Our classroom motto is “wisdom begins in wonder”. This quote, from Socrates, represents the core of my beliefs about teaching. I believe that every child holds a natural curiosity about the world around them, and that the most powerful learning happens when that curiosity is answered with opportunity.
Many classes at my school work on a yearly book publishing project, in which each class collaborates on a book that is written and illustrated by the students. I wanted to think of a topic that would engage my students and create a beautiful keepsake for their families, but I also wanted our topic to be authentic and meaningful. I tried to think of what would represent our class, and I remembered that the core of our classroom is wonder.
So I simply asked, “what do you wonder?”. We spent a few minutes discussing some ways to word their “I wonder” statements and sharing some ideas as a group. Then, they were sent off to write.I was so enthralled by their wonderings. Some of the questions they wrote stemmed from our current learning, but most of them were genuine, authentic questions that they had about their world. I absolutely loved reading what they wrote and I felt like it really captured their bright, curious minds.
Earlier in the year we had made some beautiful owl art, so we decided to include that art as our illustrations since owls are also a symbol of wisdom. Here are some photos of our published book!
After about four weeks our published books arrived. As we read the book together as a class, my students were so pleased with themselves as they realized that even in the short time since writing the book, they had already discovered or researched the answers to some of the questions they had written about. It was the perfect illustration of just what I wanted them to see – that wisdom really does begin with wonder!
Parents were able to purchase either a hard cover or paperback copy of the book to keep. Although the compilation and final editing process before sending the package off to the publisher can be a bit tedious on the teacher’s end, it was well worthwhile just to hear that grade one student exclaim, “Wow! I can’t believe we are real authors!”.
If you’re interested in publishing a book with your class, head to Student Treasures to learn more!