Create a Picture Book
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
- Unit Plan:
- Learn about a community worker from books and Web sites
- Generate interview questions
- Interview a community worker
- Create a book map
- Tell a story in pictures and words
- Share stories with classmates
- Community Club Activities
- construction paper
- crayons or markers
- computer(s) with Internet access
- books about community workers
- Venn Diagram (PDF)
- optional: Student Writing Page (PDF)
- optional: LCD or overhead projector to display Web pages
- optional: tape recorder and cassette
Set Up and Prepare
- Bookmark Community Club home page on one or more computers in your classroom
- Display selected books
- optional: Print out and make several copies of the Student Writing Page (PDF) for the picture books. You'll want each student to have about 3-4 pages for their book planning or publishing.
- NOTE: If students have limited access to computers, print selected Community Club pages for students to read offline and make transparency copies to post on an overhead projector
Step 1: Introduce the lesson by telling student they will write and illustrate a short picture book about a worker in their community using the online samples as models. Explain that they will interview the worker to find out more about him or her.
Step 2: Have students share what they know about interviews. Have they seen a favorite celebrity interviewed on TV? Have you read Q&A interviews in class?
Step 3: To help students decide which worker to interview and write about, invite them to browse books about community workers displayed in your classroom. Have them also review Web links from the Community Club unit plan Books and Resources list. about various jobs.
Step 4: Have students check with you to approve their choice of community worker. Once you've approved their choice, send home a note to parents explaining the assignment, and asking for their help setting up a brief interview with the worker.
Step 1: As a class, review some of the Community Club stories. Then ask students what they've learned about the workers in the stories. For example, they now know the name of the person's job, what the job involves, how they do their job, etc.
Step 2: Next, help students prepare for their interviews by brainstorming questions to ask the community worker. Ideas include:
- What is your job?
- How do you help people in the community?
- What do you like best about your job?
- What do you like least about your job?
Jot all their ideas on chart paper. Have students copy the questions in their notebooks and add any others they might want to ask
Step 3: Explain to students how to prepare for and behave during their interviews. Encourage them to dress nicely, be on time, and to listen carefully to everything the worker tells them. Tell them that they can ask the worker to clarify anything they don't understand. Remind them to bring their questions, a notebook, and several pencils. Suggest that they also bring a tape recorder and tape to record the interview. Explain that this will allow them to review the interview later for anything they may have missed.
Step 4: Students interview workers before or after school with a parent or caregiver assisting them.
Step 1: Students review their interview notes, adding anything they may have missed by listening to the recording.
Step 2: Have students review the Community Club stories as models for their own writing. You may want to print out the pages for students to look at offline.
Step 3: Next, help students create book maps for their stories by taking notes about what to write on each page. For example, on page 1 they may want to write what the person's job is and where she or he works (e.g., Ms. Smith is a mail carrier. She works in New York City). Encourage them also to decide what they want to draw on each page to go with the words. Instruct students to include no more than two sentences on each page.
Try using the Student Writing Page (PDF) as a guide for your students' picture book pages.
Step 1: Allow time for students to write and illustrate their stories using their notes to guide them.
Step 2: Wrap up the lesson by having students read aloud their picture books to the class. Then put them on display with the other community worker books.
Supporting All Learners
Community Club helps students meet the following standards for English and Language Arts as set forth by the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Council for Teachers of English(NCTE):
- read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information
- adjust spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, and vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes
- use a variety of technological and informational resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge
- develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles
- use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information)
- participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities
Community Club also helps students meet the following content strands for Social Studies, as set forth by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS):
- Culture: learn how to understand multiple perspectives that derive from different cultural vantage points
- People, Places, and Environments: utilize technological advances to connect to the world beyond their personal locations. The study of people, places, and human-environment interactions assists learners as they create their spatial views and geographic perspectives of the world.
- Individual Development and Identity: learn to ask questions such as Why do people behave as they do? What influences how people learn, perceive, and grow?
- Civic Ideas and Practices: study the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic
- Challenge students to write a multiple choice quiz about their Community Worker story using the Community Club story quizzes as a model. Then have students take each others' quizzes.
- Have students create a badge representing something about the worker they interviewed. If possible, have student get the worker they interviewed to sign the badge. Then have students make copies of the badge to give to the class.
- Encourage students to invite the workers they interviewed to come in and speak to the class about their jobs.
- Using a Venn diagram (PDF), have pairs of students compare and contrast the workers they interviewed and wrote about.
Use this rubric to assess students' proficiency with this activity. Evaluate whether students' skills are improving or where they may need additional support or instruction.