News & Events

“Salmon School! What Will Happen Next?”: An Audiobook from Salish Coast Elementary First Graders

Author: Lillian Schneider | 04/27/22

Image of book cover with drawing of a salmon and text reading: Salmon School! What will happen next? Written and illustrated by Mrs. Stengel's First Grade Class, Salish Cost Elementary, Port Townsend School District

Physical copies of the book (cover pictured above) are hard to come by, but the audiobook is available to all!

“Salmon School! What Will Happen Next?” is an audiobook by Ms. Stengel’s 2020-21 first grade class at Salish Coast Elementary. Inspired by their year-long project of raising salmon eggs (roe) in the classroom for eventual release into Chimacum Creek at Illahee Preserve, the story is about a student named Sam who finds himself transformed into a salmon and experiences the full life cycle — all the way to spawning in Chimacum Creek. With the help of school librarian and STEM specialist Denise Aedan, the first graders wrote and illustrated the story. Then, a Salish Coast alumnus, Eric Goetz, professionally recorded the students’ narration for the audiobook, which you can download here through the free Novel Effect app (or scan the QR code below).

QR code.

Scan to download the free Novel Effect app.

Eric is Novel Effect’s head of content. While home visiting his parents in the area, he also recorded creek, ocean, and wildlife sounds from the real-life settings featured in the story and added music to deepen the emotional journey of Sam the Salmon’s life.

Salish Coast Elementary first graders typically take two yearly field trips to Illahee Preserve: in fall, they learn about salmon habitat and life cycles from Jefferson Land Trust’s Preserve Manager and volunteers, and in spring, they release the baby salmon (fry) that they’ve raised and studied all year into Chimacum Creek. The book project gave the first graders a creative way to learn and engage with their local ecology when the pandemic put these field trips on hold, and the result is a fun educational journey that kids and adults will both enjoy. Check it out today!