How to Train your Dragon Broadcast With Cressida Cowell

How to Train your Dragon Broadcast With Cressida Cowell


>>Next on Skype in the Classroom, we’ll meet Cressida Cowell, the author and illustrator of the
How to Train your Dragon series. An adventurous tale of an unlikely hero which
has sparked 12 books, three movies, and millions of young
dragon fans around the world. We’ll learn how
creativity, imagination, and magic go hand in
hand and how you can use details to bring your own
stories and characters to life. So, fire up your dragons, we’re about to meet
the author and illustrator. [MUSIC]>>Hello, from Egypt.>>Hello, from Vietnam.>>Hello, from India.>>Hello, from Indiana
in the United States.>>Hello, from Nigeria.>>Hola, from Puerto Rico.>>Hi, from Greece.>>Hello from Canada.>>Hello, from
the Microsoft Office in London and welcome to
Skype in the Classroom. I’m your host
Shannon McClintock Miller. I’m a teacher librarian and a Skype Master Teacher from
Van Meter Iowa in the United States. Some of the teachers watching may know me from my blog
The Library Voice. How many of you watching love books? I know I do. I especially love stories that
are loaded with adventures, great characters, and epic journeys. I am a big fan of
today’s author and illustrator, whose How to Train
your Dragon series and the new Wizard of Once series transport me into magical new worlds. In case you haven’t
been introduced to these amazing stories and characters, let’s take a quick look at the DreamWorks movie adaptation
of How to Train your Dragon. Meet Hiccup, his dragon Toothless, and some of our favorite
Viking characters. [MUSIC]>>This is Berk, son. It was the home of your grandparents and their grandparents before that. But out there, beyond
the edge of the world, lies the home of the dragons. And I believe it’s your destiny
to one day find this hidden world. [MUSIC]>>You do know my leg isn’t
a chew toy, don’t you? Is this what you want?
Yeah. Go get it.>>How am I supposed to get down? [MUSIC]>>Hey, Butt. Wait up. [MUSIC].>>He’s not the only one. [MUSIC]>>Another night fury.>>More like a bright fury.>>A light fury.>>Yeah. Yours is better probably. [MUSIC]>>There is an armada with
enough cages for all of our dragons. [MUSIC]>>This is a new kind of enemy. We need to find the hidden worlds.>>I will destroy
everything you love.>>Toothless. No. [MUSIC]>>You’re nothing
without your dragon.>>If criminal succeeds, there won’t be any dragons left and it’s up to us to put an end to it.>>So? What are you
going to do about it?>>Shoot up game. [MUSIC]>>We have one shot at this. You brought a baby to a battle?>>I couldn’t find a sitter [MUSIC] The hidden world.
It really does exist.>>Now that’s a King.>>You’re right bud. It’s time. [MUSIC]>>Wasn’t that magical? One of the things I
love about the How to Train your Dragon
books is how all of the details come alive
and the amount of time I can spend with
the characters I love. Today, author and illustrator, Cressida Cowell will teach
us how we can create amazing characters and new worlds
in our own stories and drawings. Educators and family, be sure to
download the free Activity Plan, an additional FlipGrid videos
that your students can do after this event to
unleash their imagination. So, let’s get going. Welcome, Cressida Cowell.>>Hello. It’s lovely to be
on Skype in the Classroom.>>So great having you here today. If someone hasn’t read your
books or seen your movie, just tell me what they’re about.>>Well, How to Train your Dragon is about a world where
dragons really exist. It’s a Viking world, and my Viking hero is Hiccup. He has to find a dragon and train it
because he’s going to keep it as a pet because I think a dragon
would make the best pet ever.>>Definitely. That would be. Where did the idea for How to
Train your Dragon come from?>>It’s almost very unlikely, but it came from something
in my own childhood. I grew up in London because
my dad worked in London, in a house without a garden but my dad’s heart was in the wilderness. He was something called
an environmentalist. So, what that meant
for us as a family was that every year
from when I was a baby, we would be taken, dropped off on
this uninhabited island off the West Coast of Scotland, taken there by a local boatman, dropped off and picked up
again two weeks later. This was an island so small that
when you stand on the top of it, you can see sea all around you. There was nothing on the island. There was no houses, there was no supermarkets, no mobile phones back in the 1970s, there was absolutely no way
of contacting out world. Then from when I was nine, my dad had a house built on
the island and then he got a boat, so you can go out and
catch fish to eat. From then on we spent
the whole summer on the island. That sounds amazing
but this little house, I always say to him,
it had no television. So, there was a whole summer on
an island with no television. This of course is the Isle of Berk. The Isle of Berk in the
books and the movies. Because this was the first place the Vikings came to when
they invaded Great Britain. They came to the West Coast of Scotland and it was
the last place they lived.>>How interesting.>>I know. So, once upon a time, real Vikings would have
lived on that island and Vikings believed that
dragons really existed. So, I started thinking, what if the Vikings were right? Maybe dragons really do
exist and I played in the cage and tried to imagine what would dragons look like
if they really existed.>>That’s amazing.
What an amazing childhood. So, tell me a little bit about your creative process when
you write your books?>>Well, I know I’m writing
about vikings and dragons. But how do I make you feel
that this world really exist? I’m now talking to you guys
as writers as well. How do I make
these stories feel real? I always say that writing is
like telling a really big lie. Okay? A real stretch of a lie. Yeah. The more detail you put into your lie and the more you base
it on a tiny grain of truth, the more it comes alive
in your reader’s head. So, this goes for
everything about writing. Shut your eyes for a second and
shut your eyes out there as well. If I say, Gobber had a big red beard, can you see that beard in your head? If I say say, Gobber has
a beard like exploding fireworks or Gobber has a beard like hedgehogs
struck by lightning, do you see how you can see
the beard a bit more closely? Because I’ve based it on
something you can see, or you can touch, or you
can smell, or you can hear.>>Definitely. Yes.>>Yeah. So, the five senses, or something that is true. There is a posh word for
this, which is research. It sound so boring, but
is in fact so exciting. Base your story on things that are true and
even if it’s a fantasy, it will make things come alive. So for instance, draw a map. I would often say draw a map
of your imaginary place, that will give you
an idea for a story. So, for instance, there
was a writer called, you know book called Treasure Island?>>Yes. Absolutely.>>Yeah, and that writer said
before he’d even thought of the idea for a story he drew
the map of Treasure Island. As he drew the map, the pirates came creeping
out of the map at him; Long John Silver, his
cutlass between his teeth. So, drawing the map gave
him the idea for a story, that’s making something
that isn’t true seem true, making the life,
all those great story started. I often go into schools and say, “Draw a map of your imaginary place and write a story about
it,” is a really good.>>Yeah, that’s good exercise.>>Or you might go on to
the computer and lookup Vikings, things about Vikings, and then
it might give you an idea. You might discover Vikings discovered America way before
Christopher Columbus and you think, that gives me an idea
for one of the books, the story line in one of the books.>>I know that you’ve
inspired many kids to create their own characters
and use details. Can you show us some of
your favorites that kids have shared with you and why you
think they work so well?>>I love it when kids send in their own dragons or
their own characters. Kids are the most imaginative
people in the world.>>Yes.>>We’ve got to get them writing. So, I love it when you send
in your ideas for dragons. I want to show you how this kid, and she’s drawing the dragons, how she’s making them come alive by the way that
she’s drawing them. So, here she said, “The winter dragon is the breed name. They look like bronchus and
they smell like candy floss.” Do you see how by the way
she’s describing them, she’s bringing them alive? Yeah. So, think about
that when you’re doing your drawings or writing
about your characters, see how you can make them come
alive in your reader’s head.>>Yeah, and that’s so
neat for them to have, because that can spark
even other ideas.>>Yes, and then they might write their own stories about
those characters.>>Just written here. That’s so special. Friendships are also
a big part of your stories.>>Yeah.>>Your main character Hiccup is an unlikely hero and his best friend Fishlegs
gets bullied quite a bit. But I love how Hiccup
relies on the friendship and his intelligence to get
him out of sticky situations. So, tell us how you think about characters and relationships
in your stories.>>I mean, he is
an unlikely hero, Hiccup. He’s trying to be like his dad, but he’s not like his dad, is he? His dad is this really tough Viking, who’s much more about brawn
and about being physical, and Hiccup is kinda small and
skinny and very clever. One of the things kids
write to me most actually about is about being
bullied and the experience. That’s a big worry for kids.>>Yeah.>>So, I write about, cover that, a lot in my books. Hiccup’s best friend Fishlegs
actually is being bullied a lot, and Hiccup has to stand up against the bullies to defend
his friend, Fishlegs. In making that happen, I’m trying to say to kids, if you stand up for
your friend in the classroom, you’re being a hero
right here, right now. Because in the end of the
books and in the movies, Hiccup has to stand up
against his whole world. The dragons are being
captured and enslaved, and Hiccup has to stand up and say, “That’s wrong, dragons
should be wild.”>>Well, I know we
appreciate those stories. So, characters like that, that kids can look up to
and they can read about, that’s an empowering thing for them.>>The kids often write
to me and they say, “I’m finding it difficult to
fit in,” and they say Hiccup means a lot to them because he’s the kind of hero
who’s a bit different. But in the end, everybody realizes that Hiccup
has something to offer, he has something very
important to offer. He very clever and he thinks
his way out of problems.>>That’s wonderful.>>Yeah.>>It’s a great message. I have so many questions for you, but there’s lots of kids around the world that have
great questions too.>>All around the world.>>Yeah.>>Yes, and that’s great.>>Let’s find out what
they’re most curious about.>>Hi, my name is Boyd
and I’m from Malaysia. I love Hiccup and Toothless from, How to Train Your Dragon. Can you show us how to
draw them? Thank you.>>Oh, yes. I’ll show you
how to draw them. Okay, everybody out there. Maybe get your paper, get your pens, get your colors, and I’ll show you how to draw Hiccup and
Toothless right now. Are you ready? I’m going to draw book Toothless and Hiccup magically in the air here. Okay. I’m going to
start with Toothless. This is toothless in the book, who’s a very naughty,
little, hunting dragon. So, as I’m drawing him, I’m thinking about how naughty he is. Sometimes I’m even making a naughty
expression as I’m doing it. You see how his eyebrows
are going up like that. When I’m thinking about that, I’m making him look
naughty as I do it. Yeah, he’s like how you would
imagine a dragon would be, just quite a lot smaller; Toothless. So, this is a bit I suppose, a bit like a lizard or
something like that. But he’s also
a little bit like a cat. I don’t know if you’ve noticed
that in the movies as well. He’s a little bit like a cat, because he was based on my cats, Lily and Balou, that I had when
I was bringing up my children. Here he is and he is
sitting on Hiccup’s head. So, here we are. There he
is doing all the spines. Here is Hiccup. Viking helmet here, it’s just a
triangle for the Viking helmet. Hiccup is underneath thinking, “Oh, no. What’s he going to do next?” So, he’s got a slightly
worried expression, Hiccup in this picture. There he is. Then I do some slightly wild marks for Hiccup’s waistcoat,
fur waistcoat. So, there they are,
Hiccup and Toothless. That’s how to draw them. Well, there you go. Now, you know how to draw
Hiccup and Toothless.>>That was so much fun. All the kids I’m sure loved that, I know that I did. That was a great question from Boyd. Let’s hear from another student.>>Hello, my name is Marley-May, and I’m in year five, and I live in Wales, UK. My question today is, what was it like seeing your book
become a movie? Thank you.>>That’s such a great question. It was amazing. I love the films of How
to Train Your Dragon. They’re just wonderful and
the third one is out now. So, go and catch it,
it’s just marvelous. I love it because, although in some ways the books
and the films are different, they’re true to the spirit of
what I was trying to write about. This is the film Toothless and
this is the book Toothless. This one’s handmade by the way. They’re different
because in the books, he’s small, the hunting dragon, Toothless, and in the movies
he’s much bigger. Because that’s the thing, books and films are different things. In a movie, you want
your hero to be able to ride on the back of a dragon
right from the first movie. In the books, he doesn’t
ride on the back of the dragon until book
7, I think. So, books and films are
different things but they true to the spirit of the books. I love film toothless just as
much as I love book Toothless.>>That’s wonderful. I want to switch gears for a minute and talk about your new book series, The Wizards of Once. Was it hard after 12 books in
the Viking land to say goodbye to Toothless and Hiccup and switch gears and write about new characters, who are wizards, witches, and full of magic?>>Well, it was because I
loved the dragon world. So, saying goodbye to
something is quite hard, isn’t it, if you love the characters. But I suppose what I found
out in doing that is endings are just the beginning to another new and glorious adventure. Because I thought, what can
I write about that I love as much as I love dragons and
How to Train Your Dragon?>>So, I thought up something, magic. I love magic. I love the idea. As a kid, I really
wanted to be magic, and so I thought I’ll write about
this world and I discovered, after I’d been writing it for a bit, I fell in love with that world just as much as I had done
How to Train Your Dragon.>>That is so interesting. So, what inspired you to
write the Wizards of Once?>>Well, I started with this idea
of a kid who was magic, a kid being magic, because
I always wanted to be. Did you want to be magic
when you were a kid?>>Absolutely.>>Absolutely. What magical
power would you have?>>Probably to be
invisible or time travel. Yes.>>Yes. So, many
great magical powers. Yeah, you could come back in
time, you could teleport, you could read people’s minds, you could have fire coming
out of your fingers. Think of all the magical powers
that you could have. What magical power would you have? So, I started with
that idea being magic, and then I started with an idea of two heroes from
two very different worlds who were at war with each other. So, I went back in time
to the Bronze Ages, 3,000 years ago, when there really were magical things like
giants and sprites. The warriors and
the wizards are fighting each other in the Bronze Age, and my girl hero, who’s a warrior, meets the boy hero, who’s a wizard. Xar, the boy hero, has no magic but he’ll
do anything to get it, and Wish has a secret
which is she is secretly magic. It’s about what happens
when these two heroes meet, and can they see things from
each other’s point of view.>>I can’t wait to read it. So, now let’s hear
from another student, Paige, in the United States.>>Hi, Cressida. My name is
Paige and I’m in third grade, and I’m from the United States. I struggle on spelling and I am wondering if I can be
an author like you. Thank you.>>You most certainly can. I’m so glad you asked that question
because at the end of the day, writing isn’t about your
spelling or your handwriting, it’s about your ideas. I don’t want a kid who struggles
with the spelling and handwriting but has wonderful ideas to think
that they can’t be an author. In fact, I’ve started a new campaign. Who would like this? It’s
called free writing Friday. Where you can do this at school, you can do this at home, 15 minutes to have a special book where you can
write whatever you want. So, you can write stories, you can draw little characters
and make up things about them, you can write comic strips. It’s all about having fun though. You’ve got to write for fun and
no teacher can mark this book. So, it’s no rules, no marking, just fun. I had a lovely teacher called
Miss Mallows in year three, grade three, and she let
me do free writing Friday. I wanted to show you my free writing
Friday when I was nine, about your age and you can see my spelling wasn’t
very good either. I spelled Cressida, Crissida and the handwriting
is a little bit scribbly. But I’m already writing
stories about magic. I’m writing stories about magic and I’m drawing pictures of sprites, I’m making up my own fairies and
sprites and magical characters. This is exactly what turned
into The Wizards of Once, my latest book series, which is all about magic and setting a world really full of magic. You can see the book, this is my free writing Friday book which turned into
The Wizards of Once. I’m still keeping books like this. This is the spelling
book and in here I wrote all my ideas and started the story. You can see here that this, the handwriting is really quite
scribbly. That doesn’t matter. It’s about getting out the ideas
and here I’m going through, yes, and I’m beginning to draw
pictures of the characters. These are some very scary characters, the witches who are in
the book and these are the wild wizards all set in the wild. It’s coming to life
as I’m drawing it. This is one of the most
important characters here. My first drawings. This is my first ever
drawings of Wish, who is the wizard who has magical powers in the book and
she’s gotten an eye patch. Even though this is
the bronze ages I happen to know Wish is dyslexic which is a thing where you find spelling difficult but Wish is the writer
in the stories. She is the writer. So, that’s what I am trying to say
is that at the end of the day, it’s all about your ideas
and the magic of creativity. Wish has very very
strong magical powers.>>Now, I can’t wait
to read about Wish. This is wonderful. So, do you still write in this book?>>Yes, I do. And that’s what I say, that find a book like this
and write all your ideas.>>It’s beautiful.>>That’s how you build up a world.>>It’s probably one of your prize
possessions, to have that. That is so great. Now, we have one more question.>>Okay.>>Hello, Mrs. Cressida. My name is Clay. I’m in grade four at HIP Academy. I’m from Kenya. My question is, how do you come up
with your character?>>What a great question. I often base characters
on people I know. So, you remember I talked about Wish, she’s a little bit like
me because I struggled with spelling and handwriting
when I was Wish’s age. Or a character like Stoick
is very like my father. So, again, I take true things. I loved my father so much but I wasn’t a bit like him and I put the true feelings that I have
admiring somebody very much but not being like
him in into my books. Then they show to take
on a life of their own. I don’t know how it works.>>I think that’s one of
the neatest things though. I love seeing my students
develop their characters. They do it on paper or
sometimes even now on an app or something digital and it’s so neat to see them though
develop those characters.>>And, drawing things.
Drawing a character you can come up with
an idea for a character but actually drawing it as you say
it really brings it to life.>>To see them come to life. I love that. Well those are some really
great and thoughtful questions from our kids and I’m so glad.>>Kids have the best question.>>I know and I can’t
wait to go home and share those with my kids
and Van Meter, too. Are there any final thoughts that
you want to leave with us today?>>Well, I would just want to
say go out there and write. Just write and read as well because it gives you
ideas for stories and get your mom and dad to read to you way beyond the age that
you can read for yourselves, just 10 minutes a day. Say read to me, please read to me because that
gives you ideas for stories. Practice as much as you
can and don’t worry too much in some places about the handwriting just do
it for the fun of it. And go and play outside. Play outside. My books are about
adventures in the outside, by the sea or in woods. Try and play and then make up
stories about those places, the outside places that you can.>>Bring your notebook with you.>>Bring your notebook with you.>>As you go outside.>>Happy creating.>>I love all of that great advice. Before we end we want to give you a chance to take
a selfie with Cressida. Educators and families get your cameras ready and
everyone gather around the screen in your classroom or at home and we’d love to
see all of you watching. If your teacher or family members want to post your selfies on Twitter, we’ll give you a minute
to get set up.>>[inaudible] [Music playing] Ready? Let’s take some selfies. Cressida, I’m going to have
you count down for us.>>Okay, three, two, one, dragons. [MUSIC]>>Well, I’ve got
so many books, I can’t wave. [MUSIC].>>That was so much fun. We’d love to see your class
selfies with Cressida. So, please post them on Twitter
to #Skype2learn. Cressida, thank you so much
for being here with us and inspiring the next generation
of storytellers like yourself.>>Well, children are the most
imaginative people in the world.>>They sure are and I can’t wait
to take these stories back to my school and I can’t
wait to hear and see too online what
our kids do with this. Thank you so much for joining
us for this global event. Educators, if you love
live learning experiences, your students can connect
with authors, scientists, and other experts, play
mystery Skype or go on virtual field trips throughout the entire year through
Skype in the Classroom. Thank you so much for
being here today. Thanks again Cressida for
teaching us how to build new worlds and spark our imagination. On behalf of Skype in the classroom, as well as Little
Brown young readers, and our author, Cressida Cowell, thanks for watching and
we’ll see you next time.

5 COMMENTS

    Are you gona make the 4 film of how to train you dragons pls pls pls pls pls a cried in the end of the hidden world it was soo saad a crieds soo much soo pls a want to what will hapen to the in the 4 film pls pls pls pls pls pla every one wants it

    Please make a how to train your Dragon 4 and series with it I just want a how to train your Dragon that never ends

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