In our third grade classrooms at Advent, writing is a huge focus. One of the ways that students are exposed to writing is through letter writing. Students are not merely taught how to write “a friendly letter,” but rather apply these learned skills in writing letters to local artists, authors, and entrepreneurs. Students often read an article or view a short video about the person whom they will be writing to, and respond to what this individual is doing that is making a difference.

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Recently, our third graders wrote to Ashley Chesnut, a local author of a newly self-published book, Down in the Ham. Ms. Chesnut visited our class last week and shared with our students of the inspiration behind the book and the process it took to write it. Our third graders were enthralled by the process of actually writing and publishing a book. They felt that they could connect with our guest because they, too, are writers. Students could also relate because they have experience with the process of brainstorming for fun and exciting ideas, getting those down on paper, having an “editor” (their teacher!) critique their work, and making revisions to improve the final product.

Whether our students are writing to a local author, inviting her to come speak to the class or submitting their personal work to a national magazine, they are inspired to write because they are driven by purpose.

Down in the Ham

Learn more about the author and her collection:

From the hearts of the third grade team,

Anna White & Lee Stayer

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