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School Portraits scheduled for September 19th!

Red Carpet Premiere

The community attended the Red Carpet Premiere Event upstairs in the Red Brick Building on April 27th to showcase book review of nine featured book trailers created by third, fourth and fifth graders at Smithville Elementary School and voted on by their peers. The trailers, designed to spark interest in reading, were about the books “Rain, Reign” by Ann M. Martin; “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, and “Turtle in Paradise” by Jennifer L. Holm.

Ambitiously, Librarian Elena Schroeder’s goal was to have every Elementary student involved in creating a book review trailer based on one of three books, according to Smithville Elementary Principal Tammi Hewitt. By participating in groups, 112 scripts were written and out of those, 62 traditional-style book trailers were created.

“This year’s scripts were generated and edited by many students on campus, not just a small group of the Gifted & Talented students,” said Mrs. Schroeder. “This allowed more participation and a broader teaching scope. All students garnered valuable skills in writing, revising, collaborating, working in Google slides, and making final editing decisions.”

The students also participated in three other multi-faceted learning projects surrounding the books.

The students painted artwork that reflected the theme of the book covers and wrote comments to the authors which were grouped in books by class. Those pieces were displayed on the first floor of Red Brick during the event, along with word art created by choosing important words from the stories.

“We used the content of the books and the shared learning experience of the group and multi-age readings as a platform to create the paintings,” said Mrs. Schroeder. “Word clouds were a product of student brainstorms and allowed us to creatively reinforce key literary elements. Author responses allowed for creative writing and reflection.”

Most of the work, except for reading the book, was done during Enrichment Days, a time for students to explore subjects in the arts outside of the school’s usual curriculum. The Elementary campus does not have regular art classes.

The comments to the authors ranged from describing the favorite parts of the books and thanking the authors to looking forward to seeing the book translated into a full movie.

Third grader Callie Ryle brought her mother into the project with both of them reading the book, which is in line with the goal of families reading together.

“Mrs. Martin, your book was so touching to me and my mother. We cried in Chapter 44 Goodbye. It was so touching. Where did you get the idea? I hope I can read more of your books. Can I get your autograph?” she asked.

Smithville Public Library’s director Judy Bergeron was also pleased with the interest inspired by the project saying that many students came in to check out the other two books that they weren’t required to read.

Mrs. Schroeder said that students checked out these books at the school library over 150 times after the project ended.

The event was brought to the public by Smithville Public Library, Smithville ISD, the diligent work of SES Librarian Elena Schroeder and the Smithville Education Foundation.

To view the nine student favorite trailers shown at the Red Carpet Premiere, visit on YouTube.

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