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FHS students ‘publish’ FPS second-grade stories

Farragut High School art students illustrated and bound books Farragut Primary School second-grade students wrote; the high school students “gifted” the books to the second-graders at FPS, Friday, Dec. 11, 2009.

When FPS second-grade teacher Teresa Longworth’s students saw the books before they were given to FHS advanced art teacher Hope Brashear’s students, the “books” were just sheets of paper. When the FHS students stopped by before dismissal Dec. 11, the books were “published” and illustrated.

The books were illustrated by the high school students with various mediums: pen and ink, colored pencils, markers, paint, watercolors … the students had no idea what the final project would look like, Longworth said.

Story punctuation and spelling were the only critiques high school students made to the second-grade stories.

Brashear said Longworth goes over the stories quite extensively with her second-grade students to prepare the stories for the art class students.

“I didn’t think the kids knew what the outcome of the book project would be … they write things, they read it, they understand it. But when someone else has to read it and understand it, it showed them how important it was that what they wrote made sense,” Longworth said.

Brashear said, “I was surprised to see my students were anxious to meet the second-graders. They were worried about how the kids would feel that they had translated the characters through their books, illustrating them.”

The book project began a year before, in 2008, with Brashear’s think-outside-the-box way of teaching.

“I looked for something with my advanced art classes that required them to make something and give it away. And anytime a student can get extra attention, it’s a very positive thing.”

Brashear said, “I think it’s a good experience for the students to give something away.

“I chose [Longworth’s] class last year because I had two students who had her as a teacher in first-grade,” she added.

“Hope [Brashear] called me again this year to see if second grade could participate again since it was such a hit last year. I’m hoping this is something that will last a long time,” Longworth said.

The FHS advanced art class involves collage, papermaking, bookbinding and other projects using those skills.

The book project was part of the advanced art class’s final portfolio.

“I was impressed with all of [the students]. I loved their stories how quirky they were. I liked hearing my students share their own second-grade stories and how they empathized with the second-graders,” Brashear said.

“There have been several stories, where the story is just crazy. You know it’s just somebody’s imagination,” Brashear said. “This is the challenge for the story, to make clear what you are given.”

One story in particular stood out to both Longworth and Brashear. A second-grader had written a story revolving around Indiana Jones that did not make sense by itself.

The high school student working on the illustration and bookbinding, Lucia Board, formed the story, added punctuation and now “his book is one of the best I’ve seen,” Longworth said. “My student was excited and enjoyed the story, but for another person to read it, it was difficult to understand. The high school student who illustrated the story brought it to life.”

The high school students working on binding and illustrating the books enjoyed the project.

“It was hard work. It definitely pays off to their reactions,” FHS sophomore Abby Lancaster said.


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