HHS Students Are Published Authors


T. DiGeronimo

Published authors Alennys Nieves, Hamze Barouk, and Marta Martinez with their teacher Ms. DaSilva

Alennys Nieves , Contributor

The students in Ms. Mariana DaSilva’s English Language Learners class are all newly published authors. The students planned, wrote, designed, illustrated, and published children’s fiction books for a literacy project based on the themes in the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio. Valeria Alvarez wrote Everyone is the Same; Hamze Barouk wrote Wendy’s First Day; Marta Martinez wrote Lily’s First Day of School; Alennys Nieves wrote Fly Away with Your Dreams; Melisa Buken wrote The Cheese in the Night Sky; and Razan Chokr wrote Never Stop Dreaming.

According to Ms. DaSilva, the project objectives included: 1) use at least three forms of literary devices in an original work of fiction, 2) analyze and evaluate a work of literature, and 3) participate in a review of a story written by a peer.

To meet these objectives, the students had to choose a theme from the book Wonder. These students had to organize the story and make sketches of where they wanted drawings in the book. Then the students wrote the story on the computer and printed a draft. The students drew pictures for the book, which Ms. DaSilva scanned onto the students’ computer files so they could arrange the pictures on the book pages. The files were then sent to a professional publisher called The Book Patch where the files were transformed into children’s books.

Principal Dan Lagrone said, “The creation of these children’s books by the ELL students is a powerful example of language mastery and language learning in action. These projects are amazing tools to spread knowledge and prove language mastery.     Ms. DaSilva and all of the ELL students continue to excel and succeed.”

The process was long, but it was worth it on May 20 when the students got to hold the professionally published books that are now on display in the Library Media Center.

Ms. DaSilva said, “I couldn’t be more proud of my students for putting so much effort into this project. My hope is that they see how much potential they have and how far they can go if they apply themselves in whatever they do. Writing a children’s book in another language is not an easy task, and they’ve done it.”