April 15, 2015

Author’s Day a big hit

By Chris Erickson

Hazen 6th Graders got the chance to reflect on their lives recently when Author’s Day came to Hazen Middle School.
The activity, which 6th grade language arts teacher Shayla Sinclair has been assigning to her students for 13 years, gave them the opportunity to take a look at their lives through the task of writing an autobiography.
Once again, it turned out to be quite the group of 52 “bestsellers.”
According to Sinclair, the project first began with high schoolers who, by experience alone, wrote at a different level and had different topics to write about. Over time she’s adjusted the project and its scope, and every year she’s taught elementary schoolers, she’s held the event.
“We do so much work with the books, I thought there had to be a fun way to celebrate them,” Sinclair said. “We try to create a ‘book signing’ atmosphere, like you’d see at an actual bookstore.”
Originally set in the library, bigger classes prompted a move to the lunchroom area to accommodate more students and their parents. According to Sinclair, each student sets up their own special ‘Author’s Area,’ with keepsakes and pictures from their past, and their autobiography.
“We have classical music playing in the background, coffee and cookies for our guests... it’s just a nice, relaxed atmosphere where the students and guests can celebrate these published authors and visit about their books and their lives,” she said.

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