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History as Story
Joan Lange

The AOS library hosted two authors for the “History as Story” writing workshops. 

Texas author Chris Barton shared strategies with 4th-grade students who are researching distinguished African Americans. Using examples from books such as Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super Soaking Stream of Inventions, Barton showed students how to organize a timeline, find a focus, and generate questions to spark their research.

With 6th-grade students, Barton demonstrated how an author of nonfiction writing researches and crafts a compelling story. 6th-grade students will be doing a self-selected passion project in the spring.

5th-grade students brainstormed inventions using fluorescence or camouflage and developed these ideas in the writing workshop as Chris Barton provided examples from his books The Day-Glo Brothers and Dazzle Ships. 5th-grade students will be researching inventors in the spring. Science and math teachers collaborated with this writing workshop by creating a special science lab in which students practiced their skills in camouflaging rabbits to evade a snake predator. Students observed how camouflage is one example of traits in nature that impact survival.

Deborah DEEP Mouton, former Houston poet laureate,  immersed 7th- and 8th-grade students in the power of storytelling as students wrote perspective poems. 7th-grade students explored videos of Colonial Williamsburg interpreters, and during the workshop, students gave voice to a Colonial Williamsburg artisan or laborer. 8th-grade students, who will be visiting Washington, D.C. in the spring, chose a national monument and wrote from the prompt: How do you bring the voice of a monument to life?

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