Strategy

Student-Made Books

Student Authors, Classroom Publishing, Picture Writing

UDL 5.2

Student-Made Books is a high-interest activity that invites students to use words and pictures to create a book for others to read. Publishing in the classroom provides students the opportunity to think like authors, writing with the specific purpose of sharing their knowledge and perspectives with a wider audience. Student-Made Books are completely flexible; they can be created individually or in groups and can be applied to any topic. While this strategy is commonly used as a summative assessment at the end of a unit, it is also used as a community building opportunity for students to share personal experiences.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Templates

8-Box Story Boards

A set of 8-box story board templates to support students when producing a visual story. Includes story boards with and without lines for written responses. Students can use these templates when creating their own stories or summarizing a book or section they have read.

Grade K, 1, 2 · English Language Arts, Reading, Writing · 2 pages


Templates

Beginning, Middle, End Story Boards

A set of story board templates to support students when producing a visual story. Includes story boards that are labeled “beginning,” “middle,” and “end” to assist students in organizing story events.Students can use these templates when creating their own stories or summarizing a book or section they have read.

Grade K, 1, 2 · Reading, Writing · 2 pages


Templates

3-Box Story Board Templates

A set of 3-box story board templates to support students when producing a visual story. Includes story boards with and without lines for written responses. Students can use these templates when creating their own stories or summarizing a book or section they have read.

Grade K, 1, 2 · English Language Arts, Reading, Writing · 2 pages


Templates

Plot Diagram Story Board Templates

A set of story board templates to support students when producing a visual story. Story boards in this set include a plot diagram to help students organize key events. Students can use these templates when creating their own stories or summarizing a book or section they have read.

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · English Language Arts, Reading, Writing · 3 pages


Graphic Organizer

8-Point Prewriting Concept Map

An 8-point concept map with labels used for prewriting. This resource includes a version with lines to write a paragraph using the concept map.

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · Writing · 2 pages


Templates

5 Performance Levels: Rubric Template

A set of rubric templates that can be populated for multiple grade levels and content areas. Templates in this set include rubrics with five performance categories, with and without points.

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Math · 2 pages


Implementation Tips

Establish Purpose
Inform students of the purpose of any given Student-Made Book so they can focus on the skills that are being highlighted or assessed. As a summative assessment tool, students should focus on the factual content. Alternatively, when used as a creative writing project, the focus might be for students to share their authentic voices and illustrate a different perspective to their audiences.
Prewriting Activities
Plan prewriting activities (e.g., brainstorming, free-writing) prior to creating the book to give students the opportunity to organize their ideas. Include drawings, images, and doodles as part of the pre-writing process.
Publishing Student-Made Books
Choose the most appropriate publishing method based on available classroom resources. Teachers can have students create the books using [[https://mrsenzamici.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/photo-jun-16-9-34-13-am.jpeg|everyday classroom supplies]] (e.g. construction paper, computer printouts, markers, etc.) or use online or computer applications to create them. Visit this [[https://www.bvsd.org/tag/Documents/15%20ways%20to%20publish%20student%20writing.pdf|link]] for a list of online publishing tools.
Setting Expectations
Provide examples and a detailed rubric to help students conceptualize expectations and plan how the book will be completed. A rubric might include guidelines on mechanics, comprehensiveness, and organization of information. Visit [[http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php|Rubistar]] to create your own rubric or for examples.
Motivating Writers
Coach resistant writers by having them start crafting the actual book and any accompanying pictures or images prior to drafting their writing. Edit and revise with the student during the initial phases, focusing on the actual content of the book rather than correcting grammar and spelling mistakes.
Cooperative Learning
Assign roles when creating books in small groups; this ensures that every student has ownership over the process.
Sample Roles:
--Project Manager: Organizes and arranges the different elements of the book
--Recorder: Writes down information/content that will go into the book
--Time-keeper: Sets a schedule and keeps everyone on task
--Materials Manager: Keeps track of research, notes, and artistic supplies
--Illustrator: Draws images and selects photos for the book
Book Release Parties
Celebrate completed books with an opportunity to share with others. Considerations:
--Rehearse how students will share and order of presentations.
--Give parent invitees advance notice of the event date.
--Invite other classrooms and school staff (e.g., administrators, counselors, campus monitors) for a diverse audience.
--Share with guests the scope of the project and an overview of what will be presented.
--Provide or ask for volunteers to provide refreshments.
--Give each guest a comment form for recording compliments about the books to share with students.
--Display the books in the room and add them to the class library to send the message that the project is a “ real book”.

Examples

Narrative Writing
After completing a unit on fables, students are instructed to create their own story using the core elements of a fable (e.g. a moral, characters, figurative language). The teacher provides students with a rubric that outlines all of the required elements and a brainstorming graphic organizer to begin generating ideas. Once students complete this step, they are given a storyboarding template, where they can incorporate their ideas into sentences and illustrate them. The teacher can have students create a final draft using paper, colored pencils and markers, and binding materials (e.g. stapler, hole puncher and yarn, binder rings). The final books can be stored in the classroom library, and students can check them out for personal reading or the teacher can read one or two of the fables aloud each week.
Comic Strips and Graphic Novels
After completing a unit on the immune system, in small groups, students are tasked with creating a comic strip. Rather than the groups simply communicating through informative writing, they are asked to create a story with characters whose personifications represent different parts of the immune system (e.g. knights representing the antibodies, cannons representing T-cells) and a plot that illustrates the inner workings of the immune system (e.g. how the body combats bacterial infections illustrated in the story as an outsider attempting to invade a castle). Students can hand-draw their comics or use an online comic generator such as [[http://www.storyboardthat.com/storyboard-creator|Storyboard Creator]] or [[https://www.pixton.com/create/comic-strip/template|Pixton]]. The teacher then posts the work around the classroom and have students participate in a gallery walk where they write positive feedback on sticky notes for each comic strip.
Community Building
Use Student-Made Books as an opportunity to build community in the classroom by creating a single book with a contribution from every single student. After completing a unit on autobiographies and personal narratives, have students write their own autobiographies. To focus the students, provide them with a prompt that guides them to a specific moment or experience (e.g., "What is one of the greatest challenges you've overcome in your life thus far?") When students finish their final drafts, have the stories [[http://studentreasures.com/|bound into a book]]. When it arrives, invite students, teachers, families, and community members to a "Book Release" party. At the party, student authors can autograph books for attendees and conduct author readings.

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