Just from a quick glance around the room you could only marvel at the multicultural nature of this group. Well done Australia.
We began by reading them Jett Goes to Los Angeles and they listened patiently. And when we asked questions hands shot into the air like firecrackers. This was the first time we had seen an immediate reaction to our books from a group of kids. It was an incredible feeling to be honest. To see the kids enthusiastic about the story, the characters, the information being communicated.
We then read Jett Goes to Sydney, and at the conclusion we gave them a quiz. Some of the answers were right, some were so wrong that we did our open-mouthed ‘shocked’ faces that elicited laughter. Now we were motoring. As we do, we began to rev the kids up just in time for their teachers to take them back to their classrooms. They must have been so pleased with us!
After a 10 minute break the second session began. Around 100 kids from year 1, 2 and 3 sat in slightly messy rows. For some reason they wanted to be as close to the action as possible. Again we took note of the different cultural backgrounds we saw before us and so we began asking the kids who knew how to say hello in a foreign language.
So. Many. Hands.
Hellos were blurted out in Korean, Japanese, Fijian, Spanish…the list really does go on. Again, nice one Australia.
Before we dove into the London book, we focused on the humungous world map we projected onto the wall; the same map that’s found inside the front cover of every book. We got volunteers to show us where London was on the map, as well as some other major cities of the world. We looked at the surrounding oceans and seas and generally had a good ol’ chin wag about geography.
Reading through Jett Goes to London, followed by Jett Goes to Paris, went better than expected. We read a few pages, then we had some students come up and do some reading. Prizes were Jett stickers and the kids seemed to love them.
As a finale (it was a performance after all!), we brought three volunteers onto the stage to tell us where they’d like to see Jett go next and why. The first girl suggested Mexico ( ok, it’s not a city but we let it go), the second boy suggested Buenos Aires and the third girl suggested Africa ( I know, a continent, not a city). Their reasons were well articulated and sensible (and some were a little strange too). The winner was chosen by the loudest clapping around the room. But, in our eyes they were all winners and so they all received a Jett book signed by its uber famous authors.
Thank you Bourke Street Public. We had a blast.
Pssst! Would you like Jett Around the World to come to your school? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and availability.