More than words on a page 

Seniors in Jill Brown and Tim Crowe’s English classes recently created children’s books based on research they conducted on a social issue of their choosing.

“The process of writing a children’s book was a wonderful experience which allowed us to bring out our own creativity on difficult social issues that many of us could relate to,” senior Michayla Hubric said. “We had creative freedom to write about whatever we wanted as long as it exemplified a specific social issue that would be appropriate for children and taught them a positive lesson.”

seniors read their books to fourth graders in the library

On May 11, fourth grade classes walked to the high school to listen to seniors read a selection of their completed books. 

The project started with research. Students read a book on their topic from the high school library, as well as one from the Intermediate School or North Hornell School collections. They then did further research using online resources so they had a basic understanding of how the subject was conveyed on multiple levels. Then they put pen to paper to write and illustrate their own children’s book. 

“I liked the books the seniors wrote,” fourth grader Emmalyn Hall said. “The illustrations were really good. I also loved all the art in the library.”

Reading to the younger students gave the seniors an opportunity to see how the elementary students reacted and engaged with their books, as well as gave the fourth graders a brief introduction to the high school.

seniors read their books to fourth graders in the library

“It was interesting, but difficult trying to capture complicated issues in a simple way and offering solutions and messages to the audience about those issues,” senior Abigail Sexsmith said. “It was fun getting to share our books with the younger kids. We usually don’t get the chance to share our work so it was really neat getting the younger kids’ opinions and feedback.”