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Turnip Troll Goes to School

This autumn Turnip Troll and his brothers and sisters went to school
for the first time. The big day was Tuesday 26 August 2014. I visited the
Rovaniemi IB lukio (high school) to read the pre-IB students a story during
their English class. I don't think Turnip and the other Troll children were nearly
as nervous as I was, wondering if the students would like the story, if they would
find it too difficult to understand or too childish. But I needn't have worried. The
students were bright and eager and participated actively. They had already read
one story ("Midsummer") and listened to the recording of it with their teacher,
Arja-Liisa Kahelin, during the previous week. Now they were able to meet the
author, and they had plenty of questions to ask about me, my impressions of
Finland and Lapland, how I had come to write the stories, and so on. Once I had
satisfied their curiosity, I read them another story, "The Dancing Haystacks". You
can try to judge from the pictures below whether it was the students or their guest
who had a better time. For me it was a wonderful experience, and I hope to go
back to the IB lukio again next year and meet the students again.

Now I have made plans to introduce a younger group of students to the adventures
of the Troll family. In December I will be visiting our neighborhood primary school,
Viirinkankaan koulu (which is, in fact, my children's old school), where I will introduce
the Troll children and their adventures to the pupils in Sari Alatervo's 5th grade class
and Teppo Hiekkaranta's 6th grade class. I am really looking forward to finding out
how the Troll stories can be used in primary English teaching, and I am happy to
be able to give something back to the school which gave so much to my children
and me so many years ago.

Below you can see the pictures from Turnip Troll's visit to the IB lukio. They were
taken by the teacher, Arja-Liisa Kahelin, and are posted with the students' permission.

 At school 1
I don't remember what I was asking, but there are certainly a lot of hands in the air!


At school 2
This question must have been harder, but there's still one hand in the air...


At school 3
Here's what I was lucky enough to see from the front of the class!


At school 4
Studying the names of bugs in English!