Before the holiday break, Cohoes High School students were able to bring back a beloved tradition to the students of Harmony Hill: reading their original children’s stories to the first and second graders.
The project was the culmination of the Children’s Literature unit in Ms. Manfredo’s Creative Writing classes in grades 10-12.
Composing their stories wasn’t just a matter of taking pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and hammering out a story. The students had a lot of preparation to do before they even jumped into writing. They reviewed and critiqued several children’s books, talked about audience, imagery, simple plots and relatable themes. They also enjoyed listening to multiple books by prize-winning authors.
“It was nostalgic for many,” said Ms. Manfredo. “A few students requested specific books to review from the elementary libraries prior to writing their own. They rediscovered their favorites from childhood.”
Similar to an author submitting a book proposal to a publishing house, the students had to do the same. They had to submit their proposals to their teacher demonstrating that their story met the criteria above.
“My group of creative students were eager, engaged and enthusiastic about their work from start to finish,” said Ms. Mandredo.
Finally, it was time to head to Harmony Hill. Approximately 17 students met with seven classes to read their stories.
“It was great to see the interaction between age levels,” said Ms. Manfredo.
One of the Creative Writing students even remembered when the high school students came to visit her class at Harmony Hill when she was in first grade.
The students finished their day by reading some of their favorite books by author Jan Brett.
And who knows, they may have inspired a future creative writer.