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Presumpscot Students’ Lobster ABC Book Is ‘Exemplary’

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Presumpscot Students’ Lobster ABC Book Is ‘Exemplary’
Posted on 12/14/2015
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“The Amazing World of Lobsters,” an ABC book about lobsters created by Presumpscot Elementary School third-graders last year under the guidance of teachers Suzanne Keller and Heidi Nichols, has been chosen as “exemplary student work” by EL Education’s Models of Excellence team. The student work will be included in EL Education's The Center for High Quality Student Work.

Presumpscot is part of the EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) network. EL Education is a leading K-12 nonprofit focused on raising student achievement across diverse schools and communities.

Every year, third-grade students at Presumpscot participate in a learning expedition on lobsters. In the 2014-2015 school year, the expedition included two case studies, one on the life cycle of lobsters and the other on the lobstering industry, including lobstering tools and equipment. Many experts were invited to share their knowledge with the students, including a local lobsterman, graduate biology students from a local university, and a speaker from the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation. The students also ventured out into Casco Bay on a working lobster boat.

The final product last year was the ABC book.  Students examined multiple examples of ABC books, and then brainstormed to determine topics from A-Z. Production of the book took about three weeks. During that time, students tracked their progress on a large project planner that hung on the wall. Students used rubrics to conduct peer critique conferences where they practiced giving and accepting feedback, and revised and edited both the artwork and the writing.

Jessica Wood, program manager of El Education’s Models of Excellence, said that Presumpscot students’ ABC book “was a clear favorite to the Models of Excellence team. The artwork in this book is gorgeous and (the book) deserves to be lifted up and celebrated as exemplary student work, inspiring more students and teachers to do excellent work.”

The book was sold to the school community and at businesses on the Portland waterfront, and proceeds were donated to the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation.  The work was also presented as a performance piece to friends and family at a celebration of learning, where each student presented his or her page to the audience.
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Lobster book "J" Lobster Book "X"