To develop UDE students’ writing skill, particularly, writing a narrative, a guest lecture was conducted in the Reading and Writing III course. As an implementation of the learning unit, they were assigned to practice writing a narrative in the form of children’s picture storybook for their mid-semester exam project. This project was planned for a few reasons. Firstly, it was because the students had never written a narrative on children’s story genre previously, so this would prompt them to explore and develop their writing skills for a different genre. Secondly, children’s stories have a simple plot, yet are very meaningful. This would also facilitate the students to practise expressing their ideas precisely and interestingly in creative writing. Thirdly, since UDE 2016 are quite creative in arts, particularly in drawing and painting, it would be interesting to engage them in their learning by integrating it with something they really love and are good at.
The guest lecture session was conducted in the form of a writing workshop on Tuesday, 12 September 2017. There were in total 20 students attended the workshop, which lasted for 6 hours. The speaker for the workshop was Dr. Murti Bunanta. She earned her doctoral degree from Universitas Indonesia and is a famous writer, lecturer and expert in children’s literature. She has written dozens of children’s storybooks, of which many have been translated into several foreign languages and have received many recognitions, both nationwide and internationally. In addition, she is also the founder and the president of a non-profit organisation named Kelompok Pecinta Bacaan Anak (KPBA), which aids the development of children literacy among Indonesian children.
The workshop was divided into two sessions. In the first session, Ibu Murti delivered a lecture on children’s literature and the various aspects of writing a children’s story. In the second session, students had an opportunity to consult their children’s storybook draft with Ibu Murti. Each group alternately presented their storybook draft in the front of the class and afterward, they received feedback from Ibu Murti on how to improve their draft to be more interesting for the reader. Ibu Murti was very pleased listening to their creative ideas, and since she is an experienced writer in the field, she was very helpful in guiding the students with their storybook draft.
All in all, the workshop went very well and the students found it very fruitful. Since they had worked hard before the workshop to prepare their storybook draft, they gained more knowledge on how to improve their draft as they listened to Ibu Murti’s lecture and feedback. To follow up this workshop, the students are going to organise a Writing Exhibition at UKRIDA’s Christmas Celebration, where they will display their picture storybooks and another writing product of their upcoming UAS project. In the future, it will be very rewarding for the students if their first children’s picture storybooks can get published and be read by children.