During the second semester of my grade 12 year I participated in a “Buddy Book” project that took place the majority of the time at Vic West Elementary School. All the students in my class were to be paired up with a grade two student to co-create a short book. Myself and my English class would visit Vic West Elementary once a week to accomplish this task. First we had to meet our little buddies and then, plan and organize the book, and finally we were to finish the book and gift it to our fellow grade two buddies. This project was a great learning experience for myself and I can only hope my grade two buddy appreciated our time together the same as I did, and I wish the book can leave a lasting symbol of our brief time together.
Prior to starting my buddy book project our class would visit Vic West Elementary once a week to read to the grade two students, I read to this young boy named Lyrik on multiple occasions. We seemed to get along quite well, so when it came down to choosing a little buddy I knew who I was going to choose. Although I was a tad bit nervous initially (because I hadn’t hung out with an 8 year old for a while),I listened to what Lyrik wanted to talk about and our conversations just went from there. Before the project began Lyrik would only choose tornado books for me to read to him, along with telling the same story over again about his experience with a tornado. I now had a pretty clear image in my mind what the plot of the book would be.
When it came down to planning our book out it was quite clear that it would take places during a tornado storm. From there we had to create; a title, good guys and bad guys, a geographical location, and have an ending. The tile chosen by Lyrik would name our book “The Great Tornado”. We both agreed on the idea of having a prison get torn apart by the tornado, a few criminals escape, and them causing chaos around town. When criminals are the antagonists most of the time (including our book), the police are the protagonists. I realized that tornadoes don’t really occur on the coast so the story would take place in the Aberdeen countryside in Washington state. The end, like all good books, ends with a happy ending with the criminals getting arrested by the good guy cops. Planning the book out wasn’t the easiest of tasks to complete because our ideas would often clash, but in the end the grade two is always right.
Throughout the planning and organizing process of the project my little buddy created 5 pictures for me to finish and add text too. That was an amazing start for a book which only required 8 pages. I carefully printed out all the text for each page above the picture on each page which contributed to the book being a little out of the ordinary. I wanted to focus a lot on the drawing and colouring on each page because I understand being a young boy, it’s usually the artwork that captivates you. Not the words. When the book was all said and done I came down with the flu, which didn’t allow me to gift the book to my little buddy on time. Since my little buddy, Lyrik didn’t get the book on time I never received a “Christmas card” from him, which was fine by me. But him not obtaining his book with the rest of his class really saddened me. Once I was over my sickness I went by myself to his class and gifted the book to him along with a Toblerone bar. He seemed to enjoy and book and was appreciative of the chocolate bar. Before this “Buddy Book” project I had done nothing like it, I look back on it now, and it was a phenomenal way to spend class time by (hopefully) making a difference in a younger persons life.