Shoppers may have recently seen educational prints about the Battle of Plattsburgh in storefront windows on City Hall Place and Bridge Street.
The prints are part of a historical-themed StoryWalk with the Battle of Plattsburgh as the subject matter.
Diane Sabourin came up with the idea for the StoryWalk after reading about similar projects in Vermont. A StoryWalk installs, in some manner, pages of a children’s book along a popular path so pedestrians might read it while they stroll.
When Sabourin began looking for a children’s book about the Battle of Plattsburgh, the only one she came across was one recently created by fourth-graders at Cumberland Head Elementary School, titled “The Battle of Plattsburgh: Did You Know?”
Sabourin took the original artwork from the book and enlarged the text, placing the resulting prints in storefront windows from Sept. 8 to Sept. 12.
CHES Art Teacher Shannon Piche-Smith was the leader of the book project, applying for and receiving a grant to fund it through the Adirondack Arts-in-Education Partnership.
“We wanted an opportunity for Cumberland Head fourth-grade students to create a book for kids to learn about the Battle of Plattsburgh,” Piche-Smith said, adding there weren’t many resources about the 1812 conflict aimed at a younger audience.
She and her students began work on the book in January of this year. Two speakers from the Battle of Plattsburgh visited the school. One was dressed in period costume and another gave a period music performance.
At the time, there were four fourth-grade classes at the school. Each class focused on a different Battle of Plattsburgh related topic, whether it be famous people, naval battles, ships, or the land battle.
Pairs of students were responsible for a page in the book each, researching a subtopic, compiling a list of facts, then creating a corresponding visual.
“The artwork itself, it’s just beautiful,” Piche-Smith said.
The finished book was published in June.
“It exceeded all of my already very high expectations,” Piche-Smith said. “The kids were excited. They learned so much information and they provided a resource for future teachers and students.”
To read a digital version of the book, visit http://www.blurb.com/books/2267673.