Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shared Reading Creations

There's something about creating a classroom book that invites kids to read.  I can't make them want to learn their sight words, decode, comprehend, read with fluency, etc.  So how can I open the literacy club door wide open and make it irresistible for them to walk through?  Stamp their name, their picture, their illustrations, their life right onto what we're doing.  As much as possible, make it all about them.  That's the ticket.  I've found that making classroom books does just that.  They want to read these books.  If someone wrote a book about me, I'd sure want to read it.  It's no different for them.  

I believe in the power of shared reading.  We read a big book every week of the school year, many by one of our favorite authors, Joy Cowley.  The text in these books is often repetitive and anchored with solid sight words.  They inspire great classroom books.  I simply borrow the basic repetitive pattern, and a book is born.

Yuck Soup by Joy Cowley is a beginning of the year favorite.  Each page says, "In go some _____."  Here are a few pages from our version.  By the way, cut-up sentences are great tools to use with classroom books.  They help with one-to-one match, sight words, spacing, etc.

Joy Cowley's I Can Jump has a nice repetitive pattern as well.  Our book uses the same pattern, and each child wrote about what they can do, specifically what they're an expert at.  (Yes, you're only in first grade, but you are an expert in something already.)

Let's Have a Swim is another good example of the use of repetition.  Thanks again to Joy Cowley.

Finally there's Look by Jillian Cutting.  Often times kids will draw their own illustrations, but I do enjoy mixing it up with photographs.  I also enjoy changing the sizes of books.  It spices things up.  This book is pretty small.  Each page is identical except for the child's name and picture.

So, the moral of this tale is that shared reading is a great avenue for the creation of classroom books, even without access to these particular ones.  There's often something that can be pulled out of a big book or shared reading experience that can turn into a book kids will love to read because it's all about them.

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  1. Hey, I'm your newest follower and I have to say that I LOVE this idea!! I have been wanting to do something like this and will def.. be putting this in my bag for nest year! Thanks!

    A Creative Process for First Graders

    1. Kelly, I'm glad you found this inspiring. My kids love the books they have a hand in creating. I'm sure yours will too.

  2. Replies
    1. Teri, I'm so glad you're enjoying them.