My Take: FaceTime Chats on Two-Moon Journey
By Peggy King Anderson
What fun to share with Gregory School fifth graders, via FaceTime chat. I get to be in their classroom, and they get to be with me right here in my living room. We have our own private in-home book club!
We’re discussing my most recently published book, Two-Moon Journey, which truly is a book of my heart, based as it is on my husband’s Potawatomi heritage. The book takes students on an 1838 forced march across Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas as they learn about the Potawatomi Trail of Death.
These amazing students have been peppering me with questions, getting right to the heart of the book: “How did you decide which characters to use to tell your story?”
“What inspired you to write this book?”
“How did the geography of their homeland affect this story?”
“What natural resources did the Potawatomi notice and use on their journey, in order to survive?”
Under the direction of their amazing teacher, Nina Hernandez, they are also on a writing journey, pursuing effective writing skills. They are making me think as we discuss the writing techniques I use to get across the story I want to tell. We’ve talked about writing voice, and how that affects every aspect of the story, including characters and narration. We’ve discussed target audience for the book, and how that impacted my purpose both to entertain and to inform in the story.
These FaceTime chats have been so much fun, I’ve shared them with Teresa Baer, my editor at Indiana Historical Society Press. She is excited about the possibility of promoting FaceTime chats in other classrooms, particularly in the Midwest, where the Trail of Death took place.
Thank you, Nina Hernandez and the 5th graders at The Gregory School, for opening up a whole new way for me to interact with students all over the United States!