Students of Ashley Fliflet, a third grade teacher at Wahpeton Elementary School, show off 'Animals You Should Love.' The book was one of five published with writings and illustrations from nearly 100 third graders.
Approximately 100 third graders at Wahpeton Elementary School are now published authors and artists.
Students in five classrooms contributed writings and illustrations for their class’s book. Each classroom created a book about the animal kingdom which was then published by Studentreasures Publishing, Topeka, Kansas.
Each classroom’s book arrived during the week of Monday, March 13. They are:
• “The Big Book of Animals We Should Love and Should Not Love,” by Amy Tollefson’s students
• “Animals That Are Loved or Not Loved” by Carmen Burhans’ students
• “Mrs. Schmidt’s Class Animal Book” by Bailey Schmidt’s students
• “Animals We Should and Shouldn’t Love” by April Johnson’s students
• “Animals You Should Love” by Ashley Fliflet’s students
“All of the classes got to choose and vote on their book’s title,” Fliflet said. “The cover pictures of each book were created by a student in the class.”
For at least three years now, Wahpeton Elementary School third graders have had the experience of being published authors and illustrators.
“It’s part of the writing assignments in our curriculum. We’re able to give our students a fun way to utilize their writing talents. Having a published book is a goal that the students work up to throughout the year,” Fliflet said.
Third graders experienced and shared in the creative process.
“They each chose or were given an animal that most people might not like,” Fliflet said. “The assignment was to share why people should like that animal, so the writing was built around facts and opinions.”
Tarantulas and other commonly-feared animals are not normally part of third grade classrooms. Because of this, the Wahpeton Elementary School youth had to get illustration inspiration.
“We watched YouTube videos on how to draw these animals. It was a lot of fun,” Fliflet said.
While the author and illustrator project is becoming a tried-and-true experience for Wahpeton Elementary Schools’ third-graders, it can also be shared. Fliflet said she knew of at least one second grade class that was doing a similar assignment.
“Studentreasures sends up copies of each book for our students and our classroom library. It helps motivate the students to do well,” she said.