Some writers go decades before getting published, while others never get the satisfaction at all. So imagine what it would be like to have your work go public before leaving the second grade.
For students at Queen Elizabeth School this became a reality when teacher Robyn Torry and 24 of her students put together an interactive eBook, My Pet Monster, with the help of Saskatoon’s Jason Sand and his grade 11 Graphic arts class.
“We put a lot of effort into it,” said Kehler Eaton, one of the second graders. Kehler said his favourite part of the process was, “Drawing the monsters and then the Grade 11 students creating them even better.”
The students started by each writing a paragraph about their own monster then illustrated what they wanted them to look like. Kehler’s monster is a hockey player named Scary, while one of his classmates, Molly Heide, created one named Slime.
“My favourite part about making them is we got to use the iPads,” Molly said.
After the students created the paragraphs and illustrations for their monsters, they sent them to Sand in Saskatoon through the Dropbox app and his graphic arts students refined them. After that, they created an ePub with the document and sent that back to Lloydminster so Torry’s class could record their voices.
“Each kid has their voice match their paragraph and their illustration and then we just kept passing it back and forth between the classes until it was refined and ready to be published at the iBook Store,” explained Torry.
She said the students really enjoyed the whole process and that it was nice for them to go through it from brainstorming to completion.
“They were ecstatic because they were able to see that the drawing still had the childlike quality that the kids had portrayed. So, they were able to identify their image yet they just refined them to that stage to be able to be published.”
Torry and Sand already have ideas for another collaboration in the works which they expect to come out in the spring. The next project will be more non-fiction based with a storyline involving sea creatures.
My Pet Monster is available for free at the iBook Store and non-Apple users can download it on jasonsand.com. Torry encourages people who download it to rate the book online and give it a quick review.