Fifth-graders take a turn at being authors

Book launch party celebrates their achievement

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WALNUT — The fifth-grade students at Bureau Valley North can now check off “author,” “illustrator” and “book publisher” on their list of accomplishments.

The students recently finished up a class project where they got to write and illustrate their own stories based off one topic. The stories were then sent off and published into keepsake books.

To celebrate this accomplishment, fifth-grade teachers Nora Kelly and Dane Huseman put on a book launch party on May 9, where the students got to share their stories with parents and community members.

Kelly’s class voted to write about what they wanted to be when they grew up. She said the topic got students thinking about their interests, education and ways they could be better prepared in the future when pursuing a career pathway.

Huseman’s class voted to write poems based on Judith Viorst’s poem, “If I Were in Charge of the World.” He said the class had just finished up its poetry unit and students were really interested in the genre.

Both classes used peer editing and revision along the way, which taught them how to give constructive criticism and receive it.

“I was really happy with how students were able to personalize the poems and include elements that were unique to themselves,” Huseman said.

Kelly, who started this student project four years ago, explained how the books serve as a keepsake for the students. It’s something for them to take home, save, and read again and again.

The project was made possible through Studentreasures Publishing, which allows students to do this project at no cost to an educator.