Book Making for Little Homeschoolers - Preschool through Elementary




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Do you have a little writer in your family?  

When my daughter was little, she loved to tell stories and enjoyed make believe, dressing up in costumes, and creating stories with her stuffed animals.  I wanted to find a way that she could do that, with a simple book making activity.

She was just learning what written words meant, and loved following along during our story times, but she was not yet ready to put the words on the page herself.  She enjoyed describing her artwork to me, and loved it when I wrote her words for her, on the paper. 

Today, I'd like to share how we made our simple books, discussing:

- Setting up the pages
- Encouraging your child to write their own story
- Doing each page, using a sample story

- Early literacy skills that your child will be learning

But first let's look at why....

Why We Did This Project

I decided to try some very simple bookmaking with her, to allow her to dictate a story to me, and create a small book, where she was the author.   While making these little books, my daughter could see how her own words could be put together to make a book.

That was so exciting to her!  She felt so important, being an author.  
This project is not a fancy one, it is very simple, but at the same time, it is a perfect introduction to creative writing for your little one!

Supplies Needed

To do this project, all it took was one piece of construction paper, and some crayons!  With that, my daughter made many simple books, full of three part stories...each with a beginning, middle and an ending.  She was learning the components of a story just by making them.

This simple booking activity can be done with any age child, one helping the other, or with each making their very own book.  This format can be helpful for older writers, too, if  they want to do some creative writing ,and don't want the stress of sitting at the computer, facing a blank page!  



To get started, let's talk about:

1.  Setting up the Pages

Supplies needed: Only one sheet of construction paper, crayons, felt pens or colored pencils,  stickers optional.

To start, just fold one piece of construction paper in half.  Folding the paper, you will then have spaces for page 1 and page 2....



Then the back of page 2....becomes page 3, and that is all that is needed for a three part story!  We always wrote 'The End" on the last page, which my daughter could do with help.


Then the back of page 1, became the Title page.   

That was such an important part of the book, as my daughter's name went there as the author!  At the same time, she was learning all about title pages.



With this simple format, I helped my daughter to create simple stories, with a beginning, a middle and an end, while learning early literacy skills. 

Next, here are some tips to help.... 

2.  Encourage Your Child to Write Their Own Story  

The fun of this project is that you can get your child to create their own story, with a beginning, middle and an ending.  Those are the three main parts of any short story!

The trick is to ask open ended questions.  Here is an example of a story that I helped my daughter to create.  I wrote the words for her, as I wanted her to focus on creating the words, not struggling to figure out how to write them.  

Of course, for more advanced kiddos you could have them write their own words, but I would have them dictate them to you first. That way they can focus on creating their story, and then they could re-copy their words afterwards.

So next, let's look at how we did this, using a story that my daughter wrote.  Note - We did not emphasize neatness, instead creativity.  This is a real story done by my little one.

3.  Sample Story

Title: FLOWERS DANCING ON THE ROAD
Page 1 

These are my daughter's words.

----How to help your child with page 1:

1.  Ask your child to draw something on the top half of page 1.  .....Anything.  

2.  Ask open ended questions about the drawing, to get her to talk about her picture.

3. Write the words for your child, or turn it into copywork, depending on their skill level.  The important thing is that they are using their own words.  



 FLOWERS DANCING ON THE ROAD
Page 2 

Ask "What's next?"


Again, these are my child's own words.


----How to help your child with page 2:

Page 2 will be the middle of the story.  Start by asking your child..."What happens next?" 

Give a suggestion or two to get her started...Then have them draw again.... to illustrate their words.  

Now it's time to end the story.....  


FLOWERS DANCING ON THE ROAD
Page 3
The Ending


----How to help your child with page 3:

Next, turn to the back page, (the other side of page 2) & ask:
"What would happen next?" or "How does your story end?"

 This usually takes some discussion.  Then add their words to the page, ask for another picture, and have your child write "the end" below it.  

Now your child has not only written their very own very short story, they have also learned that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end! 

Finally it's time for the Title Page....


FLOWERS DANCING ON THE ROAD

Title Page


----How to help your child with the Title Page:

Just turn page 1 over, and that will become their title page.
Help your little one decide on a title. We always did the title page last, as by then, my daughter usually had a title for her story. Giving suggestions helped, too.

Now, here's my daughter's favorite part....Have your child write their name, as the author and also for the illustrator.  What better way to learn what author and illustrator means!

My little one loved making these books so much that she wanted to do it again, and again, and meanwhile, she was learning lots of...... 

4.  Early Literacy Skills

What I love about this activity was that my daughter was learning early literacy skills, hands-on.  She was learning:

1.  The components of a book, including about the title page, with  places for the author and illustrator.

2. That stories are made up of three parts, the beginning, middle and end, and what theses three parts mean.

3.  That written words have a purpose, as they see their story come to life.

And when our precious little ones write their own stories, they are also learning that their own words are important. 

The confidence that my daughter built by making these simple books was priceless.  I would so enjoy seeing your children's books!  I am working on a way to let readers post on my facebook page at BJ's Homeschool.  




Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,

Betsy



Betsy is mom to her college grad whom she homeschooled from preK through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool about the early yearshigh schoolcollegeand is the author of "Homeschooling High School with College in Mind".  She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.

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