To read books about the World Wars

In the past few weeks the 10th graders Swedish advanced class have been reading books about the world wars. After reading these books that were about war, tradgedies, and loss of someone you love. The books that we choose where mainly about the children in the war and how they had to cope with the destruction of the war.

Some of the books where personal biographies and some where stories. The books were Anne Frank’s Diary, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Good Night Mr. Tom, The Book Thief, and the list goes on.

All of the books made different impressions on our different personalities. As our final project we created a artwork, poem, short story, etc to  represent our interpretation of the novel. These can now be seen in the library.

      

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Some writing tips (in Swedish)

Advanced Swedish students in grade 8 are currently writing their own fantasy stories. So the library would like to give some writing tips.

Here are some tips on how to write fantasy stories. They are provided by the youth author Kim Kimselius.

The authors behind the PAX series, Åsa Larsson and Ingela Korsell is also giving some general, useful tips on how to write stories. Here you can also watch a short film clip.

If you would like to get some more writing tips in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, where the youth author Lisa Bjärbo is going through the ten steps in the writing process.

Finally the library would also like to tips about some fantasy novels to read as inspiration.

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The National Source Criticism Day

Today March 13th, is the National Source Criticism Day. The ISGR library is celebrating this through making the information and handouts for source criticism more accessible. At the library blog, there is now a tab for source criticism. If you click at it, you will find information in English and Swedish on how to do a full source criticism. The information is a result of a cooperation between librarian and teachers at ISGR.

In Stockholm, three source criticism sessions will be held for school classes, including discussions and lectures by the journalists Jack Werner and My Vingren. Schools who do not attend this, can follow the event online at 13.30-15 through Swedish newspaper Metro‘s website or the The Viral Scrutineer / Viralgranskaren at Facebook.

At 18, the Culture House in Stockholm will open up to the public, in order to give tips on how people in different occupational categories are doing when searching for facts. For example you can listen to the scholar Emma Frans and the prosecutor Helene Gestrin talking about this.

The National Culture Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke will also hand out a prize,  Det gyllene förstoringsglaset / the golden magnifying glass, to the reporter Matilda Gustavsson, who within the framework of the Metoo-debate investigated rumors about a cultural profile. and the developer Martin Törnros, who has made it easier for children and young people to understand source criticism at the internet. The prize is funded by Viralgranskaren and  the Internet Foundation in Sweden.

Here you can find lessons in Source Criticism in Swedish.

Here you can find lessons on Source Criticism in English

For more detail’s pleas take a look at this website.

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The International Women’s Day

Today is The International Women’s Day, so the library would like to tip you about some books available in the library right now, that highlight equality, girls and women’s rights and more.

The theme of the day this year is “Time is now: Rural and urban activists who transform women’s lives”.

Even though rural women, represent more than a quarter of the world’s population, they are often left behind in many stages of development.

We would to celebrate all those who are empowering girls and women, fighting for their rights to develop their full potential, be represented as politicians, get equal pay, be protected against sexual harassment, and more.

Here you can get some tips on how and where to celebrate The Women’s Day in Gothenburg. The University of Gothenburg is also arranging a series of lectures and more.

  

Here is a film clip on women’s rights produced by the UN:

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Author visit / Författarbesök av Mats Berggren

Idag fick elever från åk 6 och 7 besök av ungdomsförfattaren Mats Berggren, som eleverna röstat fram att de ville träffa inom ramen för projektet Skapande skola, understött av Kulturrådet.

Mats Berggren berättade framförallt om de fyra romanerna: Det finns inga skridskor i öknen, Onsdag kväll strax före sjuDin syster måste dö och En enda kväll.

 

  

Boken Det finns inga skridskor i öknen inspirerades av ett samtal mellan en pappa, en lärare och en imam. Pappan hade ringt läraren för att säga att hans dotter inte fick åka skridskor, därför att det stod i koranen. Läraren kollade upp detta med en imam, som dementerade. Boken hade kommit till efter en förfrågan om att skildra hur kulturer kan mötas. Och den sattes sedan upp som teater av Friteatern.

 

Före Mats skrev förortsskildringen eller ungdomsdeckaren Onsdag kväll strax före sju hade han läst böcker, uppsatser, gjort åtskilliga intervjuer med personer från olika yrken och med olika bakgrund. Intervjuat socialarbetare för att kunna skildra rånare på ett trovärdigt sätt. För att skriva om en tonårig somalisk rappare hade Mats läst på mycket om somalier i Sverige, och för att kunna skriva om ett par andra karaktärer hade han bland annat haft intervjuer med en arabisk familj, kurdiska vänner. Målet med romanen var att skildra motsättningar i en förort, som fanns mellan rasister/sverigedemokrater och islamister. Boken van svenska deckarakademins pris för årets ungdomsdeckare. På frågor från elever, hur Mats kan skriva på ett så ungt språk och kan så många ”kriminella ord”, så svarade han att han har en tonåring som bor inom sig, som den vuxna författaren Mats för ett samtal med. Han har också mycket kontakt med tonåringar, för att kunna skriva verklighetsnära och han lyssnar också en del på hip hop, till exempel gruppen Labyrint.

 

Mats berättade även om En enda kväll, som ska ges ut på nytt nästa vecka på måndag den 12:e mars och den frågan som låg bakom boken: om han kunde skriva om klasskillnader och könsroller och det var vad han gjorde. Boken har också satts upp som teater, och gick då under namnet “Värsta katten” som på Stockholmsslang betyder “värsta snyggingen”.

Din syster måste dö inspirerades av ett fall, där myndigheter tog ett felaktigt beslut som gällde en flicka utsatt för hedersvåld. Att hon skulle skickas till släktingar som behandlade henne på samma sätt som den egna familjen. Boken innehåller dock även en kärlekshistoria och en framgångssaga med den somaliska rapparen Abdi som huvudperson.

Just nu håller Mats på att skriva en bok som handlar om en ensamkommande flykting och en svensk som spelar fotboll tillsammans. Den har varit svår att bli färdig med därför att flyktingpolitiken har ändrats under skrivandets gång, men Mats har hittat en lösning nu, att skriva utifrån en framtida flyktingpolitik.

Mats pratade också om skrivprocessen (isbergsteknik, hur man kan undvika övertydlighet med mera) och olika förebilder han har i sitt skrivande, bland annat Sonya Hartnett, John Green, Peter Pohl och Tove Jansson.

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The skype talk with Laurie Halse Anderson

This afternoon, the students in grade 8 and 9 did a skype talk with the well known youth author Laurie Halse Anderson, within the school’s Creative School project supported by the National Arts Council. Before that, the students had read the three novels: Chains, The impossible knife of memory or Speak, some excerpts from these, or another book by Laurie, discussed those and prepared questions about the writing process and the specific novels.


Laurie told us that Scandinavia is her favorite part of the world, because she had lived in Denmark for some time during high school. So she speaks a little Danish. During she thinks that nobody could have guessed that she would become a writer, even though she wrote (dark) poetry already at secondary school.
At that time, Laurie thought that writing was about talent, writing down your thoughts and then check the spelling. Later on she became aware of the writing process. Her writing process looks different though depending on genre, if she is writing historical novels or realistic, contemporary novels.
If Laurie writes historical novels, she begins with doing a solid research, including newspapers, primary sources and more. Then she makes a thorough outline.
When Laurie writes contemporary, realistic novels, she uses journals asking herself: what is going on in my life and in the world? What are the challenges that teens around the world are facing? It’s not that her novels are about any specific teenager as she has met though.
Laurie often uses what makes her upset  to get started, so she is starting in a strong feeling.
Then she decides who the novel will be about, with the help from empathy. (Here Laurie thinks that she as an author got help from how kids often are acting, to be able to swap rapidly between worlds and who you are.) The next question to ask yourself in the writing process is: What is going on in the life of the character? Is there any conflicts? Who is the character on the inside? What is the character’s way of speaking? When you have got so far, you can start determining the natural order for things to happen, etc. You need to visualize and structure the story. However, it is first after 4-5 draft as  the editing will begin. An editor can never tell you what to write about, just help you to edit the novel. Laurie’s editor is using the marks ? and :-).


A regular day for Laurie, she writes between kl. 05-14. Then her brain shuts down, so she devotes the rest of the time to answer emails, exercise, go for walks and more.
To become a good writer, Laurie emphasizes the importance of writing frequently, no matter what you do. Laurie has often written while sitting on airplanes, conferences and more, and she is always bringing notebooks no matter what, since she thinks it goes faster to write faster by hand than using iPad or phone.
In order for the creativity and language to work well, Laurie gives the student the tip to avoid being stressed, worried, angry, embarrassed or anything negative. Because than, it will work well. So Laurie encourages all students to allow themselves to make an initial draft that is not brilliant and go for a walk or doing any other kind of physical activity now and then. To write a good dialogue, Laurie recommends the students to read aloud the dialogues they are writing down. You can also record a conversation with a friend, for example, when telling what you have done during the weekend, if you have your friend’s permission. Then you can transcribe the conversation.
Laurie told us that the content of the novel Speak is self-experienced, but it took a long time before she told could tell anyone what she had gone through. So she advises students to talk about difficult topics. Otherwise the topics will become even more difficult and more complicated. Originally Laurie wrote Speak for her daughter, when the daughter was in the same age as Laurie,  when she was raped.
The topic for The impossible knife of memory is also based partly on Laurie’s experiences, great interviews and conversations Laurie has had with her dad, who was a US soldier at the end of World War II. In the concentration camps, he and other American soldiers met the worst they ever had saw. It gave them PTSD. To forget about the awful experiences, Laurie’s father then drank a lot of alcohol and was suicidal. Later, he woke up screaming at night. The thought of writing The impossible knife of memory came to Laurie when she got to know that her nephew had experienced terrible things in Afghanistan. She wrote the novel because she was worried that a new generation would come to suffer from PTSD.
The Impossible knife of memory is about the art of enjoying their parents even when they are a bit broken down. Although it can be a little frustrating because you see them from the outside and not the inside.
Chains is a tribute to heroes that have been in history, that are many more than one knows. Laurie consider the most important thing to focus on heroes’ actions, so you get to know your own priorities and get to practice resilience. To ask yourself: what kind of hero do you want to be?

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The workshop with Matiss Silins

Today, ISGR was visited by the spoken word poet Matiss Silins, Sweden’s first spoken word pedagogue. It happened within the school’s Creative School project. Matiss ran first a workshop with LGRM in Swedish, and then one in English with MYP.

At first, the students had to think about what the concept of language means. They also got an introduction to what spoken word and poetry slam is, and Matiss presented himself. This was followed by free writing / stream of conciousness and then an exercise where the students wrote beginning of letters to abstract or semi-abstract concepts: freedom, love, war, fear, disaster and more.

Then the students would write down something they thought of. If they did not want to write it down, they could get options from Matiss to choose from. This would be a title. Then the students got to write a 42 words long text out from the title. It could be a list, story, fact based essay, poem or anything else. Afterwards, the students were given the opportunity to edit the text, since editing is almost a large part of a writer’s work.

  

The students got to read aloud different beginnings of their they letters. Then they got to sit in smaller groups and read up shorter expressions provided by Matiss, and at the same time demonstrating a feeling that did not match the expression.

After that, students learned how to handle a microphone, and got practical tips on how to meet an audience from a spoken word scene. After that, students familiarized themselves with using microphone and several students read their 42 words long texts, also with instructions and tips from Matiss.

 

When Matiss held the same workshop in English, it was the same layup with just a few variations. Here, the students were asked to tell four things about nouns provided by Matiss, such as unicorns, elephant poo, the worst cheesecake in the world etcetera. Then the students needed to come up with four things to say about nonsense words like skoffla, orf, gnorbo etcetera.

In the end it was really fun to hear the students performing and sharing their texts with the audience. Everyone was properly applauded and Matiss would put out some of the poems on his instagram account Ordkanon.se.

      

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