May 21, 2019
Contributor: Dr. Kali
Want to really get students engaged in writing? What better way than to put their own innovative work in the spotlight! Why not bring creativity to the classroom by turning student writing into books! Capture their creativity digitally or through hardcopy by publishing interactive stories, storytelling, or even fun comic adventures (look at companies that publish for elementary, middle and high school). Books can be published from prekindergarten all the way up through grade 12 and beyond.
Imagine being able to publish some of your students’ work! What better way to showcase not only what fantastic writers they’ve become…BUT it also indirectly displays the hard work and effort you’ve achieved in teaching students how to write. Teachers don’t get enough credit for all the hard work they do in the classroom. Publishing student work is a way to make students feel good about themselves, let you show off some of the productivity you accomplished and provides a strong parent connection to be able to show parents all the artistic work that has been a work in progress during the year. Their kiddos are the sunshine in their life, soon why not make the parents proud of what creative and imaginative writers their kids have been hiding. Go for it! Showcase their creativity…and they will never forget how they were able to publish a book in your classroom.
What should I have them write about?
Depending upon the age level, you may need to provide them with some ideas or for older students they may already come equipped with ideas they want to write about. Did you ever think about asking your students what they want to write about? For younger students, ask them what they want to draw about and help them put words to it. If you or they are drawing a blank, then try some of these ideas:
Engage Their Inner Writer
Don’t forget to have them add enriching and engaging adjectives that include the five senses. What does it smell like to be a famous explorer in the Mediterranean? What does it feel like to have a whale breach right next to your boat? What did it sound like when they rode the roller coaster with their sister? Let them write about what they would see, hear, or smell when they’re capturing their imagination in their writing. Some students are really creative with artwork and drawing to accompany a story. Check out a list of Writer’s Tool Kits within Instructional Technology to help students with their writing strategies.
Types of Formats to Capture Writing
The beauty of writing allows for a variety of venues to capture imaginative expression. No limit exists for the type of writing format the kids can utilize. Check out these examples:
So the kids know what they are going to write about and the format in which to capture their invention. Best practice is that students write a few different drafts, depending on the grade level. Both teacher and peer feedback with a rubric is essential for them to listen to constructive criticism, get feedback, and improve their writing (check out this list of resources to help with writing in early elementary writing, elementary writing, middle school writing, high school writing). This gives them an opportunity to rewrite and make it ready for publishing. You also need to decide whether it’s a digital or hardcopy published book.
The best way to compare and determine which publishing resource would work best for your kiddos is to check out a comprehensive list of publishing resources on Educators Only Source that lists different digital and hard copy publishing vendors. All the resources are in one spot so you can easily look through and be able to compare the resource that best fits.
The Educators Only Source is a comprehensive resource you can browse and be able to see a list of unique publishing options with a variety of companies. Some companies offer promotions depending on number of books to be published, time of year, and the number of pages and photos or drawings. A quick tip I learned from experience is not to wait until the last minute rush or it will cost extra, so make sure you plan ahead.
Be sure to Celebrate!
Don’t forget to add a lot of excitement and fanfare for these young authors. Go crazy! Send out a special invitation to parents and the community, invite different grade levels to come and visit, have a book reading by the students with some snacks and cookies. Feel free to share your celebrations on Educators Bloggers Delight here!!
Good luck with your young authors club, as you never know if you inspire the next J.K. Rowling in your classroom!