A+ for Kid Lit: Authors and Audience
Every spring for the past 7 years, the Grade 10s at Brentwood have enjoyed a genre unit within their regular English course. This 4 week break from the routines of English (and our regular teacher) allows us to select and explore a specific area of study. This year’s options included The Office, war poetry, escapist fiction, Agatha Christie, “Noises Off” and my selection, Children’s Literature.
In Mrs. Hedquist’s Children’s Literature unit our goals were to study the genre, meet a kindergarten friend, and write a book for our little buddy. To this end, twenty of us journeyed into the realm of children’s literature. Full of nerves and excitement, we travelled to Bench Elementary where smiling kindergarten students greeted us with overwhelming excitement. Then we were paired with our adorable buddies: our audience.
Mrs. Wardle, the Bench kindergarten teacher, was in charge of placing us with one of her students, partnering us up with someone whom she saw fit according to questionnaires that had been completed by both classes before our first meeting.
Although the stress of having to design, personalize, write and illustrate a children’s book in three weeks was daunting, Ms. Hedquist’s genre class enjoyed the challenge. Children’s literature connected us with our little buddies and reminded us of what it was like to be so young. The endless fun of running around a playground with friends rather than stressing about final exams, of being able to play during class, of witnessing the joy of narrative transfixing young minds was re-introduced to the class of 2014 when we delivered our final project, a personalized, illustrated book, to our little buddies at Bench Elementary.
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