Walker said she used a Studentreasures kit to help get her students engaged in the writing process.
“I've previously used Studentreasures and the process was so smooth and easy I couldn't wait to do it again,” Walker said. “Studentreasures sends the kit for publishing a book for free. They provide all materials and very specific instructions that makes this process easy. They even provide a deluxe hardcover for free for our class library.”
Walker said she introduced this project during their poetry unit.
“After we learned about the patterns in poetry and characteristics of poetry, we decided to write our own poems about ourselves,” Walker said. “Their poetry included adjectives describing them, information about their family, their dreams, and fears! Students used a graphic organizer to for their prewriting, then created their rough draft in their Writer's Workshop notebook. Finally, they were each given 2 pages, one for an illustration and the other for their published poem."
Walker said that the final page of the book included a photo of her entire class along with a photo.
“I think this project is so important for students because it allowed us to work through the writing process in a fun and creative way,” Walker said. “Giving my students a chance to become ‘published authors’ gave them an opportunity to have true ownership of their work with a big accountability piece.”
Lorrie Crain is the Virtual Learning Pre-Kindergarten teacher for the entire Frenship District. Her Virtual Learning class also became published authors this year when they wrote and illustrated their very own books.
Crain said this project helped her convey the lesson of print awareness to her students.
“We usually make class books and put them in our classroom library,” Crain said. “It felt like the virtual kids were getting the short end of the stick. They still needed an experience to help them connect letters to words, and word convey meaning, and the meaning of the words construct a sentence.”
Crain said she scheduled times with each student to begin the creation of their books.
“I set up a time for each student to tell me a story,” Crain said. “I wrote down their words as they told the story, then I typed the story, leaving pages to illustrate their story. Mrs. Peyton [Westwind’s Workroom Assistant] laminated and put a spine in all the books. We sent them to their home campus and students illustrated their work and shared the book with the class. They are now authors and illustrators!”
Crain said she believes that projects like this truly engage her students in the learning process, especially her Virtual Learning students.
“Virtual Learning students still needed an opportunity to have an engaging experience,” Crain said. “This project helped students understand what authors and illustrators' jobs are like and taught them to take pride in their work. Just look at their amazing smiles – they are proud of the books they made! This truly is about the work the students did.”