Hoover City Schools


Gwin Elementary Class Set to Unveil "April's Rampage" back button

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April`s Rampage Order Form
Meet the Authors

17 April (GWIN) – Gwin Elementary 3rd grade teacher Ashley Dark didn’t plan on having her class write and publish a novel this year. But she was so inspired after engaging in a novel-writing professional development seminar last summer that she devised a plan. Out of class discussions was borne April’s Rampage, a “historical fiction” centered around the April 27th tornadoes which ripped through Central Alabama.

Mrs. Dark’s third-graders began interviews and research as far back as September 2011. Among those interviewed were tornado victims, volunteers who assisted in relief efforts, city officials and local meteorologists. Students spoke with subjects by phone and in person, all the while gathering a deeper understanding and gravity of the April 27th devastation.

“Students were engaged during the entire process because each step provided them an opportunity to learn something new. While students were learning factual information about the tornado in Tuscaloosa, they were also learning about things such as how to greet someone with a handshake, interview skills, how to schedule an interview on the phone, how to write a friendly letter and how to address envelopes,” Dark said.

Complex plot lines, characters and chapters were eventually developed and charted. As the actual writing for April’s Rampage commenced, Dark was extremely impressed at her students’ work ethic and dedication to “follow-through” on what would become a published novel.

“Students were extremely engaged. They LOVED writing each day,” Dark said. “I am extremely proud of my students. I have never seen a group of students work so hard towards a common goal and encourage one another along the way like this class did during this process. What I am most proud of is how much my students love to write and the joy they have about being ‘published authors.’”

Culminating this project are two “Meet the Authors” events. Friday, April 27th from 11:00a-1:00p Mrs. Dark’s class will be at the Books-A-Million in Tuscaloosa. Saturday, April 28th from 2:00p-4:00p the class will be at the Hoover Books-a-Million. To order your copy and/or learn more about the upcoming events, see the links to the right.

Jason Gaston/HCS/205.439.1054

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