Storybooks Open New World for Students

For first graders, worldwide adventures can begin at Marian. Each semester, Marian seniors partner with first graders from nearby Catholic schools as part of their sociology coursework. The Marian students write and design a story about their first grade buddy’s adventure in a foreign land. The storybooks are presented to the first graders at a party at Marian.

Marian students have enjoyed this lesson many times as a component of their studies in Sociology II and Social Problems. Nearly 20 years ago, Marian sociology teacher Tom Baker developed the project to help younger students see the value of being a citizen of the world. The assignment is to portray the first grader as a hero in a foreign land. 

To learn more about their first grade buddy, Marian seniors visit the partner school to gather personal information for the first-grader’s story. The seniors are required to feature a country geographically and culturally. Using Photoshop, the seniors design the child’s image as part of the global destination. First graders have been featured holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa and scoring the winning goal at the FIFA World Cup.

For many of the first graders, the field trip to a high school is a first-time experience. In addition to the party, the seniors take their buddies on a tour of Marian, where they visit art and science labs and meet teachers and other students.

Each first grader takes home a copy of their personal storybook. For both the first graders and the seniors, it is a story they will never forget.