Ms. Sheri Thomasen and Mr. Robin Purdy took their English 12 and English 12 Honours classes to the Vancouver Writers Festival on October 24.

The Vancouver Writers Festival, held on Granville Island,  hosts a variety of writers from all over the world, giving them an opportunity to share their journeys as authors, and the process it takes to publish a piece of literature. From comic book artists to novel writers, the writer’s fest gives people the opportunity to explore another side of writing that they have never seen or thought about in an interactive way. Students were able to ask questions after each author presented their work, giving students a chance to be able to communicate with real authors who have gone through the process of publishing work.

The inside of one of the Writers Fest workshops

Shaylyn Gordon, a grade 12 student in Mr. Purdy’s class, said that she enjoyed getting the day off to get to go to Granville Island and learn new things with her friends. “I learned a lot more about the preparation that goes into writing and the behind the scenes of being an author on this field trip. I went to the graphic novel presentation, and I don’t really know much about graphic novels and the process that goes into creating a graphic novel, but I learned a lot about what it takes to write, illustrate, and publish a graphic novel, and it was interesting to learn something new,” said Gordon.

Mr. Purdy, one of the teachers who took students on the field trip, said that that he wanted students to be able to appreciate the work that goes into publishing literature, and to be able to learn outside of the classroom. “Since I became a teacher, as my profession is to teach writing and reading, I thought it would be really good to combine both my love of writing and reading authors and pass that love onto the students as well. I think that the way the new curriculum is going, with a lot of new competencies being added, we are often asking; why are we learning in an institutionalized way, when we can be out their applying our skills immediately, because the best way to learn is through hands on experiences.

Hands on experiences through field trips give students a better, more interactive way to be able to learn outside of the classroom. Giving students the chance to listen to professionals is very valuable towards their education and as members of society, giving them a chance to see what the real world looks like outside of the classroom.