Skip To Main Content

Fifth Grade Novel Writing Project At West Mercer With Author Roz Ray Made Possible By Grant From The Mercer Island Schools Foundation

Fifth Grade Novel Writing Project At West Mercer With Author Roz Ray Made Possible By Grant From The Mercer Island Schools Foundation
MISD Communications

Mercer Island, WA, March 24, 2023 - Friday afternoon at West Mercer Elementary author Roz Ray started a novel writing project with all three fifth grade classes.

Ray’s visit was made possible through a grant from the Mercer Island Schools Foundation (MISF).

Ray, a working writer, born and raised in Seattle, is leading a project that will see each fifth grade class at West Mercer create a class novel, with each student in the class writing one chapter of the novel.

Each class, as a whole, will decide on characters, settings, plot, and other elements of their novel. Once all of those are determined, Ray creates chapter summaries and the students use their summary to write their chapter.

Students then meet with the chapters before and after them to make sure that the information is similar and that the chapters flow. Each class has four to six editors that are in charge of checking grammar, spelling, and all those fun conventions.

To start the project Ray talked with each class today about how novels are constructed and how the setting and plot come from the characters in novels. 

She assisted the students in generating characters and differentiating various characters, such as the main character, antagonist/protagonist characters, and secondary characters. Ray also led a discussion comparing and contrasting what makes a good character.

Each student creates a character they want to see in their class novel through a worksheet. The worksheet gives them options on character creation, with questions, drawing, writing a journal entry from the voice of the character or all three are options for character creation.  

Ray will return to West Mercer up to three more times this year to meet with editors as needed. The classes will have a launch party which concludes and celebrates the novel project. The launch is when the novel goes live on Amazon. 

The novel writing project at West Mercer has been done every year since 2013, except in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic closed schools.

The Mercer Island Schools Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) public service, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the quality of education provided to ALL Mercer Island School District students by obtaining contributions for the public schools.

Started in 1981, the Foundation has raised over $26 million thanks to the generous community.

Since its founding, the Foundation has become the catalyst for the Mercer Island community to guarantee every teacher has access to the most up-to-date, innovative educational materials that guarantee exceptional teaching and learning experiences for every student.

The tremendous success of the organization lies in the simple fact that the Mercer Island Schools Foundation was born in a community that places value on quality education. Learn more about the impact of our community’s commitment to education.