Page 10 - FIS World June 2021
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Young Authors
Primary School students experience the joy of becoming published writers
 Words and pictures help add context to a wide variety of topics that students choose to cover in their books.
Four-year-old Emily, an FIS Primary School student, is already a published author. Wieso? Weshalb? Warum? or Why?! Why?! Why?! in English, is her first book and can be checked out from the Oberursel Campus Primary School Library. Since many of us are asking ourselves precisely this question these days (enthusiastic exclamation marks included!), I was eager to learn more.
I had the privilege of interviewing Emily and her entire Pre-Primary class, which includes other published authors, those still in the writing and editing stage, and others still awaiting inspiration
from the muse. These young authors, many of whose works also appear in the PS library, are guided by their supportive editor and teacher, Loretta Smith, and their enthusiastic publisher and librarian, Bethany Fields.
“We all have stories,” explains Ms. Smith. “Sometimes these awaken inside of us when we chat with a friend or go to the forest or the playground. Sometimes other people’s stories wake up those of our own. Whatever the inspiration, encouraging children to find and share their stories helps them work on their writing, reading, speaking and listening skills in a natural, fun way.”
Ms. Fields ensures that each book a student submits to the library is bar coded, registered in the database and has a special spot of honor. The student-created collection includes works across many genres, including informational texts such as WT Flis? (What Flies?) by Hazel. In this book we learn that “arplans, brds, halicopts, [and] btrfli” are some of the marvels we can find in the sky. Each airborne wonder is accompanied by a brightly colored, hand drawn example.
The library’s collection also contains autobiographies. Sophia, a prolific writer with four published manuscripts to date, entitled her latest autobiography Balrina Bok where she describes her passion for dance and ice cream. In her previous memoir entitled Hors Biook, she describes riding the horse Apollo in the sea with accompanying pictures of a brilliant blue ocean and her friend Lily also riding the trusty steed.
Another student offers an ecological treatise including anatomical drawings to help readers differentiate bees from wasps. He also provides detailed illustrations of “how to mak hny (honey)” and “how bees sml (smell), et (eat), and find ech othr.” Like all good authors, he leaves readers with something to ponder urging us to “save th bees.”
This student’s writing journey exemplifies the power of this project. Before writing his homage to bees, he was frightened of them. Knowing that“it is harder to be afraid of something when we know it better,” Ms. Smith and Ms. Fields helped him learn more about bees through books, videos and a visit to the FIS beehive with Upper School science teacher, Chris Neumann. After researching thoroughly, the young author told Ms. Smith, “I am going to write about bees because I want everyone to know about them.” He decided to put his thoughts on paper because he
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