I like to make enough class books throughout the year so that
at the end of the school year, each child gets one book to
keep. Here are a few easy ones. For every field trip we take,
we make a class book. We sit down after the trip and
brainstorm things we saw and did. Each child has to think of
one thing they saw or did (to make sure that everyone didn't
draw a giraffe), and that is what that child will illustrate
and write about.Then we make a class list of favorite
(because not everyone gets to illustrate their favorite). For
their birthdays, we also make a class book as a gift. The
morning of someone's birthday, I put paper out on their
tables and they illustrate a picture of themselves and the
birthday child doing something. On the birthday cake in my
room, I write the child's name (Happy Birthday Brandon) and
they copy it. The birthday child colors a picture of a
birthday cake. I also have a poem about turning six. These
are all included int he book. Then I bind it during lunch or
resource for the day. At the start of the year, I laminated
twenty three covers and backs of various colors. This made it
so easy. I really loved this class book. Summer birthdays get
done the last month of school. I also do one book for every
theme. Sometimes, inspiration hits mid day and we make a
book. Kinda go with the flow. - by tchnkinVA on 7/01/03
These are the books that are my favorites:
Pumpkins: How many pumpkins tall are you?
I have a piece of bulletin board paper laminated with die cuts
pumpkins with the numbers 1-20 on them. Then I take each
child's picture beside the piece of paper with the pumpkins on
it. Then I develop the pictures and each child fills in a
piece of paper with their picture on it that I took. THe
bottom says ___________(their name) is __________ pumpkins
tall. Good for non-standard measurement.
Plants: Our Garden
Each child chooses one different seed from the many examples I
have. Then they draw a garden and glue their seed in the dirt.
They also draw what the seed will grow into. At the bottom is
the following sentence: I will plant a ___________ seed.
-April H in VA on 7/01/03
I make many books during the school year. I staple the pages
together and the children take them home to share with their
families. At the end of the year I take apart the books. Yes,
sometimes a child will throw away the book, spill milk or coffee
(parent) on it, but at the end of this year I have over 25 class
books. I take apart these books and give the chidren their own
*As Quick As A Cricket. The children then brainstorm different
animals and how they are like them. I then fill in the blanks
and the children illustrate the picture.
as a __________.
*It Looks Like Spilt Milk, The children drop white paper on blue
ditto paper and fold it in half. When they open it they tell me
what it looks like and I fill in the blank.
Sometimes it looks like_______
But it wasn't a ________.
Other books: Ten Black Dots
The Orange Splot
On Monday When It Rains
I use many of the high frequency words and write in the blanks.
The children illustrate the pictures.
I see a _________.
I can ______.
Can you _______?
I like to_______!
My name is_______.
I like to play with _______.
I want to go to the______.
The ______can run.
When we talk about letters:
S - wear super socks to school: My socks are super because____.
W - Wacky Wednesday: I'm wacky because______.
V - Valentine's Day: I love______.
F - My feet are funny because_____.
T - My teeth love to eat________.
H - My hands like to hold____.
L - I love_____.
Often I will read an unfamiliar story and not finish the last
page. I then have the children predict what will happen and
after everyone has completed a page, I read then read the ending
of the story.
-by M & M on 7/01/03
A very popular one with my classes is one we make when we are
talking about the changes we go through as we grow. The
class book is called "Beautiful Babies." The cover is made
with pictures of babies cut from newspaper ads. Each child
brings in a baby picture. They glue their picture to the
middle of the page, and write their name in the blank to
complete the sentence..."_____________ was a beautiful baby."
The class thoroughly enjoys seeing themselves and their
friends as babies, and they also learn to read everyone's
names without realizing it! (not to mention the reinforcement
of the sight words 'was', and 'a'.) - by KBiKY on 7/01/03
One of my favorites each year is MY birthday book. This
idea came from a 6-trait writing workshop that I attended
many years ago.
Each child writes (or dictates) a sentence telling what they
think I should do on my birthday. Then they illustrate their
sentence. We put them in a class book. The title simply is
Mrs. G------'s Birthday. The kids love to read this one and I
love their ideas! - Kaylene
I love to have students "make" and "illustrate" books to
take home and read to their parents. I also like the idea
of having students make a class book (often). In fact, my
son who was in kindergarten last year, had a teacher who
made enough class books to give one to each child at the end
of the year. I was hoping that we could put our brains
together and come up with a list of ideas for class
books/student-made books. Thanks for your great ideas!
April (new teacher) - April on 6/25/02
This year, I too, had enough class books to give everyone
one, with some left over. The few that I thought would be
cute taken apart,I took those apart and sent the child's own
page separately as well. In a addition to the typical
predictable chart...to...class book topics (My name is..)
many of our shared reading books, several from our reading
series, we made class books if it was good-Quick as a
Cricket (I'm as large as/very big book; I'm as small as/a
very little book); I Like Books (The kind of book they like-
I like..), Things I Like (Book on favorites), Sheep on a
Ship, The Wheels on the Bus (Each book was a different
vehicle with the same language pattern.)Me too (Me and (name)
(verb))Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? Who said Red?
(Who said (color)-I said (color)We made 2 books of that with
the pages of each book one of each color. Green Eggs and
Ham during Dr. Seuss week (I do not like..)There were many.
These are what I remember. We also did one after our Fairy
Tale theme (Three little kittens/Three Little Pigs/ Three
Billy Goats Gruff/ Goldilocks and the Three Bears) as part
of our Barnyard Theme-Kids grouped together and did a non-
fiction group book-on cats/pigs/goats/bears that they did
research on. Later we compared the fantasy with the real
animals. For tEach group had each member responsible for
finding out something about the animal (what it looked like,
what it ate, where it lived and how it moved) They were to
draw pictures and write about their info. Then we made
final copies and created the four separate books. It was
actually a lot easier than I thought it would be but I had a
student teacher and the resource teacher and my aide (I had
several special ed kids)and myself so we each took a group
of kids and spent about 6 days on it in individual or small
groups. We also made individual books-Nursery Rhyme Books;
Brown Bear Book; Color Book; What a Wonderful World ...That
each child made and took home for their own. Hope this helps. - Sandi on 6/25/02
I too love to have the kids make books. Two years ago I made
enough books to send home with each child, but last year I
guess I wasn't as efficient because I didn't make as many
books. On thing that bogged me down was that it is a hassle
to find time to laminate, cut out and assemble each book for
This year I bought three ring binder page protectors and will
slide the pages in there along with creating a computer
generated cover to slide in a page protector for the front of
the book. I will then tie the three rings, or use a metal
book ring. I also still have the option of using our book
binding machine which puts the spiral binding on the book.
I'm hoping this will save me time and I hope it will be an
idea to save others time also. - Kim on 6/25/02
Class book ideas:
Now that I have a technique that works well for me we make a
lot of class books. Most of them are based on a piece of
children's literature that we have read several times first.
Sometimes I write an introduction and ending page in rhyme to
help the text children create fit into a sense of story.
The first part of the year I usually have each student do an
illustration and dictate the text which I print in front of
them as a model and then type up for the assembled book.
Later in the year I give kids a sheet of paper with a yellow
line drawn 3/4 the way down the page. They know that their
illustration is made in the top portion and they write their
text any way they can below the yellow line. If I want to
use the sheets to create a class book for potential reading,
I cut off the text the children have written, date it and
save it as a writing sample. Then I type up the text in
conventional spelling (usually use about 30 size letters and
Avian font. I use 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to mount each
illustration on a larger sheet of colored construction
paper. The typed text strip gets glued on like a caption at
the bottome of the sheet (glue stick). These pages look like
framed pictures. I like to spread an old piece of bulletin
board paper outside (to avoid breathing the vapors), place
the kid's illustrated paper face down and spray three at a
time. This way mounting to the larger construction paper
really goes fast.
Unless there is a logic and improves the story line, I always
assemble the individual sheets in alphabetical order by names
so I can easily sort them by child at the end of the year. I
may start with a different name and continue alphabetically
for different books so everyone gets to be first some time
throughout the year.
To assemble the book: stack all the child made pages, put my
optional introductory page on top and a closure page on the
bottom, then a List of Authors page with name and page they
contributed on top of introductory page. Sandwich all this
between buff tag board covers. Staple with HEAVY-DUTY
stapler about 5-7 times along the binding edge and lap of
strip of duct tape over the stapled edge to protect. The
title, list of authors and date of publication are typed and
glued to the cover. Kids do the cover illustration, number
the pages and write the end on the inside back cover.
END OF THE YEAR: I pull off the duct tape, remove the
staples and then sort and stack each child's pages
cronologically so it becomes a history of their work (date
stamped on back of each page). I add a front page explaining
how and why we made the classbooks and list all of the pieces
of children's literature we read as the basis for our books,
suggesting that they might check them our over the summer to
reread with their child. at the end I add 2 pages - one to
attach about 8 photos of events throughout the year and one
where I write a personal note to each child, leaving room for
kids to obtain autographs of classmates. During center time
I (or ed assistant) meet with each individual child and
encourage them to write a caption for each photo to keep the
memory. Children and family members love these books! - M arilyn on 6/26/02
"It Begins With An A" Stephanie Calmenson (we make books for
different letters of the alphabet i.e. "F, f, What Begins With
F?" kids draw something and we cover the picture with a flap,
writing 2-3 clues on the flap. answer is printed on inside of
"Rechenka's Egg" Patricia Pollaco and "The Golden Egg Book"
Margaret Wise Brown (kids decorate large oval for egg and attach
as a flap, drawing something under it. We write clues for what
is inside the egg.
"May I Bring A Friend" Beatrtice Schenk De Regniers (read after
trip to the zoo, they we write a fantasy about the animals the
kids invite to our classrom to join us for snack)
"Those Mean Nastyi, Dirty, Downright Disgusting But Invisible
Germs" Judith Rice draw a germ and write how you might get it
"How Many Feet In The Bed?" Diane Johnston Hamm (as part of math
lesson kids draw a few people, animals and we make up story
problems with the answer under a flap: "Two kids are playing
tether ball. How many feet?"
"Who Is Tapping At My Window?" or "Rain" We make up a Rain on
the__, rain on the ___, rain on the ___ but not on me song book
with the chorus as "Rain, rain, it's such a rainy day, oh rain
won't you go away!"
The Mitten by Jan Brett
1. "My Mitten Was So Big" based on The Mitten. Have the kids base their story on this story using other animals. The children were given a paper with a mitten drawn on it.
They had to decided what they think could now fit in the mitten.
My mitten is so big that a ___________________ could fit inside.
"If I were a Gingerbread Boy/Girl, I would run to ________________"
After reading both versions of The Mitten I wrote an introduction for
the class Mitten book and read it to the children. I don't have it
here but it was something like: "We had been waiting all of December
and January snow. Finally on February 3 just as we were puting the
math tubs away Jason ran to the window, 'It's snowing! It's
snowing!' Come look, everyone. WOW, snowflakes were drifting down,
down, down. The children were so excited that it was snowing. When
they returned from music they could tell that it was getting colder
outside. The windows were frosting up. Jacinda rubbed her finger on
the window and peeked out. Now everything was covered with snow.
'Get your mittens on. Get your coats on. Get your hats on. Put on
your scarf," said Mrs. Cofner. 'We are going for a walk in the snow!'
As the children walked along the path behind the school they began to
worry about the little animals. 'The animals will get cold,' said
Connor. 'Remember how all the animals got inside the mitten in that
story Mrs. Cofner read yesterday?'
The kids looked at Mrs. Cofner. The kinds looked at each other.
They began to giggle. 'So what is so funny?' asked Mrs. Cofner. The
children dids not answer. The kept walking along the path. Mrs.
Cofner was walking in front of the group and didn't see Maria drop
her red mitten. She didn't see Jordan or Isaiah drop their mittens
beside the path either. By the time the class returned to the
classroom all of the children had lost their mittens. What do you
think happened to all those mittens?....turn the page and find out."
We brainstorm a list of some animals that might have snuggled inside
the dropped mittens and I record their ideas on large chart paper.
Each child chooses a piece of colored construction paper with a
mitten outline printed on it. They get a piece of white construction
paper that has a yellow horizontal line drawn about 1/4 way up. They
decorate the mitten, cut it out and tape one end onto the upper
portion or the sheet of white construction paper. They draw an animal
under the flap and write about it in the portion under the yellow
During Center Time I meet briefly with each child and have them read
me what they have written or record their dictation. I type us what
they have written in conventional spelling. I may modify it a little
to make for easy reading: "A spider is in Rachelle's mitten." "A
gray sdquirrel is in Lacey's mitten." etc.
To tie the story together I write a closure page. In this case it
was about how we never did find the mittens until the snow melted and
we went for another walk to look for the signs of spring. - M arilyn on 6/26/02