Page 11 - FIS World June 2021
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 wanted to take action. When I spoke with this young author, he was pondering his next book, a guide to the differences between bees and wasps.
The exciting news is that the project, which started in Ms. Smith’s classroom, is contagious (the good kind) and other grades are getting involved. There is a helpful field guide to the Pokémon universe by Grade 1 researchers and illustrators, with detailed drawings and accompanying labels to help identify characters to watch out for while adventuring in the various Pokémon worlds. Many first graders have also proudly announced that they are working on a book soon to be published in the library.
Students see writing as a means to share their stories, thoughts, ideas, and themselves with the world.
This publishing project is one that empowers young people. These students are at an age where they are still very present in the moment and have insights to share with the adults around them. As adults, we sometimes forget the things that matter like laughter, tears, play, exploration, self-expression, and being acutely present in the natural world. And, of course, that sometimes it can be helpful to add plenty of hearts and exclamation marks to your writing. Ms. Smith says, “When Bethany [Fields] publishes books she sends the message to students that they are real authors and have agency; she gives so many of them an authentic purpose to write. Students see writing as a means to share their stories, thoughts, ideas, and themselves with the world. It shows them how they can use their voice, it helps others hear their voice – and it tells all of them that their voice is valuable. That is a powerful message.”
Ms. Fields adds: “I feel lucky to be able to celebrate their creative stories and share them with the school community. This is my first year at FIS and I feel lucky to be able to make these connections with students and it inspires me to make sure that every student believes they are readers and writers – regardless of the number of books read or written – and that this library is truly theirs.” I have to agree with Ms. Fields that “hearing [the young author’s] excitement and thoughts and process is just magical.”
So what can Emily tell us about “Why?! Why?! Why?!”? It turns out that Emily’s book is more scientific than philosophical. It is said, however, that authors and readers make meaning together and when I look at Emily’s scientific picture of how the sun’s rays of light are reflected off of objects, it says something
Young authors complete the final step in their publishing project by adding a barcode and scanning their books into the system.
   deeper and to which all FIS parents can relate: children radiate happiness and our children help create our sunshine. Whether philosophically or scientifically, Emily’s writing gave me something to reflect upon about both our sunny and rainy days.
Dana Matthews FIS Parent
If you would like to share in the wisdom of FIS’s youngest authors,their books are available for check-out in the FIS Primary School library.
June 2021 FIS World 9

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