One doesn’t have to be a grown-up to get a book published.
Just ask Mrs. Olmstead’s fifth-grade students at Hodson Elementary.
Around 50 students recently took part in publishing two books through Studentreasures Publishing, based out of Topeka, Kan., as part of the organization’s Classbook program.
The project allows students to research a topic, fill the pages with writings and illustrations about the subject, and submit their work to be made into a book.
Olmstead’s classes chose to study Oklahoma animals. Over the last several months, they explored a number of species and their different habitats, eating habits, traits and behaviors, and more.
“One of our standards is researching and using that research to write about it,” she said. “This goes right along with their learning about the different food webs in Oklahoma, and so this really correlated well with (those) standards.”
The students started the project in November and received the final copies of their books earlier this month, which featured everything from the bald eagle and monarch butterfly to the American alligator and western diamondback rattlesnake.
“I did the monarch butterfly,” said 11-year-oild Lizzie Tietz. “I drew it because it seemed very interesting to me; it looks pretty. I had fun looking up all the facts and drawing it and writing all the paragraphs.”
Alex Newbold, also 11, added, “I did the western diamondback rattlesnake. I just did some interesting facts about it. I enjoyed getting to look up the scientific name and what it did and what its habitat is and how it lives.”
Other students like Carson Ferguson, 10, chose a white-tailed deer, and Delaney Carlson, 11, featured a black-tailed jackrabbit, both of whom said they enjoyed participating in the project and learning about their animals.
By adopting Studentreasures’ Classbook program, Olmstead said she felt like it gave her pupils an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of these animals and see their creativity come to life on each page.
“They were so excited to share what they have learned about their animals, and so that increased the discussion in my classroom, and it encouraged others to become excited,” she said. “I’m just very proud of them, they did an amazing job.”