Girard students create their own books

By Jordyn Grzelewski


One story is about a monster who turns out to be more friendly than frightening.

Another is about a boy finding a home with adopted parents.

Another story centers on trying out for the basketball team.

Another is about a girl who stands up to a bully.

They have different plots, but these books have something in common: All were created by Girard Intermediate School students, and all feature a positive message the students wanted to share with others.

As part of Right to Read Week, a student literacy initiative, sixth-grade students created their own books from start to finish.

“My students wrote their own picture books following the process of writing: brainstorming problems, characters, setting and solution,” GIS language-arts teacher Wendy DiBernardi said. “They wrote a rough draft collaboratively. They spent hours adding figurative language and correct punctuation.”

Students then used the website Bookemon to find images for their stories and order bound copies of the final products.

Sixth-grader Madison Underwood, whose group wrote the book about a child being adopted, said her group thought of the idea after reading a book titled “Eleven,” in which a child is adopted by his grandparents.

“Our book was kind of inspired from that,” Madison said.

On Wednesday, the sixth-graders shared their stories with students at Prospect Elementary. Each book was geared toward a different grade level between kindergarten and third grade.

One group read a story about a character named David who moves to a new school and wants to play basketball there.

Third-graders listened attentively to “The Girl Who Did,” a book about bullying.

In addition to improving their writing skills, DiBernardi said the project allowed her students to learn about leadership.

She also noted the lasting impact their stories will have, as they will be added to the school library’s collection of books.

“This is forever,” she said.

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