Students make eBooks on nutrition for Spanish class


Ashley Ortizcazarin

In previous years, the Spanish 5 classes have made a video for the food and nutrition unit. This year, senior high Spanish teacher Ms. Mary Murray decided to have her students write eBooks for a more unique project.

Jack Hendrickson, Staff Writer

The Spanish 5 students are currently learning about food and nutrition, a unit that they traditionally made a video project for in previous years. Senior high Spanish teacher Ms. Mary Murray decided to spice things up a little bit this year by having her students write eBooks in an effort to make the project more immersive than the video project.

Murray placed the students into groups of five people, assigning a specific topic to each student for a chapter in the eBook. Topics include helping people determine if their diet is good or bad, a cookbook chapter with recipes for different types of eating habits, and how people can eat nutritious food while they are on the go. Each student will write a chapter corresponding to the topic that they were assigned to within their group. The work will be divided up and each of the groups’ books are going to end up being about 25-30 pages long, with at least five pages written per student.

It is lots of work, but I think they are enjoying it,and maybe that’s because it’s [in the] real world and has a purpose.

— Ms. Mary Murray

This project has an intended audience of sixth grade students, which the Spanish students need to keep in mind while they are writing their stories. “The kids are 10 to 11 years old, so students need to offer recipes and other ideas that the kids can make for themselves and that they actually will eat,” Murray said.

This project will help students contribute much more to the real world than they ever have before in the class. “The eBooks are more real-world then the videos because they will be published on iTunes for people to read for free,” Murray said.

The students are enjoying the project so far and have emphasized that is good to learn through a project that has a purpose. “It really is helping me with my learning; it’s really special to be able to publish a book in your second language,” senior Colin Segner, a Spanish 5 student, said.

Murray hopes that her students get something out of this project that they didn’t get with the video project they have done in previous years and make more of an impact than they would have with a video. “For the BSM students, I hope they improve their nutritional habits and they improve their Spanish-speaking skills. Also, I hope that someone in need of nutritional help finds these books online and puts it to good use,” Murray said.

The class devoted about five class periods of time into this project, so Murray is expecting big results.  “When I introduced the project, right away I felt like everyone was engaged and wanted to get it done. I have been impressed with the information that they are finding. It is lots of work, but I think they are enjoying it, and maybe that’s because it’s [in the] real world and has a purpose,” Murray said.