The Champagnat College Year 7 students presented their personal printed books to their families today, generating tears, cheers and accolades.
The ceremony was held in the newly opened school library and attended by students, their families, teachers and local media.
Students presented their books and spoke about their experiences using the new ‘FamilyBookform.com’ technology to interview their families and collect life stories, ancestry information & photos, using voice-to-text & collaboration:
"My book is about my Mum's early life and how she was raised by strict parents and it taught her to be kind. I liked writing about my Mum because I learned a lot that I didn't know." Lachlan
"I learned a lot about what it takes to write a book. I know that there are still mistakes in my punctuation and now they seem so obvious to me." Finlay
"I enjoyed the process but I had some difficult moments getting my Dad to focus when I wanted to ask questions. It was fun and I learned a lot about my parents." Nicholas
Melissa Carson, Director of Teaching & Learning, “I think for our first time it was a good experience. The boys have never done anything like this and in the Junior Curriculum we like to give the boys as many opportunities to create authentic projects as we can.
There are quite a few mistakes in the books, the grammar, punctuation, and editing are areas for a lot of attention. We have set the unit up as an accessible piece of work next year so we think the students will be more invested in their accuracy when they know they are getting marked for their report. I am sure the boys enjoyed this method of literacy intervention and I can see that they now want to write better in the future.”
Carey Furze, Founder of FamilyBookform.com presented a laptop, donated by Harvey Norman as a prize for the ‘Best Book’ and a bespoke trophy to student Tomas Coumarelos. “Tomas’ use of the program was exactly why I created this software, he interviewed his mother and, not only created a beautiful biography that their whole family can treasure for generations, but he enjoyed bonding and learning more about his mother as a person and developed insight into growing up in a different era.”
Not everyone has Grandparents or extended family, so this is an opportunity for students to bond and enjoy many different life stories. Audio files of Grandpa’s migration to Australia or Grandma’s work experiences can be played in the classroom as authentic enrichment to existing writing, history and other lessons. And the whole class collaboratively edit the text to improve literacy, communication and empathy skills.
Students are motivated to learn writing skills, because the content is emotional and valuable to those important to them. And they are proud to present the finished work to their families. Books can be graded, included in student’s portfolios, gifted or sold.