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That Book Project!
Posted by Loralie Cole-Holmbo on 2/24/2017
Sending in the Student Treasures published books last Friday was an, um… amazing experience (… and some parents might have their own colorful adjectives to describe their feelings about it as well)! So, I’d like to go over some things that the children learned throughout this project.
- Quantity of writing – It’s important to start at the beginning in order to know how far students have come. At the beginning of the year, at the end of the first week, I had them respond to a prompt relating to our first-quarter theme: “What does it mean to depend on each other?” I got many one-sentence answers. To say the least, I was disappointed. With this book project, I was getting several seven-, eight-, or ten-paged, single-spaced, size-12 font stories! That amount of writing from ten-year-olds is amazing.
- Creativity – We know that the gifted child’s brain can make brilliant connections, and I have seen that in action every day. Whether it’s fan fiction or fantasy, the amazing twists, turns, depth, and character development amazes me each and every day!
- Teamwork – This buzz word is sometimes overused, so let me give specific examples to demonstrate what I mean. Especially during crunch time the last few days, I had to “hire” illustrators to help some kids who were just not going to finish on time. The conversations that I heard were amazing: “Does this look like how you want it?” “I don’t understand why your character did that. Can you explain it better?” “I think you need to start a new paragraph there.” “That drawing’s awful.” “She said my drawing’s awful!” “Can you re-phrase that, please?” Silence. “How about, ‘Can I help you with that?’” which ended up leading to an amazing illustration at the end.
- Quality of writing – Again, to go back to the beginning, the quality of writing was at a level that I did not expect. Now, everyone knows where to put paragraphs, each child can write an introduction and conclusion, almost everyone knows how to punctuate dialogue, and we can all have in-depth conversation about how to balance descriptive adjectives regarding setting and characters vs. actions and events moving at the right pace in a plot.
So, was it all worth it? You bet! As you might have noticed, I used the adjective “amazing” several times here. I cannot overstate how incredible the work is that your children are producing now. Is everyone perfect? No, but the next time you read a good book before you go to sleep at night, you can rest assured that your child might someday be on the New York Times’ Best Sellers List.