We’re almost at the end of our 12-part series, Simple Writing Lessons for the Primary Grades. This Reading Mama and I have loved sharing simple lessons to take you through the stages of writing: pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing. We’re now at the final stage of the writing process: publishing.
Today I’m sharing a lesson and printable so your child can publish her own homemade book!
Simple Writing Lesson #11:
Make a book
(a publishing strategy)
(Note: I used this lesson with my daughter who is at the beginning of her first grade year. You can easily adapt this lesson to other grades.)
When to use it:
When your child has taken a piece of writing through all the stages of the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing. It’s a piece she’s proud of and wants to share.
How to teach it:
1. Prepare your materials. You will need:
- your child’s piece of writing that she’s ready to publish
- a pencil
- colored pencils, markers, or crayons
- book template (get at the end of this post)
2. Introduce the lesson. Here’s how it sounded at our house:
“You’ve spent a lot of time on your garden story. In our last few lessons you changed some things and fixed your spelling. It would be great to share this story with other people, so today you’re going to make it into a book!”
3. Help your child see how to plan for page breaks.
First I had my daughter read her entire story out loud.
Then I guided her as we re-read it and determined where good breaking points would be. For very young writers, you will have just 1-2 sentences per page. When we got to a place that a new page would begin, my daughter drew a line. For some children, it will be obvious where to draw the lines. Other children will need more guidance.
4. Introduce the parts of the printable.
Show your child the parts of the book: the cover (which will include the book’s title and your child’s name), the story pages, and the “About the Author” page.
5. Encourage your child to do her best work as she fills in the book’s pages.
Now is the time for neat, careful handwriting. I had my daughter fill in every page of the book before she began to illustrate it. I encouraged her to do her very best work.
6. Let your child illustrate the book using materials of her choosing.
My daughter prefers markers, which is why I like to make the pages single-sided so that nothing bleeds through. Here are the pages of her finished book:
7. Bind the book together. I stapled the left side and added decorative duck tape to seal the book.
8. Celebrate! Find an audience for your young writer. It could be a sibling, parent, neighbor, or friend.