Menlo News May 05, 2023

A Storybook Ending

Storybook Project Connects Menlo Students with Nearby Elementary Spanish Immersion Program Participants

As part of Menlo’s upper intermediate Spanish class, students wrote, designed, and illustrated their own children’s books en español. The books conveyed tales of heroes and stories about female empowerment and each one featured a glossary of new words and a biography of the author. After crafting their stories, the students practiced reading their masterpieces aloud and worked on their intonation and storytelling skills.

To culminate the project, the students had the opportunity to share their stories with the Spanish immersion students in grades K-5 at nearby Encinal Elementary. The experience was a hit with the Encinal students, who were fascinated by their Menlo visitors. “It was really fun to talk to the kids about the story. They asked a lot of questions about Menlo and were very interested in how high school worked,” said one Menlo student.

Another Menlo student shared a similar sentiment: “I was nervous at first, but it was cool to read the book to kids who were similar ages to my cousin, to who I dedicated the book. They were surprisingly engaged and interested in the actual story.”

The opportunity to engage with curious learners helped the Menlo students share their stories and also fostered their own curiosity and desire to learn more about the world around them. The project was an excellent opportunity for students to develop language skills, flex their empathy and belonging muscles, and make emotional connections with their listeners. As one student concluded, “It was wonderful sharing a story I worked hard on and sharing it with three other kids. They were so curious and nice. I loved it!”