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Author Inspires MHS Students to Think Outside the Box


A new crop of authors at Moreland Hills Elementary School has been harvested courtesy of a recent visit by author, poet and humorist Brian P. Cleary!

Kindergartners through fifth graders had the opportunity to enter Cleary’s literary world in a day-long session. Cleary met with students in three different assembly groups and then had the opportunity to work 1:1 with “student ambassadors” from each grade, creating unique paper noun quilts, verb trains and sensory poems that the students could take back to their classrooms.

Listen to one of the student-created poems here!

Cleary was brought in through a grant from the Orange Schools Foundation following last fall’s highly successful “Wild for Orange” fundraising event. The sales of raffle tickets for that event raised money for an educational experience at MHS that would enhance the students’ literary knowledge.


During the presentations, students were invited to the microphone to read excerpts from various books and poems and were invited to ask questions of the prolific Cleveland-based author, who is most well-known for his Words are CATegorical series. Cleary has also written humor essays for national and local magazines and newspapers; his books have sold more than two million copies worldwide. He has been employed at American Greetings Corporation since 1962 where he is a Senior Editor.

Kindergarten students in Miss Maggie Sprinkle’s class created a special book they presented to the author, formatted with poems in the same style as his book and enhanced with illustrations they created.

The author visit was part of a broader program throughout the school to enhance students’ love of reading and writing. Students in each grade created large posters defining action verbs, a notebook of nouns, ‘super-duper adjectives’, homonyms and homophones, and snap words.

Check out all of the photos from the event here!

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