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Edtech Solutions
Network Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

A New Way to Make History Come Alive

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Tuesday, December 1, 1:30–2:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Heather Whitman  
Deb Bowen  
Grace Marcus  

Help all students become empowered, creative global collaborators. A BOOK by ME is a free, guided cross-curricular project that gathers stories of unsung community heroes. Learn how to publish a picture book that is a primary source document with photographs and a biography.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Library media specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: iOS, Windows, Android
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees need to to be able to access an internet browser and view a google slides presentation and give feedback on Padlet. If internet becomes an issue, our google slides presentation will be able to be viewed offline.
Topic: Communication & collaboration
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts, Social studies
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Global Collaborator
  • Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Our goal is to empower students to preserve history and tell the story of unsung heroes in our communities and give them a voice to spread their message.
Participants will walk away:
**understanding how A BOOK by ME project is cross curricular in nature and connects people to communities
**aware of the online resources on the website supporting the writing, illustrating, and publishing format and how to get books already published
**understanding how this project can grow and empower students as well as heal and connect community members

Lesson Plans/Instructional Strategies:
Best Practice: Story Telling- We plan to have a student author describe her experience writing the book telling the story of her Jewish survivor grandfather.
Books: We will share the site and point various books students have written.
Scaffolding: Access to the website with guidelines
Next Steps: Encourage book writing but more importantly, encourage students to take action and change lives.

Evidence of Success
We will include a virtual option to encourage people to ask questions, offer suggestions, make connections with other. Perhaps this will expand country to country. Two girls from Florida interviewed a Jewish Holocaust survivor in Australia via Skype a few years ago. More of these kinds of virtual interviews are likely now during the pandemic,.

Encourage people to provide us ideas on how to spread the word or increase the message.

Technology: Google Slides, Google Forms, Jamboard

Supporting research

A BOOK by ME began preserving stories from the WWII generation in 2003. These books received positive feedback from area teachers, principals and superintendents.

This project was endorsed by Mary Jean Eisenhower, President Eisenhower's granddaughter, in 2012.

Supporting Information from Experiences:

Students have interviewed WWII veterans and found locals who were eyewitnesses to the concentration camps, worked triage at Pearl Harbor, met General Eisenhower, ate Thanksgiving dinner with Eleanor Roosevelt, etc.

Hearing about the Great Depression through the eyes of these subjects is truly special. It has brought hope to children who struggle in various ways. Especially, during the Covid-19 pandemic, students and adults alike are struggling financially or emotionally, a new kind of great depression.

Students who work with veterans have learned about honor. We have overheard students talk about the "sacrifices" made for their freedom.

We have multiple letters of support but can't link them in the presentation.

Deb Bowen was a finalist in the Quad Cities for the National Jefferson Award for her efforts.

More [+]


Heather Whitman, Mississippi Bend AEA
Deb Bowen, Volunteer & Non Profit Organizer

Deb Bowen, Creator of A BOOK by ME has been preserving the stories of the WWII era, Civil Rights and more to capture the lessons learned. The unique method is to have young authors interview a person who lived through the experience and write it down. There are now 90 books in her collection of stories written and illustrated by kids for kids. This intergenerational experience is powerful for both the subject and the young person involved. It's a way to honor the stories of our senior citizens while preserving history for the next generation of young readers.

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