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.
I have two very creative kids (9 and 11 yo) that already love to write however need more structure and a clear process to organize ideas. I found your website and I’d like to express how grateful I am for you to share all the resources here, thanks so much!
I’m so happy to hear that these are useful for you, Thamis!
Thank you so much for the feature!
This is a great resource for confident writers. The steps are easy to follow, straight forward, and provide a sense of accomplishment to the reader. Thank you for sharing and for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop.
Thank you, Jill – this has been a fun series to put together.
Editing is such an important part of learning the writing process. Great post!
Thank you so much for checking it out, Amanda!
Christine M. (Cool Mom) - Tech Support for Stanley & Katrina
What an adorable book about gardening. Lovely job, E.!
Great printable, Anna!
Thank you, Christine 🙂
Thanks for this great idea!
You’re welcome, Marie – thanks so much for checking it out!
Love the About the Author page!! My kids love to hear those!!
Yes, those were so fun to read when I was teaching!
What a wonderful gardening book. I just love reading children’s personal stories. (and the illustrations are so cute)
I like keeping learning simple and your book template is just perfect for beginning writers!
Thanks so much, Jeannine!
This is a beautiful book! I find it hard to imagine though that my daughter would agree to rewrite her writing again in a different format – she still has a lot of resistance to “guided” writing. This post reminded me that we didn’t have homemade books for a while – it’s time to put a few together!
Yes, I know what you mean, Natalie. When I taught I would have all the kids edit their writing to the best of their ability and then type each story into a book for illustrating. Obviously I did NOT have children of my own then – ha!