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Real-World Learning Project Sees Students as Publishers
Real-World Learning Project Sees Students as Publishers
Posted on 12/23/2022

December 23, 2022 (Perth, ON) – What started as a poetry assignment in the Grade 5 classroom at The Queen Elizabeth School, turned into the creation of a student book publishing company that raises money for a community outreach program.

The project began back in November, when classroom teacher Emma Telford gave a poetry assignment to her class. Each student wrote a self-refection poetry piece titled “I am,” which included positive descriptive words about the student.

With the well-written poems displayed in the hallway, Telford and the students came up with the idea to compile their hard work into a book.

And that’s where A Plus + Publishing, the student-created publishing company, began.

All 25 students in the class each had a job title and specific responsibilities in the overall development of their first book, from Administration Liaison to Content Creator.

As part of the process, students learned important skills including how to set up appointments and send professional emails. Students also had the opportunity to be creative, illustrating their poems and creating posters and social media posts on the computer. They even pitched their project to their principal Claire Snider to ask for money to launch their book.

“With the help of others, I made the PowerPoint pitch for Ms. Snider and designed Facebook posts on the computer,” says Grade 5 Student Nate McRae. As part of the presentation, McRae explained the costs and overall plan, which resulted in the principal agreeing to the proposal and covering the costs for printing.

“The jobs changed every day,” adds Emily Tanner. “Some jobs took longer than others and we had a checklist. We worked together to complete all the tasks.” Tanner was involved in designing the front cover and the description at the back of the book.

“Students who aren’t usually as engaged with class work were getting excited about this project and even working on aspects after school,” explains Telford. “It was heartwarming to see them being so creative and collaborative and really excited for this project.”

Each of the poems were handwritten and accompanied by watercolour illustrations, which were also created by the students. When complete, the documents were scanned and sent to COBA Studios, a custom print shop in Merrickville.

The end product was 50 softcover collection of poems. All the books have been sold and the profits are being donated to The Table Community Food Centre in Perth. On Dec. 21, the class took a trip to the Perth Library to donate a book to their shelves and the book has already received a request to be put on hold.

During their trip, Perth Library Specialist Heidi Taber explained to the class the process that the book will undergo before hitting the shelves. It will be put in a protective sleeve, a barcode added and coded appropriately.

“I am so proud of this group of dedicated and creative students,” says Snider. “There are so many valuable skills and lessons that the students get out of a project like this. It’s something that they will never forget.”


For media inquiries, please contact:
April Scott-Clarke
Manager of Communications
Upper Canada District School Board
[email protected]

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