AUBURN — Nathan Couillard taught the beginnings of baseball gloves, the red Radio Flyer wagon, Crayola crayons, the Kewpie Doll, Hot Wheels, Nerf ball, Xbox and Mr. Potato Head.

Eighth-grader Kelzie Caron read her book about how and when McDonald’s, Burger King and Arby’s opened.

Jacob Lupher wrote about a boy going back in time and watching British soldiers attack Washington, D.C., in the War of 1812.

Auburn Middle School eighth-graders read history books they wrote to visiting Fairview Elementary School third-graders Friday. It was a special assignment given by middle school history teacher William Gibson, who wrote history books about local high school sports.

“That’s where this started,” Gibson said. “I told them, ‘If I can do that, you can do that. You can pick anything you’re passionate about.’” If they’re into dance, write about the history of dance. He shudders when a student tells him history is boring.

“History’s everything!” Gibson said. His goal was to instill an appreciation of history in students, and have them perform a community service by sharing what they learned with younger students.

“One of my student’s mother is principal at Fairview. We made it happen,” he said of some 80 Fairview students bused to the middle school.

Grace Beaudet titled her book, “Girls Rule! The History of Women in the United States.”

Lydia Whittemore, 13, shared her story about a little girl going back in time and meeting U.S. Presidents, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.

Facts she found interesting: One of Kennedy’s favorite foods was mashed potatoes. At 6 feet, 4 inches, Lincoln was the tallest president and the first to have a beard. And when Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 visited Panama, he was first president to visit another country.

Ella Henry read about a girl, Celine, who with a time machine was able to visit the Boston Tea Party, the Declaration of Independence signing and women getting the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Couillard, who wrote the “ABC Book of Family Games and Toys,” picked toys because he “wanted to make a book that kids wanted to sit and listen to. It was actually a great learning experience for me.”

Eighth-graders Jason Willis, Adam Blais and Nick Boulay read the book with him, teaching about Tonka trucks, video games and skateboards.

Couillard said he learned the Xbox came out in 2001. “I never knew it started that early,” he said.

Eighth-graders said they had to use a bit of energy to draw some students into their lessons.

“You show them the pictures to get them involved with the story,” said Terrell Thomas, who read about the War of 1812. Teaching, he said, is harder than it looks.

Third-grade teacher Kathy Martin said her students, who were quiet and paid attention, “were just in awe” of the older students.

Her students will soon learn and write about the history of Auburn. As fourth-graders they’ll study the history of Maine.

Seeing what eighth-graders are doing, their “illustrations, writings and what the finished product looks like, is what they can easily connect to their own writing,” she said.

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