Teachers bring world of ‘Ugly Bug’ to kids
by Sally Litchfield
MDJ Feature editor
sallylit@bellsouth.net
December 28, 2012 12:00 AM | 4027 views | 7 7 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

From left, Westside Elementary School fifth grade teachers Dr. Anissa Freeman and Michelle Burns hold the book that they wrote together, ‘The Ugly Bug Ball,’ in Burns’ classroom. <br>Staff/Emily Barnes
From left, Westside Elementary School fifth grade teachers Dr. Anissa Freeman and Michelle Burns hold the book that they wrote together, ‘The Ugly Bug Ball,’ in Burns’ classroom.
Staff/Emily Barnes
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Westside Elementary School fifth grade teachers Dr. Anissa Freeman and Michelle Burns wrote ‘The Ugly Bug Ball’ together.
Westside Elementary School fifth grade teachers Dr. Anissa Freeman and Michelle Burns wrote ‘The Ugly Bug Ball’ together.
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In “The Ugly Bug Ball,” fifth-grade schoolteachers Michelle Burns and Dr. Anissa Freeman offer young readers valuable lessons about friendships and relationships. This is the first book written together by Burns and Freeman who are employed at Westside Elementary School, 344 Polk St. in Marietta (near the Marietta Square).

Burns, who met Freeman when her daughter was in Freeman’s first and third classes at Westside, said, “One of the things we both had in common was to write a children’s book.”

Burns and Freeman collaborated, drawing on their individual passions such as gardening, insects and storytelling. “It became this perfect blend to do this book,” said Burns, a Paulding County resident.

“The Ugly Bug Ball” offers insight into social relationships through different personalities such as main character Stanley Stinkbug who feels left out when he is not invited to the lavish Ugly Bug Ball thrown by his fellow bugs, the Uglies, because of his stinkbug stench.

“We wanted to hit on something that is going on and the kids could identify with,” said Burns, a schoolteacher of 10 years.

“We wanted the book to be fiction and to be used in the classroom. We wanted to write a book that could be used in different ways,” Burns said.

She said the insects are anatomically correct in the book, making them teaching tools.

Among its lessons, the book teaches self-esteem and respect.

“Kids need to know that everybody has feelings. No matter what, you don’t know what others go home to on a daily basis. You don’t know what has shaped their lives. Kids need to be aware that everybody has a voice and they might make a bad choice but in the end there’s a reason for it,” Burns said.

The lessons in the book translate into real world experiences.

“This (conflict) is not just in school. You will find it in the workplace and every place in general,” said Freeman, a Kennesaw resident and teacher of 12 years.

“The characters come to life. The kids love the characters and the story line. They are able to identify with the characters,” Freeman said.

The book available where most books are sold. Visit www.theuglybugballbook

.com.
Comments
(7)
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Julie Breedlove
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January 04, 2013
Love, Love, LOVE this book! This is a must-have for parents and teachers that want a vibrant and fun book with a valuable lesson for their kids. If a cintipede wore socks, The Ugly Bug Ball would rock his socks off... all 100 of them!
Dr. Anissa Freeman
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January 10, 2013
Julie Breedlove we are so glad that you enjoyed this "must-have" book for both parents and teachers. We had so much fun creating the story.
Erwin L. Stephens
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December 30, 2012
This is a well written book by Ms Burns and Dr. Freeman. I enjoyed reading this book and I recommend everyone go out and purchase some copies of this book.
Dr. Anissa Freeman
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January 10, 2013
Thank you Erwin L. Stephens for supporting us. We are glad you enjoyed the story.
Cheryll Long
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December 28, 2012
This is a great book for your children not only does it teach how to treat others but it teaches you about the different kind of bugs that there are. Great jog Dr.Freeman and Michelle.
Dr. Anissa Freeman
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December 29, 2012
Thank you for your support Cheryll Long.
Paul Burns
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December 28, 2012
So very proud of my little sister!
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