High school students from Ms. Tania Stead's Creative Writing class wrote and illustrated children's stories this semester to share with Concordia's younger students.
Students set out to craft beautifully illustrated stories with a positive message.
The students were tasked with developing stories for kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade students. As part of the the criteria of the assignment, their respective stories had to include a theme, a memorable protagonist, a structured plot, and 10 intentionally selected high-level vocabulary words which they would teach through context clues in their stories.
After the stories were written and peer reviewed, the students began the illustrations for each page, where they carefully created vibrant and colorful pictures to pique the interest of our young readers.
The class then presented their stories to three elementary school classes on Zoom.
Natasha S. (Gr.11), Emily L. (Gr.11), Julia F. (Gr.12), and Sophia X. (Gr.12) read their story called “Why Do You Have Magic” to Ms. Pham's class.
Geoffrey C. (Gr.12), Ethan D. (Gr.12), David L. (Gr.12), and Grace W. (Gr.12) read their story “The Fox's Box” to Ms. Hedstrom's class.
Vivien Y. (Gr.11), Lous T. (Gr.11), Rayyan R. (Gr.12), and Aidan T. (Gr.12) read “Matchmaking” to Ms. Raasch's class.
During the virtual read-aloud, the high schoolers took turns reading specific pages to their young counterparts. The younger students enjoyed the stories which through their thoughtful text and creative illustrations conveyed positive and hopeful messages that encourage the reader to help and show kindness to others.
“We would all like to help foster a more loving environment among young children, and we ventured to write a story whose main message exhorts the next generation to see the intrinsic worth in others, regardless of their differences,” shares Natasha S. (G11) while recalling how her team came up with the idea of “kindness is our magic” for their story “Why Do You Have Magic”.
The younger students also bravely asked questions about the illustrations and characters that were used in the stories. It was exciting to see our oldest students share their writing with an authentic audience and showing lower graders that they, too, can be authors!
“We were happy to have the opportunity to share the stories with the younger students here at Concordia. It has been a pleasure to work with a group of such talented writers and artists this school year.” —Ms. Stead.
About Creative Writing Course
Concordia's High School Creative Writing course enhances students’ writing skills by challenging them to use language in new and creative ways. Students develop problem-solving skills as they manipulate language to fit within various forms of writing to express their unique thoughts and feelings about life. The course also enhances collaboration skills and an ability to receive constructive feedback since personal writing is often peer reviewed.
One student, Natasha S., shares how the course has allowed her to dip her toe into forms of writing that she would otherwise not experiment with. “I tried my hand at forms of art like screenwriting (something I never thought I would do) and ended up producing a full-on short film that I was actually quite proud of!” She was also able to dabble with slam poetry and writing children’s stories. As a person who loves the idea of using words as a force for good, she believes learning to puzzle and arrange together words is a process that “has the potential to impact people deeply.”