A Collaborative Writing Journey: Hitoshi Castro Outreach Program and First-Grade Students

The Graded Gazette

Last semester, talented Hitoshi Castro Outreach Program students crafted captivating fictional narratives in English with beautiful illustrations. Their achievement was particularly notable given that most had only recently begun learning English in the afternoons at Graded. The authors visited a first-grade classroom where they shared their stories with eager students starting their own writing journeys.

The visit wasn't only about storytelling. Outreach students facilitated a learning experience for their younger counterparts. The first-graders practiced providing constructive feedback using the TAG model (tell something you like, ask a question, give a suggestion) with the older students. Then, grade 1 students shared their stories with the Outreach students, fostering a sense of accomplishment for both groups.

This exchange allowed Outreach students to showcase their creativity and English language proficiency and model their storytelling skills for a young audience. It also provided first-graders with an inspiring experience during which they practiced their collaboration skills and envisioned the incredible stories they might one day write.