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I make a lot of class books in my classroom. The kids love to read them over and over again. I send them home with the kids and after everyone has taken that book home, the book goes into the classroom library. At the end of the year, I raffle them off. For the past few years every child has been able to take home 3 books.
If you are looking for a resource to help you with making class books, I highly, highly recommend Developing Young Authors by Kilpatrick. It not only gives you the prewriting and writing lesson plans, it contains the book pages ready to go and the cover. It is a wonderful book!
BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBat Book - This class book is one the class favorites. You can have the kids make their bat any way you choose. I use pattern painters and a template. Put the child's photo on the head of the bat. The child then has to write the first sound of his/her name 16 times on the 16 lines and then write his/her name with the word bat on the last line. The kids sing it to the Adam West "Batman" Theme. (See the Take Home Bag to go with this.)
My Teacher Sleeps In School - We make this class book after reading My Teacher Sleeps in School by Leatie Weiss and Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10 by Judy Finchler. The kids have to finish the sentence: My teacher sleeps_____________. They draw a picture of where they think I would sleep if I did slept at school.
Where’s My Teddy? - This class book goes along with the book Where’s My Teddy? By Jez Alborough. We brainstorm different places that we would find our teddies if they were lost. The kids then draw a picture of where they found their teddy and they glue on a small teddy cut out. I write the text because it is early in the year. I also include a photo of the child holding a teddy bear.
Telephone Book - We make a class phone book to help us practice our phone numbers. I write the child’s phone number on the bottom of the graph. The child colors in the correct number of squares. Then the child copies his/her phone number onto the phone book sheet. The child writes the first letter of his/her last name on the letter line and he/she draws a picture of himself/herself. I include a small photo.
Silly School Kids - We make this class book on Backwards Day. It goes along with the book Silly Sally by Audrey Wood. The text is “Silly (name) came to school. ________ backwards was really cool.” We brainstormed silly things we could do backwards.
Guess Who - I make this class book before Backwards Day. We read it on Backwards Day along with the book Backwards Day by Joan Holub. I take a photo of the child’s back and put that on the page that says “Guess Who?” You turn the page and there is a photo of the child facing forward that says “It’s (name).
Band-Aid Book - We make this book on band-aid day. The kids draw a picture of themselves and put a real band-aid on the picture. The child writes the name of the body part that has the boo boo. The last page of the book has the Shel Silverstein band-aid poem and a class photo with everyone having a bright band-aid on their face. We read the book Scratches and Scrapes by Margo Linn.
Our Bb Book - To make this class book, each child has to think of something that starts with B, draw the outline with a black crayon and use watercolors to finish the picture. We read The Bb Book by the Berenstains.
The Bear Went Over the Mountain - I created the blackline for this book using clipart from djinkers. The kids had to phonetically spell what the bear saw on the other side of the mountain and draw it in. We read the book The Bear Came Over To My House by Rick Walton. This is a wonderful guessing book. The children have to guess the rhyming word that fits in each verse.
The First Gift of Christmas - We make this class book on Polar Express day. The kids wear their PJs to school. I give them all jingle bell necklaces and they make this book.
Starting the Year Out on the Right Foot- This class book is about New Year's Resolutions. The kids have to draw a way in which they will improve themselves for the New Year. I write the text.
Green Eggs and Ham - We make this book on the day when we make Green Eggs and Ham. The kids have to write what one of their favorite foods is. The text is, ” Yes I like(food). Yes I like it (name) I am!!”
Helping Hands - There are many wonderful books out there for talking about helping hands. We read 26 Big Things Small Hands Do by Coleen Paratore and Hands by Lois Ehlert. On this day we also review handwashing and read Wash Your Hands! by Tony Ross.
The Grouchy Kindergartners - We make this class book after discussing things that make us grouchy. I got much better responses from the kids when I started reading What Are You So Grumpy About? by Lichtenheld. It helps the kids to come up with more creative ideas than just brothers or sisters fighting. My favorite is getting underwear for your birthday. The text just says, “I’ve been grouchy like a ladybug too. It make me grouchy when________.”
When I Was Little - Before making this class book, we brainstorm things that we couldn’t do when we little, but we can do them now. I highly recommend the Leo and Little Louie books to read on this day. It is a great way for kids to understand that we all don’t learn everything at the same time.
Look! Look! Look! - This book is just like Tana Hoban’s Look Books (she has many different ones.) In the books, there is a front page that has a hole cut in it. I used the lowercase 'o' die cut to make my circles. The kids write Look on that page. They then have to find a magazine picture that you can not tell what it is when it shows through the hole. They have to glue it onto a second page in the correct spot.
I make this book after our Halloween Costume Parade (yes, we can still do one). I take the kids' photo in their costume. The kids don't do any writing. I make the book. The text varies each year depending on the abilities of my students. The year I made this book, my students were extremely bright so I added more text using more high frequency words. The text is: I see _____ . He/She is _______.
One day during the school year I have all the kids bring a stuffed animal to school. We make this class book on that day. I take a photo of the kids holding their stuffed animal and we use it in the book. The text is: ______ brought a ______ to school and it.