A red carpet party for pint-sized published authors

A red carpet party for pint-sized published authors

Not many first graders have walked a red carpet. But not many first graders are published authors.

Not many first graders have walked a red carpet. But Ms. Olson’s first grade class at Washburn Elementary is pretty special.

“We’re published authors!” Owen Hartman said.

“Today is a special day because we got our book back and we get a publishing party,” Havanna Hudson said.

“So it’s our red carpet party,” Connor Amundson explained.

They invited The Lift and their families to help them celebrate before school let out for summer.

“There’s a company called Student Treasures, which is where we published the book through,” Amelia Olson, their teacher, said.

The school bought each student a copy of their book to take home.

The class voted on the topic, “Biographies,” and dedicated it to their families. The students picked one or two famous figures to research and write about.

Amundson chose Henry Ford.

“He makes cars and he teached people how to fix cars,” he said.

Hartman did two biographies: basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo and scientist Severo Ochoa.

“He was a scientist. He discovered a new enzyme,” Hartman said.

Other students wrote about musicians like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish or historical figures like Abraham Lincoln.

“I mean, they’re first graders and they were independently on their iPads researching. We even talked about plagiarism,” Ms. Olson said.

Each page contains a portrait, timeline of their work, and a summary of who they are.

“It’s just a really great way to motivate them through the year, to practice drawing five-star pictures and writing sentences and paragraphs,” Olson said.

The day their books arrived was Olson’s favorite moment of the whole school year.

“It was just excitement and screaming,” she said. “A couple kids were like plugging their ears because it was so loud and just like pure joy.”