NACOGDOCHES, Texas — As Stephen F. Austin State University senior Morgan Dison from Tatum flips open the book, colorful illustrations cover the page and invite the kindergarten students sitting in front of her to learn more about Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic female astronaut.
Recently, SFA elementary education students in Dr. Lauren Burrow’s social studies methods course wrote and illustrated children books about lesser-known historical figures for a class project. On Monday, SFA students shared their books with a kindergarten class at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary School in Nacogdoches.
“In social studies, we talk a lot about untold stories and lesser-known historical figures,” Burrow said. “We want all students — both SFA and the students we work with in elementary schools — to become more familiar with and celebrate the accomplishments of people from all walks of life.”
Dison and her classmates, seniors Jenny Nance from Pearland and Corie Nonken from Hemphill, were one of eight groups to create a book for this project.
“This was a learning process because it was hard to figure out how to fit the story to a kindergartner’s mindset,” Dison said.
Nance, who works at the Boys and Girls Club in Nacogdoches, worked with children there to illustrate the book.
“This is the coolest thing ever. It’s great to see it through and actually get to read the book to the kids and do an activity with our book,” Nance said.
Group members read their book to and completed a related activity with the kindergarten students.
“This project is like the rest of our education classes because you get to experience everything firsthand as a teacher,” Nance said. “That’s what I think is so great about our classes — they actually put you in the situation you’d be in as a teacher.”
The class dedicated and donated the books to the BQJ Library, and Burrow said she hopes to do this project again.