My media literacy class has been very busy creating children’s books over the last month. We’ve been fortunate enough to bring in local visual artist Arturo Ho to work with students on their illustrations. Like most big projects, it’s taking a bit longer than we expected. However, all the hard work and extra time is definitely paying off.
All the stories have a common theme of transitions. Students first did a series of writing activities where they explored different transitions in their lives. Everyone eventually divided up into groups based on their shared experiences. For example, we have one group doing a story about experiencing their parents getting a divorce. Another group is creating their story about moving to the United States from another country and the hardships that ensue. The stories are all metaphorical, but inspired by these shared life experiences.
Arturo is a real pro at getting students to create their best possible work. Not only is he a talented artist, he’s also a really nice guy. It’s been great having him in our classroom during this project. We plan to publish all our stories as a collection via the self-publishing site blurb.com. We’re also creating digital movies of the stories complete with narration, sound effects, and music.