Spotlights
Author visit to Seventh District Elementary inspires students
10/06/2015

Spotlight

When award-winning author Seymour Simon arrived at Seventh District Elementary School, he found that a busy day had been planned for him and that students had spent part of their summer preparing for his visit.

Simon, a former high school science teacher and the author of more than 250 science-related children’s books, has been dubbed the "Dean of Children’s Science Writers" by The New York Times.

During his visit to Seventh District Elementary on Monday, Sept. 28, Simon presented two assemblies, autographed books, and was interviewed by students. 

Grade 4 teacher Brittany Ferrari said, "It is great when the students can meet a published author, a professional who talks to them about the writing process and explains how they can all become professional writers like him."

"I liked his presentation," said Lilly, a Grade 2 student in teacher Christina Covey’s class.  "I liked how he showed us his book and his website." 

Corabella, one of Lilly’s classmates, said that she had never heard of his books before but now is especially interested in his books about sharks, puppies, and wolves.

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Reading specialist Patty Nestor began preparing for Simon’s visit last June. As a summer project, students were asked to take photos of something in nature and complete observation logs. Simon, an avid photographer as well as writer, was impressed with the submissions on display.   

Prior to Simon’s visit, students also contacted him via his blog with some interesting questions. One question was "How do you choose a topic to write about?"  Simon recalled an instance when his publisher asked him to write a book about butterflies, a subject in which Simon was not particularly interested.  After observing butterflies, however, Simon found that he was wrong, and that "butterflies are fascinating, wild creatures that you can see right in your own backyard." 

At the end of the day, Simon had achieved his mission of making science fun and inspiring students to learn more. Ben, a Grade 2 student, after seeing Simon’s video about flying a paper airplane, said "I want to make one, too!"

Nick, also in Grade 2, is inspired by one of Simon’s books to "learn more about dogs."

One lesson that a number of students gained from their time with Simon was the importance of reviewing and editing one’s writing. At the end of the day, a number of students said that they not only were they going to be "writers," but they were also going to be "re-writers," because that is what authors like Seymour Simon do. 

Story and photos courtesy of Glenda M. Carman, Administrative Secretary, Seventh District Elementary School
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