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Well-read and fed, but not sold in stores


Whether your taste runs to Summer Havey’s Armaged-Os with milk, Tayshael Donald’s Mars Mellows or Eliana Tucker’s Frosted Flames, pouring a bowl of any of the pretend breakfast cereals is bound to make you more well read as well as fed.

Eighth-graders in Anne Hoekstra’s English class recently created cereals based on the science fiction novel they read during independent reading time.

Students created a unique name for their cereal, as well as a prize that related to the novel. Khloe Delnick’s Nem-O’s, for example, were based on the novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and came with a harpoon inside.

On the back of the box, they created a game, maze, crossword or word search, such as Taylor Clark’s, which included one that was all about “The Hunger Games.”

On the top of the box, each student rated their novel from 1 to 5, and on the sides wrote a summary, as well as information about characters and setting.

To complete the project, they wrote, rehearsed and presented a 30-second commercial promoting their cereal. Those who were graded particularly well sprinkled facts, names and themes of their book throughout the commercial, as Gabe Shepard did during his commercial for Blu-Bry Brain Bran, based on the novel “The Boy Who Knew Everything.”

“In one of five boxes you’ll find a blood stone, which will let the government control your every move — just like they did to the main character’s dad,” Gabe deadpanned in front of his class.

Hoekstra said students who were inspired by the first-time project did “an awesome job.” The idea came from the website Teachers Pay Teachers, she said.

Besides creativity, art and writing, it also gave students practice listening and with public speaking.

“We like to get them up there (in front of the class) and talking as much as we can,” Hoekstra said.

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills and Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

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