Building Readers for Life

Architecture in the City by Class 2-202 at C.S. 21

In response to the question, “Why are we here?” a student raised his hand and said, “To celebrate all the work we’ve done!” and indeed, he was right. As we’ve written here before, the second-graders at CS 21 have done some awesome work with author Isabel Hill to learn and write about New York City architecture.


After reading Building Stories and Urban Animals by Isabel Hill, the students ventured through Brooklyn neighborhoods to see what treasures they could find. Sharice, an enthusiastic student, recalled that Urban Animals was about “buildings, and how rough or soft they were. We also learned about shapes.”  The class scrolled through their books on their Smart Board, smiling and shouting in excitement over their and their classmates’ work. Enthusiasm was palpable when the students held their published books in their hands for the first time.


The students reminisced about Ms. Hill’s visit, chattering excitedly about when they photographed and described the different buildings they saw in their neighborhood. When the students saw their final pieces of work in their published book, it was clear that they saw the unity in the projects they’d worked on all throughout the year. They were finally able to understand that their hard work and enthusiasm about the project only made their finished product all the more incredible.


Everyone was very proud to see their blurbs matched beside the different architectural structures they studied. It was cool to learn that their work might someday teach other people.


The kids were evidently glad to see their work. Nayshon exclaimed, “My book is awesome!” Hopefully, their newfound enthusiasm for literature will only grow in the future.


by Camille Adeoye, Program Intern


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