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Seton students read during summer, then create their impressions

Incoming middle school students at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School were encouraged to read during the summer months. There would be a special project to complete when they returned.

The projects have been completed, and displayed in the school halls for students and staff to view. Last week, at the annual "Back to School" night, parents had the opportunity to see them as well.

This was the second year that language arts teachers Laurie Osberg, Mary Ingebrand and Darlene Thiele decided on this project.

"We believe reading is important," said Osberg, "And we want to encourage reading."

At the end of the last school year, the three teachers book list recommendations - one for sixth, seventh and eight grade respectively. Each list of 10 books was age-appropriate.

The students were also told that when they returned this fall, they would complete a project that reflected the reading they had done.

"We wanted them to demonstrate their knowledge of the reading they had done," said Osberg.

The projects could include dioramas (a three-dimensional representation of a scene, book jacket covers, mobiles, posters, a commercial about the book and character's point of view.

For Lenny Gerten, reading is another hobby. He read 15 books this summer, including "Esperanza Rising." This is historical fiction, one of Lenny's favorites.

"I like historical fiction because it takes you to a new place in history," he said.

The book is about a young girl who lives in elegance and the changes which occur in her life when tragedy occurs. The scene Lenny depicts is from one when Esperanza is forced to live in a barn among the laborers.

"This is an emotional scene and she realizes how fortunate she is to have family," said Lenny.

Patrick Clark has had family members in Vietnam, so he read "Escape from Saigon," this summer. Then, he created a new book jacket for the book.

"It was really fun to do this," he said.

Michael Perra read "The Graveyard Book," a story about a murder of everyone in a family except for the baby. How that baby survives among and with the help of ghosts in a cemetery, is the book.

Michael, too, created a diorama of a scene. He created his characters from clay, used small pieces of fabric, and painted with markers.

"This was fun to do," he said.

Maddie Weathers' poster tells her view of "Esperanza Rising." She read the books because she is interested in weather and farming.

"I love reading," she said, "and I decided to do a poster because I thought I tell more."

Through words and pictures (created with colored pencils) she does just that.

"It is a really fun project," said Osberg, "It's fun to see their creativity."