15 Odysseys Worth Repeating

Glenn Dixon Alberta

Glenn Dixon has published travel articles in major publications such as National Geographic, the New York Post, the Walrus and the Globe and Mail. An expert on sociolinguistics, he is a language consultant with the Calgary Board of Education. His new book is Tripping the World Fantastic. @Glenn_Dixon Read more

Deborah Ellis Ontario

Deborah Ellis is the award-winning author of the international bestselling Breadwinner trilogy. Her latest book is Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids. She lives in Simcoe, Ontario. @DebEllisAuthor Read more

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 10:00am - 11:30am
Waterfront Theatre
$17 / $8.50 for school groups

Glenn Dixon travelled the globe for a year to explore how and why people make music. From a tour of Bob Marley’s house, to sitar lessons in India, to the talking drums of West Africa, he sought out music in its various forms to try to understand how playing and creating music is a form of communication. Deborah Ellis spent two years travelling across the United States and Canada, interviewing Native children and giving them an opportunity to share their lives and their hopes. Come and hear fascinating stories from around the world from two authors who’ve been there and done that.

Suitable for grades 7–10

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Odysseys Worth Repeating


Glenn Dixon, Tripping The World Fantastic
Deborah Ellis, Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids

Curriculum Connections:

  • Language Arts: non-fiction and descriptive writing
  • Social Studies: First Nations, geography, history and cultural studies


Glenn Dixon and Deborah Ellis have travelled around the world to tell stories about a place and people.  Descriptive writing and observation is essential to their success.

  • Everything But the Eyes: Many of us are visually oriented. We forget that others may respond equally well to a sense of smell or hearing. Ask writers to describe a place of importance to them using sensory details of taste, smell, hearing or touch. Anything except the visual.
  • Photo Shuffle: This exercise encourages vivid description and also illustrates how perception will vary from person to person. Have each member in the class bring in a photograph or image, along with a short written passage describing what the image signifies to the individual. Collect the images, shuffle them and pass them out, so that no one has the image with which he or she arrived. Now have each person write a passage that describes the subject or event shown in the photo and what it signifies. Then have each individual read his work aloud. Following this, ask the owner of the image explain what the photo meant to him or her.
  • Skimping on Adjectives: Creative writing instructors often caution against using too many adverbs, but adjectives too can become problematic if overused. To combat that, have students perform a simple creative writing activity: Describe something in detail without using adjectives. Note—the use of color is permitted.