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As part of Eastern Christian School’s initiative to enhance students’ global awareness as well as focusing on diversity, the seventh graders have been taking part in an Author’s Study project for the past two years in Reading Workshop class.

This project has the students focusing on various authors from different cultures and backgrounds. Each author’s study allows the students to read two pieces of literature by that author, study the author’s biography, and get to know more about the author’s culture.

The students enjoyed the interesting and fun facts that they found about their authors. Many of their authors have received prestigious awards for their writings. Some of the fun facts are:  one author only writes her books between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. each day. Another author only writes two pages per day.  One student discovered that his author has been writing books for over seven decades, holds a black belt in martial arts, and is a member of the Abenaki tribe. Also, one author has learned Hindi by watching multiple Hindi films and has also worked on several Hindi films.

The Author’s Study project will continue until the end of the year with the students making multiple connections and tying it all together with how the characters in each author’s writings display Christian values. The students will discover that despite the authors’ various backgrounds, cultures, and religions, Christian values are a common thread amongst the characters that they have read about.

To continue with this project, next year the incoming eighth graders will build upon the past two years. This will include the chance to study even more authors with different cultures and backgrounds, which will culminate in an Author’s Walk at the end of the school year for students and parents to enjoy.

An additional enhancement to this project is the celebration of Black History Month. Both seventh and eighth graders received an invitation from me to attend a Black History Book Tasting to have the opportunity to sample books written by Black authors. Students entered their Reading Workshop classroom and were greeted with soft music and menus placed on candle-decorated tables. They enjoyed the tasting of many culturally rich books as they took a reading “nibble” from each one to decide which book they would love to fully devour and read in full.

The students have enjoyed being able to discover the new pieces of literature as well as the diverse stories of the authors who created them. This has been a great eye-opening learning experience not only for the students, but also for myself as I watched them delve into this project. I look forward to building upon this project even more next year, and for this globally rich learning to continue.

Joyce Breur

By: Joyce Breur

Joyce Breur is a 7th and 8th grade Reading Workshop teacher.

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