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'They really are a published author'

Lincoln Elementary School's fourth-grade students are now published authors with their own hardcover books, which arrived just in time for Christmas. The students and their teachers celebrated the project's completion with a read-aloud and ice cr...

Liam Baumgartner, Addison Dahmus and McKenna Claiborne listen to a classmate reading their published story. Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press
Liam Baumgartner, Addison Dahmus and McKenna Claiborne listen to a classmate reading their published story. Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press

Lincoln Elementary School's fourth-grade students are now published authors with their own hardcover books, which arrived just in time for Christmas. The students and their teachers celebrated the project's completion with a read-aloud and ice cream social.

One of the teachers, Robin Swenson, said she got the idea from a flyer she had received in her school mail.

"Our curriculum is really based on a writing curriculum also," she said. "So I thought 'how awesome would this be to have a real book?' And how powerful is that for them to see that they really are a published author? It's exciting."

Each class produced its own book with a different theme. Swenson's class decided to do their book on superheroes who exemplify Top 20, a social/emotional behavior program the school just started.

"It's teaching the children how to resolve conflicts effectively and not only for themselves, but for others and knowing that others matter," she said.

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Each student has two pages in their class book; the first page is an illustration and the second page is their own handwriting.

Miley Ellis and Reagan McMahen's superheroes live "above the line," in the Top 20, which broadly means that they make good life decisions.

"She likes to help people when they drop their books and help her mom make dinner," Miley said of her superhero. "We have to help others succeed."

Reagan's superhero, who she calls TTF for Top 20 Forever, used to be sad and make bad choices, she said. Now, her behavior is above the line and she helps other people get above the line, too.

The other two fourth-grade classes' books weren't related to Top 20. Christina Thiel's class created In the Year 2030, a book about what the students want to be when they grow up. Aalrya Mayes said she would like to grow avocados.

"I've loved them since I was younger, and they've always been a part of my life," she said.

Kaitlyn Kostelecky's class created 50 States of America, a book with facts about the states. Aram Kabanuk wrote about three states, one of which was Minnesota.

"My favorite baseball team is the Twins," he said, adding that his favorite hockey team is also there. "Also, my grandparents live there, and I really love to go there because it's so beautiful and the trees are really nice."

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Related Topics: LINCOLN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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