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'The Perfect Day'

Walnut third-graders publish keepsake book

The third-graders at Bureau Valley North are now officially authors with their newly-published classroom book, called, "The Perfect Day."

Teacher Nora Kelly works with her students each year to come up with a new idea for the book she gets published through Studentreasurers Publishing. This year, her students chose to write about what would happen during their perfect day — from morning to night.

The process started with brainstorming ideas. Kelly said to get the students thinking, she asked them questions like: Would you sleep in or wake up early? What would you do first? Who would you see? Where would you go?

Kelly said one of the best parts about the project was getting to hear a wide variety of stories from students as they told her what would happen during their own perfect days.

"Each story was totally different," she said.

When the students had a clear idea on what to write about, the writing process began. When talking to the students about the process of creating a book, many said the most difficult part was rewriting sloppy copies over and over until it was a polished piece that could be written in pen.

Once everyone had a clean, clear copy, the fun part began. Which was getting to draw illustrations to went along with the stories.

Putting together the annual classroom book is one of the highlights of the school year for Kelly. She said it's a fun project that teaches students many lessons including the love for writing, creativity, offering and receiving constructive criticism and that this process doesn't happen overnight for authors.

When the book copies were printed and sent back to the school, students invited parents, teachers and fellow community members to a book premiere, which was held Friday, May 12, at the school.

The visitors met with each student one-on-one and listened to them read their excerpt from the book and show off their illustrations. Kelly said by having the students read to the visitors, it helped work on their interpersonal skills.

"Especially in this time of Twitter, Snap Chat and texting, they have to learn to talk with people face-to-face," she said.

Now that the hard work is finished, students will get to take a copy of the book home, so they can remember the project for years to come.

"This will be a memory they will have forever," Kelly said.

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