I visited third graders at St. Therese Elementary School in Jackson today to begin a project I cooked up with librarian Julie Owen. (See her post here.) She and I are field testing a project we will be featuring during our workshop at the International Reading Association Conference in Chicago next month. The workshop is called “Seeing is Believing: Photography in Nonfiction.” Each student will take a digital photograph in the schoolyard. Then, each will write a Fib poem inspired by the photograph. The final step is making an accordion book (with folds based on the Fibonacci sequence).
Today, I began by reading Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. I loved hearing the smattering of “wow”s and “that’s cool”s. I got asked, as I often do, how long it took me to make the book. After I answered two years (which was from idea to publication), I backtracked and explained that it wasn’t two years of solid work on nothing but that. I also got asked: “What does this book mean to you?” Wow. Answer: While writing and photo-illustrating and getting one book published felt like climbing a very big mountain and made me very proud, I was worried about whether I could do it again. Would I find the right idea? With this book, I feel like I’ve answered that question with a big fat affirmative. And, it’s math. Cool.
Here we are trying out our newly-made paper frames. The third graders will practice with their frames when they go outside for recess and at home after school. Tomorrow, we got out with digital cameras. The third graders have already written haiku and cinquains. I can’t wait to see their photographs, poems, and Fib books.