How do you inspire a love of writing in elementary school students? Turn their story characters into toys. That’s exactly what happened when one teacher turned her student’s artwork into stuffed animals.

Third grade teacher Shannon Anderson from Van Rensselaer Elementary School in Rensselaer, Indiana has motivated her kids to develop a love of creative writing by transforming their characters into real stuffed animals. Each student writes a story and illustrates it. She then takes the illustrations to Budsies, a company that makes custom stuffed animals. Anderson captured the big moment when the student’s customized plush were revealed in the classroom and their reactions are priceless. Seeing their own creations come to life is clearly the way to win their interest in this subject.

“Every single student’s instinct is to be in awe, to hug it and love on it,” Anderson told TODAY. “It is something very special that they created. It is powerful.”

Anderson has been completing this project with her students for the past three years and it’s already made her famous at school. “I have had some siblings that have done this project and they have pulled out their stuffed animal to show me,” she said.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Pixabay via Pexels



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