Have your students write and illustrate a children's book! Our seventh graders plan their own stories, draft, revise, edit, and illustrate them.
This teaching unit has everything you need to guide your students through the process!
We enter Scholastic's contest called "Kids Are Authors". This is an annual contest open to students in grades k-8 which requires that students work in groups of at least three to write an original children’s book. Our seventh graders plan their own stories, draft, revise, edit, and illustrate them. In the early spring, we send in our final copies to the contest in hopes that someone from our class will win. Students LOVE this opportunity, and they work hard to publish the very best book that they can.
We begin early in the year preparing to become authors. In order to write a good children’s book, we should read some. Our students are required to read and analyze several children’s books. We give them a form (included in this packet) to help them with their analysis. Next, in order to figure out how to form groups, we give students an application. We need to find out who can draw, who has a gift for writing, who has a vivid imagination, and who students can work well with. The application that we provide in this packet is a perfect way to figure all of this out! Once groups are formed, it’s time to brainstorm. We provide plenty of forms that students can complete individually and as a group to help them develop their ideas for plot, setting, and characters.
Once groups are on their way to completing their book, we supplement with mini lessons. There are several lessons included in our packet, but you will also easily see ones that you need to complete for your own students.
Download this packet if you need brainstorming handouts, writing exercises to help students develop characters, plot, and setting, group work forms and checklists, planning sheets for a story with illustrations, and mini lessons to guide them through the story writing process!
What is inquiry based learning?
With inquiry based learning, students are exploring, investigating, collaborating, and making decisions/taking action.
This entire project fits under inquiry based learning. Students begin by exploring the genre of children’s literature. Next, they investigate what makes a good children’s book. Students do a lot of collaborating as they create an original story and illustrate it. They also must make many decisions throughout the process and take action to put the book together as a polished piece of literature!