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Stories From Out of This World

Seventh-graders in Kristin Suer’s class took a galactic trip to Doherty Campus in mid-January. The students, who studied the solar system extensively throughout the first semester, presented one of their projects—storybooks about their studies—to Doherty Unit I and some kindergarten students. Each seventh-grade student created their books by working in groups of four to produce their work. “They chose a planet to focus on and wrote and illustrated books surrounding its facts,” said Suer. “Some stories consisted of aliens or dinosaurs settling on the planet while other stories anthropomorphized the planets themselves. The pride and joy the seventh graders had was equally shared by the excitement of the first graders when they recognized the facts and themes of the books!” The middle school students then paired up with a younger student to share the stories they created, developed, and produced. Unit I teacher Margaret Walsh said the cross-divisional collaboration was beneficial for the younger students’ learning process. “Unit I has spent time learning about space during science. The seventh-grade visitors wrote their own books to demonstrate their learning of various space topics,” said Walsh. “It was really neat to see older students make connections with younger students, and field questions about their topics to help deepen their understanding. Our first-graders are also able to see how the work they do now will be built upon in the future.”