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Clements/Parsons Elementary students become published authors


Special to the Leader-Press


What are the odds of an author getting a book published and seen on bookstore shelves? Literary agent Chip MacGregor says the chances could be as low as 0.0065. But that did not deter Clements/Parsons Elementary students who used their preparation for the STAAR writing assessment to become published authors.

Library paraprofessional LeAnn Jones challenged herself to create new and fun ways to help students practice their writing skills. Earlier in the year during library time when students were learning about authors and illustrators, they were curious to learn more about the process on how a story ends up in a book. Jones presented the idea to the students of writing, illustrating, and publishing their own books.

Students started working on their books in September, quickly learning that writing a book and bringing it to publication was a very long process. Each class brainstormed together to come up with topics for their books and decide if they would be fiction or non-fiction.

Jones said the lesson provided great opportunities for students to practice working together and listening to others’ ideas as well as compromising. Students worked together to research their topics, write rough drafts and then, after correcting any spelling or grammatical mistakes, they wrote their final drafts and completed their illustrations. Each student wrote at least one page and drew an illustration page in his classroom book. 

“The students all worked so hard and came in each library class excited to get to work,” Jones said. “Seeing the students so excited about writing was wonderful.”

When students completed their illustrations and final drafts, their work was boxed up and sent to the publisher. After four months of writing and another six weeks for printing, students’ published books arrived on campus.

Students and parents had the opportunity to purchase copies of the books. Each book is also available in the Clements library to be checked out by students like all other books on the shelves.   

Students wrap up their STAAR testing for the 2021-2022 school year on April 5-8 and April 12-15.


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