Tag Archives: Author-Reading

“Write what you want to write”

Creative minds and lots of potential writers are among our students who got to meet Peter Bently at the beginning of the week. Our guest author came to tell PP through P3 students some of his stories and –  in four individual and age appropriate sessions – a little bit about how stories happen.

With the help of Peter Bently’s professional guidance all students got to create their story character. The older year groups even wrote a 12 section story together and successfully mastered the challenge of writing and illustrating their own picture books in the end. Of course there was time for questions, little chats with the author and Peter Bently signed the little autograph cards many students had prepared in advanced or books they had brought along.

The children will definitely remember what they experienced that day:

  • The title of the book does not necessarily have to be known or chosen before starting to write.
  • As you start writing you might not know the end of your story.
  • While you write your story, you will have more ideas and your story might turn out completely different than you thought.
  • Illustrations can save you words sometimes.
  • Meeting a real author!

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Our young booklovers sure enjoyed and cherished story time with Peter Bently!

Peter Bently on Twitter


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“Horrible” day at ESRM

Students of the English section in year 5 through 8 were invited to the Horrible Science Show with famous Nick Arnold. Many of them had not only read the books from the “Horrible Series”, there were a number of Nick Arnold fans in the audience on 06 April. Some of the L2 students had probably been worrying about attending an English reading that was even about Science. This did not necessarily change when they were greeted by the secondary librarian with the words “This is going to be horrible – and even horrible Science”. It wasn’t for long until they would find out that they were actually up for an entertaining and fun experience of Science being brought to life.

Nick Arnold’s approach to answer scientific questions is most definitely going to stay in the minds of the students. Surface tension, gravity, pulling force, friction and the spitting cobra will for sure ring a bell in future – well, probably followed by a grin or laugh – and who knows if any of the students will ever use “inertia” as explanation for not being able to attend school 😉

Thanks a lot to Nick Arnold for visiting us, for bringing Horrible Science to life and for inspiring to take a deeper look into Sciences and where it happens in every day life. Thanks as well to all the brave, clever volunteers participating during Nick’s Horrible Science Show .

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Kate DiCamillo : An inspiration – not only for young readers


Honestly, we did not hesitate for even a second when Daniela Wind from the German publishing house dtv mentioned the chance of famous author Kate DiCamillo visiting our school. Ever since, we had been in gleeful anticipation, hardly able to believe our luck. Now, after Kate’s visit, there is more than that – and we struggle to find the right words.

Before Kate came to our school she was this famous, successful, award-winning author. Two of her books had even been adapted for the big screen; sort of a Hollywood-Star in the author business. Of course, visiting European School RheinMain did not rewrite history. Having the privilege to listen to Kate we got to know a bit more of her amazing, inspiring and true story: Not having the perfect start with spending half of her childhood sick, she made up her mind to become an author, wrote “Because of Winn-Dixie”, after being rejected from publishers 473 times finally got a “YES” and won the Newberry Medal.

To all of our wonderful students

May you always remember …

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… and get on the train.

To Kate DiCamillo:             capture                                                                         Thank you so much!

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Strange new animal species


Snorse, Gorilladile, Whuppy, …

…. and in between Jane Clarke and our pre-primary and P1 children

Have you ever experienced something that you would dearly like to share but  – no matter how hard you try and think – you just can’t seem to find the words to get it right? Well, this is exactly how I am feeling now, trying to share the special moments our youngest students of the English section experienced earlier this week.

There were some “awwws” and “ohhhs” when the children entered the primary library and noticed that most of the shelves had been moved aside to give room for them to comfortably sit down on floor mats. However, this was just the nice stage for the main attraction: Jane Clarke who brought her picture book “Who woke the baby” to life and the children joining in by yawning like the hippopotamus, roaring like lions and having loads of fun.

Jane Clarke - PP+P1 (3)

And there was more fun to follow! All children created their own species by combining their favourite animal with another animal of their choice. Afterwards they presented their creation, Jane asked them for some imaginary facts on their animals and, without even noticing, the children had made up their own little animal story. At the end it was the children’s turn to ask questions. They were curious about the number of stories Jane had written, where she got her ideas from and they wanted to know her favourite character from her books.

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Thank you Jane, for this wonderful gift to our students:Sharing your stories and adding a copy of “Who woke the baby” to our library’s picture book collection!

Who woke the baby

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Creative writing with Jane Clarke



What a creative group of children our primary student in classes P2EN are!

When Jane Clarke explained the process of making a book she did it in a very special way: By showing her “book of ideas” with the first sketches of her ideas, “black and white rough” of the illustrator and in the end the final result – her book Knight Time“. She also explained the different parties involved in this process – e.g. editor, illustrator, publisher, buyer – pointed out the time this process requires and made the children realize that not every great idea and story would instantly turn into a book, be published and end up for sale in a book store.

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After introducing the children to her ghost writing “Dinosaur Cove” books – which will most probably be on the most wanted book list of some more students by now – time had come for the children to start the process of creating their own dinosaur. Jane Clarke pointed out the unlimited possibitlies of creating a “sillysaurus”, “princesssaurus”, … and set free the enormous creative potential of our young students. After sharing their unique dinosaurs with Jane and their classmates our guest author encourage the children to make their dinosaur come to life by thinking about where it lives, what it eats, how it moves, which noises it makes and so on. The children were as eager to share their dinosaur stories as they had previously been with their dinosaur pictures and just as before, Jane Clarke gently supported the children in developing their ideas further and emphasized on the countless ways a story could develop.

It was a truly inspiring experience for our students!


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“Are you ready for some poetry?”


What would children possibly think of when they hear the word poetry? Probably of meaningful, thoughtful lines that rhyme, written and recited by a man who has seen better years. Poetry – a rather hard thing to do and understand; not too interesting for children!?

Well, those children have not had the chance to meet Keith Tilbury or read his “79 Poems Of Mainly Nonesense” or his “Wozard of Iz”!

When Keith Tilbury visited our primary students in year 3 and 4 you could clearly see that he had the touch for his young audience. Not only did he introduced the children to “The Wozard of Iz” by reading the first chapter but he revealed the hints the names of his main characters gave in regard to their personalities. “Diego Oscuro” (=dark) was the bad guy, brilliant at magic but not a nice person, while “Pancho Tonto” (=silly) was a really nice person but clearly not good at magic. Our guest author also gave an insight on the process of naming the mountain from “mountain of no return” to “Popotoputolu” and asked our students to make up symptoms of the kings fading health the way Keith himself had done after every chapter of “The Wozard of Iz”. Our students exhibit their creative potential and made up symptoms such as “the kings legs turn into hams”, “his eyes turn into tomatoes” or “his mouth turns into a beak”. When Keith Tilbury asked for them to write their own spell – after previously explaining them how he had worked out his spells – some students felt a little hesitant at the beginning but in the end they all enjoyed it and shared their spells with each other. Keith Tilbury rewarded them with a very special treat: He shared some of his new an not yet released poems and asked for the children to rate them.

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Keith Tilbury taught everyone some essentials of writing and poetry, made it lots of fun and his reading was yet another proof that learning and having fun is not a contradiction.

Thank you, Keith!



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Freunde : Ein fröhlicher Start in die Lesungsreihe der Primarschule


Auch wenn es für einige Schüler der Vorschule nicht mehr die Premiere in Sachen “Bibliothekslesung” war, so war die Vorfreude und Aufregung doch bei allen Kindern zu spüren. Kein Wunder, denn die Lehrerinnen hatten den Kindern im Vorfeld viel erzählt und die Geschichte der “Freunde” war ihnen vertraut. An der Tür zur Aula im Sekundargebäude wurden Sternen-, Mond- und Tiger-Klasse von einem der Darsteller empfangen und klassenweise durch das Halbdunkel zu ihren Plätzen geleitet. Maike Jansen und Stefan Ferencz spannten ihre jungen Zuschauer nicht unnötig auf die Folter, aber kurz das Prozedere zu erklären, wenn ein Kind zur Toilette gehen wollte, so viel Zeit musste schon sein.

In den folgenden 60 Minuten tauchten die Kinder gänzlich in die phantasievolle, abwechslungsreiche und fesselnde Theatervorführung ein und begleiteten die “Freunde” auf ihren Abenteuern:

  • Franz von Hahn, der dicke Waldemar und Johnny Mauser traten im Zuge eines Schattenspiels in Erscheinung – die Kindern erkannten sie und nannten ihre Namen.
  • Während sich der dicke Waldemar hinter einer Blume versteckt hielt, plauderten die Kinder lauthals sein Versteck aus.
  • Als Franz von Hahn und der Johnny Mauser von einem weiteren Boot sprachen und zum anderen Ende der Aula zeigten, drehten sich die Köpfe nach hinten.
  • Am Ende der Geschichte sprachen die meisten Kinder die letzten Zeilen mit.

… und immer wieder ertönte schallendes Gelächter.

In bleibender Erinnerung wird vermutlich die Szene aus dem Traum der Freunde bleiben, in dem diese durch den nächtlichen Himmel schweben und ein Kind “Der Weihnachtsmann” ausrief;  und das “Schaba-schaba” wird sicherlich einen ähnlichen Siegeszug auf den Gängen der Pre-Primary feiern wie das letzjährige “Schubidi”.

Von den Lehrern gab es positives Feedback, die Kinder werteten mit Daumen hoch, “pretty funny” und sogar eine “1 +mit Sternchen” wurde vergeben.


Even though it was not a first time experience for some of the pre-primary students one could clearly sense and see the thrill of anticipation and excitement. No wonder since the teachers had introduced them to the “Freunde” (children’s book by Helme Heine) and had told them about yesterday’s special event. At the door of the auditorium in the secondary building the star-, moon- and tiger class was greeted by one of the actors and,  through the semi-darkness, guided to their chairs. Maike Jansen and Stefan Ferencz did not want to make their audience wait too much longer but their brief explanation on the bathroom procedure turned out to pay off during the show.

In the following 60 minutes the children became part of the imaginative, diverse and captivating theater play and went along to the adventures of the “Freunde”:

  • The characters introduced by shadow pantomime were recognized and named.
  • While the chubby Waldemar was hiding behind a flower the children called out the hiding place.
  • When “Franz von Hahn” und “Johnny Mauser” were talking about another boat and were pointing to the end of the auditorium heads were turning to the back.
  • At the end of the story most of the children recited the last paragraphs of the book.

… and over and over again their was joyful laughter.

Of lasting memory will most likely be the scene of the friends floating through the night sky during their dreams that made one child spontaneously call out “Santa Clauss”; and the “Shabba-shabba” is most probably going to fill the hallways of pre-primary the way “Shoo-bee-dee” did last year.

The teachers’ feedback was positive and the children rated with “thumbs up”, “pretty funny” and even an A+ with stars on it.



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Fabio Geda: Im Meer schwimmen Krokodile

Im Rahmen von “Trialog der Kulturen” fand für die Klassen S4 die Lesung mit dem italienischen Schriftsteller Fabio Geda statt. Sein Buch “Im Meer schwimmen Krokodile” erzählt die wahre Geschichte eines afghanischen Jungen, der von seiner Mutter alleine auf die Flucht geschickt wird und nach vier Jahren in Italien ankommt. Die Ängste des Jungen und seiner ebenfalls jugendlichen Begleiter vor realen und auch vor irrealen Gefahren, sein Schicksal, sein Mut und seine Ausdauer berührten die Zuhörer sichtlich. Ein Blick aus der behüteten Welt als Schüler hinaus zu einem Gleichaltrigen, der ums nackte Überleben kämpft mag vielleicht auch deutlich machen, wie klein die eigenen Nöte und Sorgen im Vergleich eigentlich sind. Ein großes “Danke!” Fabio Geda und die Dolmetscherin Marina Grones.IMG_2128 IMG_2132

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Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre swamp the auditorium with sea monkeys – and pure fun


An absolute highlight was waiting for a group of ESRM-students on the last day before the May holidays. Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre were all dressed up in amazing costumes when they came to present their book “Oliver and the Seawigs”. They did not only introduce their characters, setting and plot to our students, they brought their story to life and captured their audience.


Aside of the great excitement, there were a few students who seemed a bit nervous. But it did not take long until the last student had overcome his shyness and joined in this interactive and outstanding event. They were asked for the one food they would take to space when our guests were talking about their book “Cakes in Space”, they listened to the sound of science when witnessing how the “Norm-O-Tron” (a scientific machine) works and under the guidance of Sarah McIntyre they all drew and named their own sea monkey and sang along the “Cakes in Space” song with Sarah and Philip. But besides all this our guests also shared their wisdom on writing and illustrating.

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The students expressed that they enjoyed “the things they did”, “listening to the poem” and they “really liked how they made us sing and draw the illustration” and “the teaching of the sea monkey”. There were many questions and we could have perfectly spent an extra hour.


Thank you Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre for this unique event, for patiently signing books and sea monkey pictures, for answering any questions that were raised while waiting for your autographs, for the little chats with our students and for not stopping until the last student in line has had the chance to meet you!










… and thank you Sarah, for giving hope to one of the librarians when you said that you were not born with a supernatural drawing talent and that practice was part of successful drawing and illustrating.


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Es war einmal … – Eine Ode an das Buch

projecto anagrama 17


“Die haben das total gut gemacht”
“It was really, really, really, really, really good”
“Das hat richtig Spaß gemacht”
“Super toll”


Strahlende Gesichter und nach oben zeigende Daumen waren unübersehbar, als die Primarschüler der Klassen 1 und 2 nach dem Theaterstück “Cover, Blätter, Letter” die Aula verließen.

Zu Beginn der 60 minütigen Vorstellung von Projecto Anagrama lernten die Schüler die Hauptfigur Albertino kennen und begleiteten den angehendenden Schriftsteller bei dem Entstehungsprozess seines Buches. Sie sahen, wie Albertino seine Geschichte zunächst mit Feder und Tintenfässchen, später mit Hilfe einer Schreibmaschine zu Papier brachte und schließlich sein Manuskript zu einer Druckerei schickte. Der Szenenwechsel mit erforderlichem Bühnenumbau fiel den Kindern kaum auf, da Ilja Mook und Nuno Tavares ihr Publikum währenddessen mit diversen Zirkuseinlagen unterhielten. Noch ehe man sich versah, stand da nicht mehr Albertino in seinem Schreibzimmer, sondern zwei Drucker in der Druckerei. Die einzelnen Elemente des Buchdrucks, wie das Buchstabensetzen oder das Auftragen der Druckerschwärze wurden dargestellt und am Ende folgte die feierliche Präsentation des fertiggestellten Buchs.

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Beaming faces and thumbs up were to be seen when primary students of year 1 and year 2 left the auditorium after the theatre presentation “Cover, Blätter, Letter”.

At the beginning of Projecto Anagrama’s 60 minutes performance the students got to meet Albertino, main character and author-to-be, and joined him in his process of making a book. They watched Albertino putting his story on paper: Using quill and ink at first, a type writer next and finally sending his script to the printer’s shop. The change of scenery and the required changes on stage were part of the show and Ilya Mook’s and Nuno Tavares’s artistic elements were very entertaining. Before you knew, Albertino and his writing lab had made room for the printer’s shop and its two employees. The different steps of letter press printing such as typesetting or applying the printer’s ink were shown and the grand final was the festive presentation of the book.


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