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Kind Teacher Brings Book Characters to Life for Her Students

Budsies, the adorable stuffed animals are handmade replicas of any picture submitted. Pretty cool, right?! ADVERTISEMENT In this way, the students’ stories come to life, allowing their imaginations to blossom. Instead of just reading a book, the students can visualize it with these cute stuffed animals.

It makes learning an interactive experience rather than just a passive one.Shannon Anderson, an author and third-grade teacher at Van Rensselaer Elementary School in Rensselaer, Indiana, wanted to share her experience with Budsies. The unique end-of-year project that she does with her students makes their stories seem more real. The pages genuinely jump out at them with the addition of the stuffed animals.Then I have that story that they’ve written sent to a publisher who makes it into a hardcover book for them to experience what it’s like to be a published author.

But then, I do something extraordinary with the illustrations. I send off the illustration of their main character to a company called Budsies, and Budsies makes them into a stuffed animal,” she explains.Ms. Shannon has been an educator for 25 years, teaching first grade through college-level classes.

She’s had her students write their books for most of her teaching career. However, the kind teacher didn’t get the idea for the publishing project until she taught first grade. The children would each contribute one page, which would then become a book.Then, when she switched to teaching third-grade, she allowed the students to write their books.

When she came across Budsies, she knew she wanted to incorporate them somehow into the writing projects. So for four years now, she’s been gifting the stuffed animals to students when they complete their books.Ms. Shannon

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