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Sperreng Students Create, Share Original Children’s Books

March 30, 2022

Sperreng Middle School eighth grade students recently visited Concord Elementary School to read children’s books to their elementary school peers. Here comes the plot twist. The books were written and designed by the eighth graders as part of their business design class led by Jim Lewis.

The eighth graders walked from Sperreng to Concord and read their stories to classes throughout the building. Students began researching children’s literature on the first day of the third quarter.

“They did it step by step, like building a bridge. You keep building until you get to the other side,” Lewis said. “We did our research by reading children’s literature books online and in hard copy.”

Lewis said everything was created by the students, from choosing the font to creating the story’s plot, characters and illustrations. Students were able to work in pairs or independently. 

“They all were able to collaborate together,” Lewis said. “Some kids might have a great story and were able to pair up with great artists. They worked together to meet deadlines. I wanted to have a project that they could research and see through until the end.”

Students Danielle Gnuse and Emily Ellison enjoyed making the illustrations. They partnered up to write and illustrate a book called “Bob’s Workday.”

“He has to go on this journey and find the color of a very rare flower,” Gnuse said. “His company finds a bunch of colors for flowers. He has to travel the world to find the specific color.”

It was a full-court effort to write and illustrate the book, and then present it to the students at Concord.

“I love reading to the kids, they seemed to enjoy it,” Ellison said.

Lewis said he loves that this project allows students to build multiple skills.

“This gives them the opportunity to be leaders, build community and use communication skills,” Lewis said. “They’ve hit every facet of what I wanted to cover.”