A GROUP of Applecross Senior High School students can lay claim to the title ‘children’s authors’ after pairing with two Attadale Primary classes for an innovative storybook project.
Under the guidance of English teacher Kathie Donovan the Applecross students worked with Year 3 Attadale students to research, write and illustrate storybooks that would interest their young partners.
“(The project) aims to teach the importance of purpose and audience in writing,” Miss Donovan said.
“The students work on both analytical and creative aspects of storybook composition.
“They learn about the storybook genre and its physical make up, look at plot subgenres and their conventions and complexities, deconstruct the different characters types and, perhaps most importantly, learn to appreciate the sheer power of language, its nuances and variety, and how something as simple as word choice can affect both purpose and audience.
“They also create their own storybook according to the needs and interests of their audience.”
Those needs and interests were diverse, with the finished works exploring themes from friendship to fear of the dark to sporting achievement.
“This is a demanding project for the Year 10 students on many different levels,” Miss Donovan said.
“For some, the one on one meetings with a young person they do not know can be quite daunting.
“They need to learn to ‘read’ their partner, and to use appropriate communication strategies for that environment.
“Many students, not practising readers in this day and age, learn to enjoy stories again, and find themselves reading more extensively than they have for many years.”
Copies of the finished storybooks are now on display in the library at Applecross SHS with students encouraged to vote for the one they feel is most effective for its targeted age group.