Shiloh first grade teacher Brooke Sterns recently published her second book in collaboration with her students titled “Happiness Is.”
In the spring of 2018, Sterns first grade students were studying butterflies and came up with the idea to create the book “Come Fly With Me” through the website https://studentreasures.com.
“Come Fly With Me was about each child becoming a butterfly and writing about where he or she would fly to,” Sterns said. “I took their pictures, gave them a butterfly body, glued their picture to it, they decorated it, and wrote about where they would go and what they would do. Many students put facts about butterflies in their book. Many of them stopped on their journey to suck nectar from different colored flowers.”
Sterns said that the Come Fly With Me book turned out so great, she had to do it again with her 2018-2019 students.
In November, Sterns said that she was trying to come up with the theme of the second book that would go with the approaching holidays.
“I didn’t want to do gifts they want and I have the Peanuts book Happiness Is…so we read that book, listened to the song, and talked about all the things that make us happy. I thought it would be a great gift and keepsake for parents who ordered the book,” she said.
Studentreasures Publishing sent Sterns all of the materials after she requested them on the website.
“Once we had all the pages ready to go I mailed it back in and they published the book for us. They sent a video that showed the kids how they make the books and sent us a congratulations email. Parents were able to pre-order the book and they can still purchase a book now through the website.”
Sterns mailed their finished product by Nov. 2. On Nov. 26, Sterns classroom had a publishing party with ice cream sandwiches. Each student took a turn reading their page aloud.
“It is a hard back book, so I know after seeing it they were very proud. It was a great process. We talked a lot about the writing process and how everyone makes mistakes and how important it is to make several drafts until you have your final draft that is perfect,” Sterns said. “We read each others and they helped each other make changes and make sure they made sense. When they had a great final draft, they then copied it onto their paper for the book. We talked a lot about describing words and parts and how when we read books we want them to sound interesting with lots of details.”
Sterns said that some of her favorite quotes from the book are:
- “Happiness is reading the best book ever.
- Happiness is a cold drink of chocolate milk.
- Happiness is getting a kiss before bed.
- Happiness is extra recess on a sunny day.
- Happiness is playing soccer with my dad and snuggling with my mom.”
Sterns said that she would recommend Studentreasures Publishing to other teachers.
“It is a great way to go through the writing process together. It is a lot of work, but getting the book pays off at the end,” she said. “It is great for the students to see and hold something they are so capable of doing. They all have something to be proud of.”