Creative writing class reads original stories to children
Kindergarten and first grade kids at Widmyer Elementary were treated to hearing original children’s storybooks written by Berkeley Springs High School students in teacher Heather Lorigan’s creative writing class.
Some 24 high school students participated in the half-hour story reading activity on Wednesday, December 14. Teens read their books to the Widmyer classes and answered questions from the kids. Each group switched to another classroom afterwards and read their story again.
Their class assignment was to write a children’s book that was at least 10 pages long and that had a moral, Lorigan said. Students also had to ensure that they were using language that kids in kindergarten would understand.
They wrote about a variety of topics, including making friends, protecting the environment, lost animals finding their way home and being accepting of others, she said.
Lorigan’s students worked together in small groups as they came up with story ideas, did the writing and created pictures and artwork to go with their tales.
High school seniors Isaac Parrill, Devin Gageby, and Richard Montelius and junior Idalis Hovermale created the storybook “Three Little Birds.” It told of the birds working together as a team to find a new home in a cave during a storm. The group found pictures to accompany their story.
One girl in kindergarten teacher Trista Crawford’s class asked them how they wrote the words and made their story. Gageby told the kids that you think about something you want to write and piece together words and sentences until it works.
“You have to practice,” he said of writing.
Kimberly Johnson, Aaron Morrell and Chris Strawsburg created “The Adventures of Ruffy and Snuffy” together and read the book to first grade teacher Ashley Davis’ class. They said they looked for pictures of cartoon dogs to go with their tale and colored them in.
“The high school students really enjoy creating the books, but their favorite part is having the opportunity to read them to younger students,” Lorigan said.