Perryville students win impressive book-writing contest

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Fun and dynamic lessons are being taught every day in our region, and we were pleased to bring you one such example recently from Perryville, Missouri, where teacher Valerie Stueve's former students won a national book-writing contest.

As was reported by Jeff Breer, Stueve's class learned in May they were among the winners of the book challenge put on by Studentreasures Publishing, seeing their effort reach print among the 800,000 entrants.

The 50-page book features artwork of an animal in a feathered disguise along with the pro or con of it avoiding the table of Stueve and her husband, Glen, who are farmers. All 20 of her students addressed an animal.

"We had to write it five times," said third-grader Israel Graham, who wrote about a feathered, two-tooth squirrel as part of the story. Graham concluded the squirrel disguise was not a good one, writing the "farmer goes hunting and eats squirrels" on the adjacent page.

Each student had to research if the disguise would be a good one or a bad one, based on what a farmer might eat or do with the animal.

"I wanted to make sure they knew the writing process first, that they understood basic punctuation, capitalization, how to write a paragraph," Stueve said. "And agriculture is pretty important to me, because I'm also a farmer."

She finished the final eight pages of the book, which her students unanimously agree has a happy ending.

Congratulations to these children and Mrs. Stueve for winning the national contest. This was an innovative and fun approach to learning, and it's exceptional that the children were awarded with the top prize among so many entrants. Well done!

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