During my practicum this semester, I had the students create a class book. First, I taught them about idioms, phrases that have different figurative meanings than the literal words imply. For example, “pulling my leg” and “raining cats and dogs” are idioms. Then, each student created a page of the book. They chose an idiom, drew a picture illustrating the literal definition, and then used the idiom in a sentence. The students loved seeing each other’s page. When I put the book together, one student was sad she couldn’t have her own copy. The experience they had was something they wanted to remember. With that in mind, I created a digital copy of the book for any students who wanted it.
Class books are a fun way to build community within your classroom. In one lesson you can go through the whole writing process as a class. To start off, have the class brainstorm ideas and create a story together. Assign one student to create a title and cover for the book. The rest of the class is assigned to write and illustrate a sentence or two. If the book has fewer pages than the number of students in the class, restart the book-making process, thus creating multiple copies. While the students are working, the teacher walks around and helps revise content and mechanics. The pages are collected and bound together. And there you have it, a class book!
- It promotes shared writing.
- This activity can be done in all grade levels.
- It’s a way to scaffold English Language Learners.
- Gives students a sense of accomplishment.
- It’s a quick writing lesson (usually 20 minutes).
- Makes multiple copies of the book.
- It builds class unity and creativity.
- Promotes language development and literacy.
- ABC books
- Books on recent topics being taught
- A question and answer book
- Telephone Number Poem (Wilcox, p. 147)
- Writing Frames (Wilcox, p. 184)
Developing Literacy by Tim Morrison and Brad Wilcox