Mrs. Pavlove’s Grade 4 students are officially authors, and they can barely wait to spread the word. The Breslau Public School class held its official book launch on June 19 for “Chit-Chat-Chatter,” a book of questions designed to get families talking again at the dinner table.
Student Ben Gavra said his favorite parts of the process were working together to make the book and surveying different classes about which questions to use.
“We made this so we could bring back discussion, so they could have a variety of questions and not just ask ‘hi, how was your day?’” said Gavra. “We want them to talk and not just sit there. Instead you can say ‘hi, what did you do today? Did you do anything exciting? What was exciting about that?’”
They started with 350 questions and narrowed them down after asking fellow classes and their parents. They also made question cards they’re planning to put in restaurants and hotels.
“If people can’t think of a question they can just take one of these and ask them. ‘If you could only play in one sport at the Olympics, what would it be and why?’”
At the launch, the students asked their parents and siblings to rate different questions. Questions like “what are the three kinds of rocks and how are they formed?” and “what colour is Dora’s shirt?” got a resounding thumbs down. Open questions like “what makes a great meal?” and “if you could be any age what would you be?” were given the thumbs up.
The students expressed their thoughts about making the book including feeling inspired, creative, and smart for making a book. Debby Pavlove said hearing how the book made them feel brought tears to her eyes.
The class received the Green Apple Grant of $1,000 from Metro to make the book. Pavlove said the project started when the class discussed what they would do if they got the grant. She said a lot of them told her they talk to their parents at dinner but it’s mostly “how was your day? Good.”
From there they split into groups and took their questions around the school.
“They got to see what the kids answered and they came back and made survey graphs and then they tried it with their parents and it was interesting for them to build that sense of community with the school and see that different ages answer differently,” said Pavlove.
She said the kids are proud and thrilled to see the book come to fruition. Printing was done by M&T, but otherwise the class did the rest. Each student will receive a book and cards to take home.
“They’re really excited,” she said. “It’s already June but they’re really excited. It provides opportunities for kids to think about healthy eating in a different way.”
Adam Frederick said he enjoyed working together as a group to choose the questions.
“I made a lot of friends along the way,” said Frederick. “It was interesting. It’s not every day that I publish books.”
The process included lots of revising and Frederick said one of his favorite questions was from a student who moved away, which was “how would you feel if you got licked by a cow?”
The students said they hope the questions are used by families, conversations are inspired, and people start thinking about how they eat. Books will be given to public libraries to further the discussion.
Nick Baietu said his favorite part of the experience was making the video about the book, which included bloopers.
“I thought it was pretty cool to make it and I liked how everyone participated,” said Baietu. “At the end it was way better than I thought it would be.”