As we began our writing adventure in my first grade classroom, my goal was to have the students create pieces of writing. I wanted them to learn what authors do and to try their hand at being a writer. I also wanted to create a writing time and a system for delivering writing instruction. The writer’s workshop model as helped me accomplish this goal.
As the students began to produce writing, we needed a place to keep their writings so that they could revisit a piece and revise and edit as needed. I created the Class Writing Box. This hanging file container holds everyone’s writings.
During writer’s workshop, students can select a piece of writing that they want to work on or start a new piece of writing and then add it to their file.
As the students completed making books and sharing during whole group time, they wanted to continue to read and reread one another’s writings. I decided that this was an opportunity to add containers of student written books to the reading center.
This was a big hit! We have added and changed the books out for a few months now.
The students began to ask if they could create books that could be put in the library for other students to read. I wasn’t sure that this would be a feasible idea but our librarian was very exciting about having student author books to display in the library. She encouraged my first graders to continue to write and publish and that she would display their work at the front of the library.
At the time of this blog post the students have not finished the publishing process but they know that this basket awaits their wonderful writing.
I ask the students to select a story that they would like to make into a book that would be revised and edited and made into a book to share in the library. They looked through all their creations and selected the one piece that they wanted to take to the “publisher”. I did not “help” in this decision, though I wanted to. I was surprised that many of the students did not pick their strongest piece of academic writing to be published. We began by editing and revising the content of the story. I photo copied every child’s writing. We then took our purple editing pencils and the students corrected misspelled words, grammar mistakes, etc. Some even changed or added content to the new story.
Our next step was to recreate the cover of their book. We began this at the end of this week so the students are not finished with their covers. Here is a sneak peak at their efforts. Again, as their teacher, I don’t think some of these pieces are the student’s best work but my goal was to teach them to be independent writers and about the writing process.
Some of the students wrote small moment personal narratives.
Some of the students chose imaginative narratives. Some of the students even wrote non-fiction pieces though no one chose to publish them at this time.
Going to the Moon Me in Minecraft
When we are finished with the covers and the students are satisfied with their work, I plan to laminate the covers, bind their writing and send the finished books to the library. Even if the books are only on display for a short period of time, I think the students will feel like accomplished writers.
Our writing adventures have been a win win for everyone! The students have learned so much about the writing process and about themselves as writers.