We read—and discussed Spell Sweeper—in my creative writing workshop with tweens and teens this weekend, so a natural activity was to imagine our own magical brooms and write about them.

Check out these amazing creations!

As you can see, there is a lot of “hair-cutting” that occurs to get the brooms to the desired length and shape. By the end, it looked like wow had experienced an ill-advised encounter with Rapunzel!

This is a pretty simple activity that involves basic supplies: sticks for handles, twine for the straw, some black thread, and white glue (paint optional). For full instructions, check out the Teacher Resource Guide that is available on my website.

I can’t wait to read the stories that accompany these brooms!

As for the book discussion itself, well I really work hard on my students to be honest in their appraisals of books. It’s especially hard to do when the creator is standing in front of you, so in previous years I never led lit circles on my own books for that reason. But then I decided that it’s a better idea that they read their instructor’s work, so now we tackle it as best we can. We rate our books out of ten, and I’m happy to report that my book received an average score of 8.15/10. (Actually, I’m extremely happy with that because it proves that they were indeed honest).

I will mention that Zuki, the magical fox creature (kitsune) was by far the favourite character.

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