Mende: a short guide to the wild animals of Lozère for the students of the Saint-Joseph school, Around Mende

Mende: a short guide to the wild animals of Lozère for the students of the Saint-Joseph school, Around Mende
Mende: a short guide to the wild animals of Lozère for the students of the Saint-Joseph school, Around Mende

Hedgehogs, wild boars, beavers, squirrels and even earthworms come to life on white sheets. Markers in hand, students from the Saint-Joseph school in Mende are illustrators this morning. On this Friday, May 31, they are creating a book. They started by choosing the theme: the wild animals of Lozère. Then they worked on the writings. “We learned that beavers weigh between 17 and 31 kg, that they live between eight and fifteen years and that they never divorce,” lists the group of Mathilde, Lucrèce, Nathan and Mahina. “I have already seen them in the Gorges du Tarn,” adds the one who bears the first name of a town in Tahiti.

As for the hedgehog group, Emmy strives to draw this animal in the smallest detail: “There, I make the quills”.

Students in full creation. Photo CR/LLN

Cindy Chapelle goes around the tables to guide the students. She has worked in the publishing world for more than ten years and last year, her publishing house “Grand petit monde” moved to Lanuéjols. She is interested in local natural and cultural heritage. His first collection is called “Little naturalist novels” and has already put the spotlight on the dry stone builders and the guards of the Cévennes National Park. The next one will be dedicated to a cheesemaker from Aubrac. “There are lots of small worlds that have everything big,” explains the editor. And then it could create vocations for these professions.”

Although she has already led workshops for children, this is the first time she has done so in Lozère. Asked by the Saint-Joseph school, she set up the “Create a book” workshop for students from CE1 to CM2.

The writings remain

“The theme of our school project this year is “from reading to writing”, explains Eugénie Monteil, the director of Saint-Joseph school. We have done other actions, such as the creation of a monthly newsletter for parents, a Christmas story and today a book.”

This action was financed by theParents Association who gets involved in as many projects as possible. “We presented this idea to the animation fair and we fell in love with it, which allowed us to win the sum of 900 euros,” explains Éva Seguin, the secretary of theApel Saint-Joseph.

The book-documentary-games will be released just before the end of the school year. A project which has the virtue of reminding children that we can look at something other than screens. “With this project, we show them how we create a book and why. They were the ones who went to get the information about the animals. It gives meaning to written expression and that’s important because screens tend to take over reading,” insists the director.

The editor, for her part, was pleasantly surprised: “When I introduced them to the book channel, they knew quite a few things. They are readers of manga and comics but also of fantasy novels.”

For Cindy Chapelle, books still have a future: “The digital book is not taking over from the paper book. It transforms a little with reflections on the format for example.” As in other areas, she notes that local space is an asset for publishing. “It gives us an identity and allows us to show our values. When we work locally, connections are made easier, there is more conviviality.” And it was also a warm welcome that she received at Saint-Joseph school, where the young authors are now impatient to read… their book.

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