What 3rd graders need to know…

Have you ever given a presentation, and NO ONE wants to ask a question during the Q and A?  I hate that.  But I LOVED visiting with the Oak St. School 3rd graders today.

You’d think 75 kids packed into a small classroom might be a little chaotic.  It wasn’t.  

You’d think 75 third graders squeezed together like puppies in a basket might be noisy.  They weren’t. 

Those Oak Street kids are fabulous listeners, friendly hosts, and some of the best question-askers ever.  Here’s a sampling of our conversation:


How long did it take you to read and learn about everything so you could write your book?

About a year and a half.  I loved doing all that reading and learning, and then the writing was fun, too.

How long did it take colonial guys to make a fire with that flint and steel you showed us?

I guess it would depend on how good they were at it.  I think it would take me a very long time!

Yeah, you only got a few  sparks.

What made you want to write this story, in particular?

I live on Lake Champlain, and I always look out at the water and think about what happened here years ago — all the battles and the people who lived here before us.  I wanted to tell their story.

Sometimes, I go camping on Valcour Island, where your story happens.  Have you ever been camping there?

Yes, I have. It’s pretty, isn’t it?  My family likes to have campfires there and roast marshmallows.

I like s’mores.

Me, too!

Hey, how did they make things shoot out of that powder horn you showed us?

They didn’t make things shoot out of it. They used it to store their black powder so they could fire their muskets and cannon.

Oh. (disappointed look).  Nothing ever shot out of it?

Nope. Sorry.

Do you know my sister?  She goes to the  middle school.

Yes, I do.  She’s nice.

At that point, I had to leave the rest of the questions unanswered to go back to the middle school, where that particular sister and a few other siblings were waiting for 3rd period English to start.   I was sorry to leave with hands still in the air, but I’ve promised to follow-up with an email or another blog post.  I have no doubt there were some future researchers and authors in that audience today!

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