March 2, 2012
Some 200 Pauline Johnson Public School students became writers and publishers all in one day thanks to a unique program and the help of accomplished authors.
On Friday, February 24, a group of 30 Grades 5 and 6 students worked with writers Kwame Alexander, Joanna Crowell, and Deanna Nikaido of the Book-in-a-Day student-run publication. The students took on the roles of author, editor and publisher to create a book in just one day, titled Odyssey of Hope. The book contains 100 poems.
Alexander read to students his latest book, Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band.
This is the second year Pauline Johnson Public School has hosted the Book-in-a-Day program. It brings to life the completed cycle of the writing process incorporating not only students’ voices through their own writing and editing, but also the publishing process, which includes layout, marketing, publication and a book launch. The Book-in-a-Day journey with students and staff “leaves a positive glow of energy and delight in the accomplishment of a finished product – our own book with our own published writing voice,” says Principal Mary-Alice St. James.
Writing empowers students, says teacher Chris Colderley.
“The Book-in-a-Day program teaches students they have a voice and gives them a greater appreciation for what writers do,” he says. “At the same time students learn the value of cooperation. A seemingly impossible task of publishing a book in one day can be accomplished if the workload is split between the students and everyone does their share.”
The program has a strong connection to the curriculum, as writing is an integral part of student learning, St. James explains. Student writing is displayed throughout a student’s daily work and is on display in classrooms and throughout the school.
“The cross-curricular connections, whether math, science, language, social studies, help students have their voice heard by applying their learning in meaningful ways for others to read, understand, interpret and enjoy,” says St. James.