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A note TO TEACHERS from the editors

Annual 2 is packed with imaginative writing and art for New Zealand kids. It’s unmissable. (We can say this because we’re just the midwives.)
These babies were coaxed out of New Zealand’s best writers and illustrators (extended metaphor, see chapter 4), and now we want them to reach as many readers as possible, including yours. 

This annual is all about reading for pleasure. Like its predecessor (Annual), we think of it as the School Journal unplugged: a treasury of writing forms that offers substance, hilarity, and adventurous extension. Middle readers have endless hours to read, and ripe brains. We hope this will be a book they return to over and over, always finding something new.

But we also believe Annual 2 offers something more: the possibility of turning readers into writers, and these teacher notes show how this might be done. They encourage students to read text closely and to examine in detail how writers generate ideas, shape their texts, and play with words.

All writers are firstly hungry readers. That’s how they become writers – by building vocabulary, by absorbing story architecture, by appreciating the complexities of character, by noticing the shape and rhythm of sentences and the music of dialogue. And reading all kinds of texts – stories, poems, screenplays, non-fiction – accustoms young writers to the mechanics of different forms, which in turn offers more possibilities.

The content in Annual 2 may stir a student’s hidden or less-confident writing self. There are short, heightened pieces of memoir; stories told through email and dialogue. There are comics, interviews, and even notices! We want imaginative writing in the classroom to be as pleasurable as reading. It should be an exploration and an adventure, bouncing students out of their usual furrows to take them somewhere new and surprising.

We hope you’ll think of Annual 2 as a repository of first-class writing templates. They are models that students can firstly enjoy, then borrow from wholesale for unfettered experimentation. All writers and artists stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Inspiration and imitation are first cousins – so steal away! 

Warm wishes to all teachers and students,

Susan Paris and Kate De Goldi