By AMY GAREIS    News-Herald Staff Writer

HOPEDALE/SCIO- Third-graders at Harrison East and North Elementary Schools have gone from pupils to published authors after completing a very special project.

Teachers Erica Wetherell and Dorothy Turner involved their students in a unique project to learn all aspects of writing, editing and illustrating their own class books. Their original creations were recently published by Nationwide Learning Inc., of Topeka, Kan., and distributed to the budding biographers, Brownings and Brontes.

Wetherell said her students spent two months working on their book, “Animal Biographies.” The class book was centered on stories describing their favorite fauna. “The book company offered kits to schools for free about creating a class book and using what we’ve learned in the process,” she said. “They learned about an author and illustrator and wrote collections of animal biographies.”

“They had to come up with pictures that matched the story,” Wetherell commented. “They talked about the writing process and how long it is. Now they’re excited to have a published book.” The group worked on all of the details together, from thinking of ideas and writing rough drafts to fine tuning the final version.

While Wetherell’s crew was versed in factoids, each third- through fifth-grade student at the Scio school formed more fictional ditties. “It involves a complete writing process,” Turner said. “My fourth-graders were exposed to different types of writing: narratives, poetry and fantasy. Every class went through the process with the students.”

Fifth-graders took a similar vein of verse while third-graders had a combined historical tome. They completed the book for submission by the Jan. 18 deadline and the finished products were distributed earlier this month. “The students really enjoyed the project,” she continued. “There were full-page color illustrations. The fifth-graders had poetry, narrative stories and fantasy and third-graders were responsible for one page of text and one full-page color illustration on people and places they researched.”

Turner said another teacher suggested the idea and she brought it back to Harrison North where it blossomed.

Pictured above, students in Erica Wetherell’s third-grade class at Harrison East Elementary are pictured here with the fruits of their labor. NH Photo/AMY GAREIS

Featured left with their books are, Kyleigh Grim (left) and Ivee Cook, members of the fifth grade class at Harrison North Elementary during the Author Tea held February 8 at the school. Photo provided.