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From Squash to Skype

In the fall of 2015, Sophie’s Squash was read aloud to the primary students at Ivy Hill Elementary School during their library time.  Bernice, our squash, sat nearby meeting all the children.  Sophie never fully rotted all year, but showed brown spots like Bernice did early in the book.  On the last day of school we planted Bernice in the school garden.  

Upon returning to school in August of 2016, we found a giant squash plant with twin squashes.  It was Bonnie and Baxter!  Ellen Polito, the LMC Director,  contacted Pat Zietlow Miller, the author, to organize a Skype session with the students.  September 23rd was dedicated as Harvest Day at Ivy Hill.  All of the vegetables in the garden were harvested that day and the students were given the opportunity to taste test the produce during lunch.  This was a perfect day to Skype!

In preparation for the Skype session, students in grades 1 - 3 heard Sophie’s Squash  and then brainstormed questions for the author and voted on their favorite one.  The Skype with Pat Zietlow Miller was the morning of the 23rd.  She read her new book, Sophie’s Squash Go To School, while the students looked at the pages on their giant screen in the Commons.  Bonnie and Baxter were there too!  After the reading, students came up to the computer and asked their class question.   It was a real world connection between author and students facilitated by the use of Twitter and Skype.

Here's the article Publishers Weekly did on our squash adventure. 

Students planted their first squash. The students read Sophie's Squash and followed along in real life. Look! Some baby squash grew! They reached out to the author on Twitter and she agreed to skype with them. Students took turns asking her questions.

Ellen Polito, LMC Coordinator, Ivy Hill Elementary