Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
March 17, 2010

Book Publishing Classroom Project

By Victoria Jasztal
Grades 3–5

    Research has proven that granting students the freedom to write about the topics of their choice provides them greater opportunities to emerge as an author. From time to time, I rummage through the papers I saved from my school years to locate publishing projects, creative writing attempts, school newspaper articles, and research reports I once took pride in as a young author. Seeing how my own confidence emerged when my teachers encouraged me to develop original prose, I decided to develop a Book Publishing Unit Plan as a classroom project to help my students to embrace themselves as authors.

    The following Book Publishing Unit Plan includes four lessons (PDF files), student reproducibles, a list of culminating activities for a Young Author's Celebration, and a list of books you can use to enhance your instruction during this unit. Additionally, I have included *BONUS* resources at the end of this post that you can easily use for your reading instruction.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Students will compose a piece of creative writing with the desire to publish it in our classroom.
    2. Students will revise their writing with the encouragement of classmates, teacher, and “expert editors”.
    3. After students have revised their drafts, they will create illustrations for the different parts of their story.

    Unit Lessons:

      Reproducibles:

      Culminating Activities:

      My primary goal for this unit is for my students to produce a book of original prose in which they can take pride. Students receive blank books after developing their text features and illustrations, using acid free scrapbooking glue or tape to adhere the papers to the pages. I did not include that part of the project in the lesson plans because it is self-explanatory.

      The culminating activity for this unit is a Young Author’s Celebration, where the students share their stories with one another, members of the community, and other classes at the school. Students by then have their published books, bound in a white blank book with their original illustrations and additional text features.

      Share stories with one another - Students take the Author’s Chair to share their novels with one another. Each student’s sharing time can be recorded and copied onto a DVD to be kept as a keepsake.

      Share stories with the community - Our class holds a “Press Conference” when invited members from the community (such as newspaper reporters or the school principal) come to hear about our published books. Here is one article published in the Hernando Today newspaper in May 2008. I read the books thoroughly first so I know an ample amount of information about the characters and plot. I ask students questions, such as:

      • What inspired you to write your book?
      • Is your book based on a true event?
      • Your book is still in the process of being written. Where do you think you will head next with your plot?
      • If you were to write a sequel, where would you start off in the next novel?
      • Classmates also ask questions.

      Share with other classes at school - Our class invites a few classes from different grade levels to join us for a portion of the Young Author’s celebration (this past year, it was a first- and third-grade class we chose). The purpose of inviting classes from other grade levels was to prove to my students that they are role models, both through behavior and achievement. For the first-grade class, we invited the class to sit in our classroom library as we shared one published novel for them that was age-appropriate. Other students then shared some of the illustrations and text features they developed, such as maps. With older classes, grades 3-5, your class can put their books on display and have the visitors glance through their novels.

      Award Winning Books - Traditionally, I have selected students to receive the Newbery Honor award for Jasztalville. However, I may lean to give individualized awards for each student, such as:

      • Best Memoir/Real-Life Account
      • Best Villain/Antagonist
      • Strongest Hero/Protagonist
      • Most Suspenseful Story
      • Story That Can Become a Film

      Of course, this is not a definitive list. Have fun thinking about the personalities of your students as you develop your awards!

      Honorary Breakfast: To jump start our celebration, we have an honorary breakfast where the students cook pancakes and bacon as well as served juice, muffins, and fruit.

      SUPPORTING BOOKS and BOOKS TO ENCOURAGE YOUNG AUTHORS: 

      Look at My Book: How Kids Can Write & Illustrate Terrific Books by Loreen Leedy (Paperback - April 2005)

      Look at My Book: How Kids Can Write & Illustrate Terrific Books

      You Have to Write

      by Janet S. Wong (Author), Teresa Flavin (Illustrator)

      Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices (Paperback)

      by Ralph Fletcher (Author)

      How to Write Your Life Story (Paperback)

      by Ralph Fletcher (Author)

      How to Write Your Life Story

       
      THIS WEEK'S BONUSES:

      • Books for Making Connections: View this website to see a list of books where students can make text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections.
      • Posters from Our Mini Lesson This Morning: As students are beginning their publishing projects in my class this year, they are also focusing on chapter books during Reader's Workshop. Here are the posters that got my students thinking about the chapter books they began reading yesterday:

      IMG_6042
      IMG_6043
      IMG_6045
      IMG_6046
      IMG_6047

      I truly believe these posters helped my students confirm their feelings about what they have read so far. The quality of our class discussion was excellent based on the questions I wrote on the posters above. A few students "abandoned" the books they had chosen, yet they focused on the lack of plot and character development rather than simply "not enjoying" the book. It is amazing to know what quenches my students' "thirst" for reading, which helps me to know them as writers as well.

      Peace,
      Victoria

      Research has proven that granting students the freedom to write about the topics of their choice provides them greater opportunities to emerge as an author. From time to time, I rummage through the papers I saved from my school years to locate publishing projects, creative writing attempts, school newspaper articles, and research reports I once took pride in as a young author. Seeing how my own confidence emerged when my teachers encouraged me to develop original prose, I decided to develop a Book Publishing Unit Plan as a classroom project to help my students to embrace themselves as authors.

      The following Book Publishing Unit Plan includes four lessons (PDF files), student reproducibles, a list of culminating activities for a Young Author's Celebration, and a list of books you can use to enhance your instruction during this unit. Additionally, I have included *BONUS* resources at the end of this post that you can easily use for your reading instruction.

      Learning Objectives:

      1. Students will compose a piece of creative writing with the desire to publish it in our classroom.
      2. Students will revise their writing with the encouragement of classmates, teacher, and “expert editors”.
      3. After students have revised their drafts, they will create illustrations for the different parts of their story.

      Unit Lessons:

        Reproducibles:

        Culminating Activities:

        My primary goal for this unit is for my students to produce a book of original prose in which they can take pride. Students receive blank books after developing their text features and illustrations, using acid free scrapbooking glue or tape to adhere the papers to the pages. I did not include that part of the project in the lesson plans because it is self-explanatory.

        The culminating activity for this unit is a Young Author’s Celebration, where the students share their stories with one another, members of the community, and other classes at the school. Students by then have their published books, bound in a white blank book with their original illustrations and additional text features.

        Share stories with one another - Students take the Author’s Chair to share their novels with one another. Each student’s sharing time can be recorded and copied onto a DVD to be kept as a keepsake.

        Share stories with the community - Our class holds a “Press Conference” when invited members from the community (such as newspaper reporters or the school principal) come to hear about our published books. Here is one article published in the Hernando Today newspaper in May 2008. I read the books thoroughly first so I know an ample amount of information about the characters and plot. I ask students questions, such as:

        • What inspired you to write your book?
        • Is your book based on a true event?
        • Your book is still in the process of being written. Where do you think you will head next with your plot?
        • If you were to write a sequel, where would you start off in the next novel?
        • Classmates also ask questions.

        Share with other classes at school - Our class invites a few classes from different grade levels to join us for a portion of the Young Author’s celebration (this past year, it was a first- and third-grade class we chose). The purpose of inviting classes from other grade levels was to prove to my students that they are role models, both through behavior and achievement. For the first-grade class, we invited the class to sit in our classroom library as we shared one published novel for them that was age-appropriate. Other students then shared some of the illustrations and text features they developed, such as maps. With older classes, grades 3-5, your class can put their books on display and have the visitors glance through their novels.

        Award Winning Books - Traditionally, I have selected students to receive the Newbery Honor award for Jasztalville. However, I may lean to give individualized awards for each student, such as:

        • Best Memoir/Real-Life Account
        • Best Villain/Antagonist
        • Strongest Hero/Protagonist
        • Most Suspenseful Story
        • Story That Can Become a Film

        Of course, this is not a definitive list. Have fun thinking about the personalities of your students as you develop your awards!

        Honorary Breakfast: To jump start our celebration, we have an honorary breakfast where the students cook pancakes and bacon as well as served juice, muffins, and fruit.

        SUPPORTING BOOKS and BOOKS TO ENCOURAGE YOUNG AUTHORS: 

        Look at My Book: How Kids Can Write & Illustrate Terrific Books by Loreen Leedy (Paperback - April 2005)

        Look at My Book: How Kids Can Write & Illustrate Terrific Books

        You Have to Write

        by Janet S. Wong (Author), Teresa Flavin (Illustrator)

        Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices (Paperback)

        by Ralph Fletcher (Author)

        How to Write Your Life Story (Paperback)

        by Ralph Fletcher (Author)

        How to Write Your Life Story

         
        THIS WEEK'S BONUSES:

        • Books for Making Connections: View this website to see a list of books where students can make text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections.
        • Posters from Our Mini Lesson This Morning: As students are beginning their publishing projects in my class this year, they are also focusing on chapter books during Reader's Workshop. Here are the posters that got my students thinking about the chapter books they began reading yesterday:

        IMG_6042
        IMG_6043
        IMG_6045
        IMG_6046
        IMG_6047

        I truly believe these posters helped my students confirm their feelings about what they have read so far. The quality of our class discussion was excellent based on the questions I wrote on the posters above. A few students "abandoned" the books they had chosen, yet they focused on the lack of plot and character development rather than simply "not enjoying" the book. It is amazing to know what quenches my students' "thirst" for reading, which helps me to know them as writers as well.

        Peace,
        Victoria

      Comments

      Share your ideas about this article

      Victoria's Most Recent Posts
      Blog Post
      Saying Farewell as Your Grades 3-5 Advisor

      I wanted to take a few moments to take the time to thank you for visiting the Classroom Solutions weblog at Scholastic this past year. Being the grades 3-5 teacher advisor was a "dream come true" for me, as I have loved Scholastic since I indulged in The Baby-Sitters Club series as a child. Posting the weekly topics was an intriguing opportunity. Read more to read about this whirlwind of a year, from the time I found out I was going to be an advisor to the bittersweet departure yesterday.

      By Victoria Jasztal
      June 11, 2010
      Blog Post
      1,400 minutes... How do you measure a year?

      Yesterday was the day of our end-of-the-year fourth grade awards ceremony, and I was thinking to myself, How do you measure a year? There are challenges we all face, whether they are academic challenges or we must handle difficult situations with our students. Then of course, there are times where we encounter great joy. There are times where we do not feel as if we have planned enough, while on the other hand, there are times in which we plan too much. Then obviously, of course, there are the field trips, and this year, we had our fair share of them, from our local one to the environmental center in Weeki Wachee to the "major ones" such as the Renaissance Festival, Gainesville, and St. Augustine.

      Though I have not officially said "Goodbye" to my students as fourth graders, it was still difficult as they watched the 45-minute slideshow, I presented the classroom awards, and I went on stage to present the academic achievement awards such as Superintendent's List (Never below an A for the year), Principal's List ("A" average in all subjects for the year, though B's can be on the report card), and Honor Roll (A's and B's for the year). I felt a phenomenal sense of pride for my students as I presented the eight Superintendent's List awards, the two for Principal's List, and another eight for Honor Roll. My students have achieved a lot, and they should feel a great sense of honor. Read on to hear more about how this special day progressed.

      By Victoria Jasztal
      June 3, 2010
      Blog Post
      Reflecting on the School Year

      At the end of the school year, most teachers reflect about what their students' have learned and what they can change to improve instruction the next time around. Every year, I sit down for a while and think about what I want to do differently in the coming year.

      By Victoria Jasztal
      May 27, 2010
      Blog Post
      Ensuring a Tremendous End to a Memorable School Year

      In just three weeks, the 2009-2010 school year will be coming to an end, and prior to then, I plan on doing a few things to ensure it is a memorable time. This week, I invite for you to read about my plans, some of which you can incorporate on your own. Some you will be able to incorporate this year; others you can try for next year!

      By Victoria Jasztal
      May 19, 2010
      Blog Post
      Incorporate Math and Science with an Outdoor Camping Day Event

      In my parting weeks as your grades 3-5 teacher advisor, I want to advise something important to all teachers: DON’T EVER BE AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS. Last year, I envisioned having a day of camping with my fourth grade students on our school’s nature trail. Today, it became a reality as my students participated in the first outdoor camping event I ever hosted. I am grateful I took the risk. Read on to see the ideas I came up with for this year's event.

      By Victoria Jasztal
      May 12, 2010
      Blog Post
      Embrace Creative Technology With These Websites

      Do you want to encourage a greater use of technology in your classroom? Whether you want your students to create their own comics, use digital cameras, type information in graphic organizers online, edit photos, or make an online slide show, the links that follow can be particularly useful!

      By Victoria Jasztal
      May 5, 2010
      My Scholastic

      Susan Cheyney

      GRADES: 1-2
      About Us