Author visit, STEAM Night bring success at Wheatland Center

Author Miranda Paul virtually visits students and parents in the WCS library to share ideas about the writing process (Submitted/The Report).

Miranda Paul shares her writing experiences

Wheatland Center School hosted Wisconsin-based author Miranda Paul on Jan. 13 for virtual visits with students throughout the day.

Paul shared her vast knowledge of the writing process as well as her stories with all Wheatland students during the school day.

Students listened to examples of her stories, hearing about the research process to write a nonfiction book, and were excited to be able to ask questions and learn more about being an author.

Brenda Ciancio, a second grade teacher and a coordinator of the event stated, “Our young readers were enthralled while Miranda spoke and then they sang, danced, and added movements to her stories!”

Later that evening, more than 100 parents and students filled the library to hear more about Paul’s journey as a writer and her book One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia.

After her presentation, students and parents were invited to ask questions about her and/or the writing process.

She showed students her ideas notebook and encouraged them to find a way to harness their ideas for later.

“It was amazing to see young students line up and ask questions like ‘what is your favorite book you have ever written?’ and to hear Mrs. Paul encourage them through her answer of ‘the one I have yet to write’ because if that was her favorite she would ‘never quit’,” said Sue Laskowski, school librarian and a coordinator of the event.

After hearing from the author, parents and students moved to the cafeteria to participate in a STEAM activity in which, inspired by Miranda Paul’s book, they created an item (or two) from recycled plastic bags.

Families were challenged to create something that could be worn, resembled an animal, or was useful in some way.

“Our families really embraced the challenge and it was fun to see them encourage one another as they embarked in the design process,” said Julie Linton, Elementary STEAM Coordinator.

Megan Zirbel, Middle School STEAM Coordinator, outlined many benefits to the presentation.

“This event was a great opportunity to demonstrate the type of STEAM learning, critical thinking, and problem solving we engage our students in on a daily basis, and we look forward to hosting more events like this in the future.”