Junior Students Make Books


Heather Sandquist’s Grade 4 class can now add author/illustrator to their resumes. The class is proud to announce the release of their professionally self-published, perfect bound alphabet book titled The Big Book of Habitats and Their Inhabitants A – Z.

Having a resident author/illustrator in the class proved to be just the inspiration and guidance they needed. Rachel Boult is the classroom assistant and with her expertise, the students were led through the multi-stepped process of writing, illustrating, and publishing a real book.

The project started with a large sheet of red paper on the bulletin board. The title overhead read “Our Habitat Alphabet.” Each letter of the alphabet was spaced with enough room to write and the class began to fill it up with words they knew and were learning about in relation to their unit on habitats. In a couple of weeks, the poster was full of plenty of words for each letter of the alphabet, and the students were ready to begin their research.

Each student picked a letter and was responsible for researching and writing facts on the words they had generated. Next, they had to plan out and create a double page spread for their letter with visuals and text. They used multi-media to create their pages, including watercolour paints, pencil crayons, oil pastels, glue, sand, salt, pom-poms, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and more. With 15 kids in the class, each with their own page, the students teamed up in twos and threes to tackle the remaining letters. It was truly a collaborative effort.

The Process

The many steps involved in a project of this scale were a learning experience in themselves. The students had to be patient and trusting that each step was vital, and that it would all come together in the end. Everyone was excited and motivated, however those weren’t the only emotions that surfaced during the process.

“I felt anxious because I wanted to see the finished product. I also felt curious because I wondered what it would look like.” – Sofia

“When we were doing all the sand and painting, I was getting a bit worried that I wouldn’t have enough time to finish everything because it was pretty big.” – Tasha

“When you’re working with partners, sometimes they have different ideas than you and you have to find a common ground.” – Emma

“I felt like I just wanted to get it done.” – Angelo

What We Learned

So much learning took place during the process of making this book. The students experienced the rewards of hard work and dedication to seeing a project through to its end, and the final product itself will continue to teach and remind the students of their success.

“What I think I learned during the process of making the book is everyone is great in a different way and doing things in a group is fun.” – Georgia

“I learned patience, and how good of a team we make!” – Emma

“I learned that the process of making a book is really challenging, and there are more steps than I thought.” – Olivia

“Don’t give up. Even if things are hard, keep on trying. You have to use determination.” – Isabella

“I learned about all the habitats in the world and I learned it was really good to believe in yourself.” – Tasha

“I learned that if you put a team effort into it, you can accomplish anything you want to.” – Angus

Our Favourite Part

The unanimous answer to this question was doing the artwork. Exploring and experimenting with collage was a great way for the students to express their creativity.

“My favourite part of the process is when we did the art because you can let your creativity fly.” – Isabella

“I loved it all. The writing and art, finishing the book itself, planning, and all the steps in between. I enjoyed every moment of it.” – Emma

“My favorite part was putting salt on my page and doing the research.” – Matthew

What Makes Our Book Great!

“What I think makes our book great is that we used all different materials and mixed them together to make one awesome book!” – Olivia

“What makes this a great book is that it has good visuals and proper facts.” – Matthew

“What makes our book great is that everybody participated in it.” – Alastair

“People can learn about different animals and where they live and what our class is capable of doing.” – Emma

“I really like the book because it is not just plain paper. It is shiny and glossy paper. I like how each kid got one or two letters to do.” – Zoe

Our Big Accomplishment

“I feel proud because I accomplished something amazing and relieved because I had worked so hard on it and now I can relax.” – Emma

“I now feel really proud of what I’ve done. It turned out to be even better than what I thought and I thought it would look great.” – Olivia

“I feel proud to have been part of the process of making the book. I also feel like I’m flying with joy.” – Georgia

“This is probably the best project I have ever done. It’s just that good.” – Angus


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