language arts

Ellen Schwartz Visits Grade Six

On Tuesday May 24th, Ellen Schwartz, a New Jersey born author who now lives in Burnaby, came to Grade Six to talk to us about some of her experiences in writing and to share her latest book, Heart of a Champion, with usDuring her visit, Mrs. Schwartz assigned us some writing in which we would need to compose a scene inspired by one of the many paintings we have learned about in our art history studies. When we completed writing the scene, Mrs. Schwartz read and edited each one. She visited us one week later to individually conference with us. Since then, we have been working on using that scene in a story… stay tuned for the final results!

We anxiously await the start of the 2016-17 school year because Mrs. Schwartz will be back at ICS to lead a Writer in Residence Program with our Intermediate students – how lucky we are to have such an opportunity! To learn more about Ellen Schwartz, visit her website at:

Written by a Grade 6 student

Author Mentor Ellen Schwartz Visits Grade Six

Grade Six has had a three year working relationship with local author Ellen Schwartz. Our most recent workshop sessions with her included a sneak preview of the editor’s notes on her latest novel, Heart of a Champion, the story of Vancouver’s historic team of Japanese Canadian baseball players. Mrs. Schwartz shared the tribulations and triumphs of editing and revising a beloved piece of writing. Next, she lead the students through an exercise in fiction writing. Our very own ICS authors toiled over their writing pieces for several days and then  the writing was sent to Mrs. Schwartz, who became our Editor-in-Chief, returning to meet with each student the following week to conference and provide a “critical review” of the writing.  What a strong contribution Mrs. Schwartz has made to our writing program and to each student’s ability to live a “writerly life”!

Dear Mrs. Weaver and class
Thank you so much for the photo and card, and for your kind words. I had a great time working with you and reading all your funny, scary, spooky and true stories. Good luck with your writing, and remember: strong nouns and verbs!
All the best,
Ellen Schwartz