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Victoria White ’18, a psychology major pursuing certifications in elementary and special education at Lycoming College, has created a teacher’s guide for the children’s book, “Uncle Axie’s Ugly Tie,” by Judy Nordstrom. White and Nordstrom worked together on the guide for several months, and have collaborated to present it in local classrooms.
The pair was first introduced in the spring of 2017 by Rachel Hickoff-Cresko, assistant professor of education at Lycoming College. “When Judy mentioned she would like to create a teacher’s guide, I immediately thought it would be a great opportunity for one of my teacher candidates,” said Hickoff-Cresko. “Teachers often create learning activities to support literature, and in my classes we study how to make these activities cognitively engaging and educationally valuable. Victoria has always shown herself to be creative, hardworking, and capable of outstanding work, and I thought they would make a good match.”
After several meetings to review and edit ideas, White began to build a manual around the concepts that they wanted to incorporate from Nordstrom’s book. The guide includes lesson plans and learning activities for elementary age students in every grade, and coincides with the main theme presented in the book — kindness.
Nordstrom was inspired to write her book after hearing numerous accounts of the kindness shown by her late Uncle Axie throughout his lifetime. She hopes that the book’s message of kindness will resonate with all who read it. “Together, we are presenting the book and guide to elementary students, parents, administrators and guidance counselors, hoping to tie into the kindness and anti-bullying movement,” explained Nordstrom.
The experience of writing and presenting the guide has proven invaluable to White. “Through this experience, I was able to practice my ideas on my own students and get feedback on how the manual would work in a real classroom setting,” said White. “The project has also helped me grow as a teacher, and it will be a great tool to use in an interview.”
“Uncle Axie’s Ugly Tie” is available on Amazon, and White’s guide will soon be available on Teachers Pay Teachers.