“Blue Alien Cop” – Student Agency in Action!


A project which lasted over a year ended this month with the planting of 4 beautiful cherry trees, thanks to last year’s Year 3’s, and Ayden Kripalani.

Early in 2019, Ayden brought a book that he had written himself to school and shared it with the class. It was about Billy, and an evil blue Alien Cop. There was only one problem – the book had no illustrations. Ayden asked the class to help him illustrate his story, and so the project began.

There was much discussion about what Billy and the Alien should look like. The class all drew pictures, and voted to choose the characters. Then they each chose a page to illustrate, and they all worked as a team. It was challenging making sure Billy and the Alien looked the same on every page!

When the illustrations were finished, Ayden and the class decided they would like to publish the book, and to sell copies to raise money to buy cherry blossom trees to beautify the school.

The class proof-read the draft of the book carefully, and made changes to improve it. They then made a digital copy, and got a quote for how much it would cost to print.

They approached the Principal for permission for their project, and borrowed seed money to cover printing costs. They had to get more than 80 orders to pay the school back. They created posters, and advertisements to put up in the hallways, and ran a book promotion campaign at a whole school assembly, where they took book orders. Luckily, nearly 100 people booked a copy, and the printer was given the go-ahead.

When the books arrived, the class divided into groups to deliver the books to classes and count the money. It took a lot of checking, and mathematical thinking, to make sure the money was counted accurately, and to calculate how much profit was made after the load from the school was repaid.

The Year 3 ‘finance team’ then put the profit in the school safe, until we returned to school after Covid-induced restrictions were lifted. When we were finally allowed back onto the campus, in August 2020, Ayden and a small Year 3 team worked with Miss Xixi to choose which type of trees they wanted to buy. Finally, in November 2020, they went to a nursery, and chose 4 strong young trees – and Year 3 (now Year 4) went down to watch them being planted.

In order to celebrate the end of this year long project, the students helped the whole PYP write special wishes on ribbons, which they hung on the trees, along with plaques to commemorate this event.

Ayden and all of his class are very proud of these trees, and they hope they will grow healthy and strong to bring many years of pleasure to EtonHouse students when they flower.

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This page was last edited on December 25, 2020