Students at the HEART Academy at Julian Newman recently had the opportunity to publish “Down to the Farm” as part of their Farm to Table project-based learning unit. The project took the students about four weeks.
“We have a PBL unit called Farm to Table, and we just talk about just basic farm animals, different crops that we grow on farms and how food gets from the farm to the table, and so we decided to write this book. Every kid was given a farm animal and then everyone had their own job. and so, some kids had to talk about what a farm was. Some had to talk about the importance of farms, and then everyone else, they were given an animal,” said Maddie Hobbs, a teacher at the HEART Academy.
Students were guided through the process of writing and publishing a book from start to finish.
“They were introduced to the writing process of editing and writing a draft, editing the draft, revising it, fixing it and then they also had to illustrate their own picture to go along with their page. (The students) range anywhere from like 7 to 9,” said Chelsie Calder, a teacher at the HEART Academy.
The students were given standards to achieve and step-by-step instructions on how to meet those standards. Students were graded on success criteria based on the Farm to Table unit.
“Usually with our project-based learning unit they do their own booklets, and they do a table of contents and we do nonfiction writing and researching, a lot of that goes into it. The standards that were used were our farm standards when we talked about how the plants get from the farm to the table, and then we did nonfiction informational writing. We also learned about text features. So we gave them success criteria and we let them know the steps in the order they needed to take to be successful with their piece and they got an animal, like Ms. Calder said, that they had to research a better animal first,” said Cassidy Goff, a teacher at the HEART Academy. “They had to get their things together, all their research and write it down, and then they had to follow the success criteria. They had to make sure that we knew why the animal was important on the farm, how the animal contributed to the farm, any other fun facts about that animal.”
Students were reminded that publishing a book is an opportunity not everyone gets.
“We made it a big deal to let them know that not everybody has published a book, so that was a big part of it. We talked that up a lot, about how now they’re authors and you know, they all purchased a copy of the book and got to share that with their family. and then the second thing was, you know, they did their research with their animals with how the animals contribute to the farm and things like that. So, we really hope that they just are able to understand that you don’t go to the grocery store and get things, you know, it takes a community,” said Fiorella Carr, a teacher at the HEART Academy.
The process served as a reminder to students that they can complete difficult tasks.
“This was a difficult process, you know, I know that some of them would get discouraged if their drawing didn’t come out perfect or if their writing wasn’t perfect, you know, we just like to encourage kids that they can do more things like published books,” said Goff.
Those interested in purchasing “Down on the Farm” can go to studentreasures.com and search for one of the following classroom pins:
- Hobbs: 8147242
- Boiler: 8145598
- Goff: 8145684
- Carr: 8153480