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Class Books

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Making books with your students is a great way to get children reading and writing. It's also the perfect opportunity to have students take their writing home to read with their families. This collection is full of ideas to get you started making books with your students!

Class Books
Posted by: luv2teach77

I make several class books throughout the year. I love that these books get my students into writing about things they enjoy and reading each others writing. They always ask, "when's it my turn to take the book home?"

Here's a list of some of the class books we make throughout the year. My list is at school so this is what I can remember off the top of my head.

*Our Names are Very Special (written after reading Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and researching how they got their names)
*Our Weird Parents (written after reading Weird Parents by Audrey Wood...students write about weird things their parents do)
*Our Apple Picking Trip (written after a field trip to the apple orchard)
*Our Pets are Special (written after reading Henry and Mudge from our reading books)
*What We Like About October
*Can You Guess What We're Going to be for Halloween (students write a description of their Halloween costume without revealing what it is...then they illustrate themselves wearing the costume which we cover up with a little ghost cut-out that lifts up to reveal the costume)
*Our Pumpkin Picking Trip (written after a field trip to pick a pumpkin)
*Our Favorite Kinds of Candy (students can bring in a wrapper from their favorite candy to use in their illustration, great to do right after Halloween when there's plenty of wrappers)
*We Are Thankful for Many Things
*Our Favorite Kinds of Pie
*Why We Love December
*Our Christmas Wish List
*If We Were Gingerbread People
*2008 is Going to be a Great Year
*Winter is Wonderful
*Why We Love Snow Days!
*Our 100th Day of School
*Will the Groundhog See His Shadow?
*People We Love
*If I Were the President...
*If I Were a Leprechaun...
*I Feel Lucky
*Our Favorite Kinds of Weather
*Three Things We Can't Bear (students write about 3 things that really bother them)
*What We Want to "Bee" When We Grow Up (students write about what they want to be when they grow up on bee shaped paper)

At the end of the school year I take apart each book and put together a book for each student with all of their writings from the school year. It makes a great end of the year keepsake!

Class Books
Posted by: liketeaching1

Yes, we do class books! It is a most rewarding experience for the students and their parents. I would get my ideas from a book we had used at shared reading, read alouds, basal reading story, etc. Mine just came out of my head. Each child would do a page and then I would put them in the order of my kids' student numbers (first name ABC order). I would add a few pages at the back with the student's names and an area to write.

The parents got to write their comments, etc. If the student brought it back the next day they received a sticker. If they didn't bring it back for several days they would lose the privilege of taking them home. I had a place on the dry erase board where I would write the names of the books circulating and add the name of the student who had the book. That helped me keep track of them. I used card stock for the front and back covers and would make the cover on my Stationary Studio software. Our school has the spiral binder so I used that to make them extra special.

Some of the ideas that I can remember are:
I Went Walking in the Fall (adapted from the book I Went Walking)
The Gingerbread Man (how would you catch him)
How to Make A Friend (adapted from the book How to Lose Your Friends)
Pet Shop (adapted from any books about Pets--what would you wish to have as a pet)
Snow Day

I put them all in a basket in our library center labeled Class Books--they were favorites to select for their independent baskets.

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Class Books
Posted by: Teacher5yrs

I have my 2nd graders make enough class books throughout the year that each child will get to take home a classbook from 2nd grade. We play bingo at the end of the year and each book is the prize for that round. Once a child wins a book they can still play, but earn a skittle for winning the next time around. Anyway, my parents have always loved that they will get a special keepsake from their child's year. I teach in a small school, so most of these kids will be together in highschool and it is fun for them to have 2nd grade book that each of their classmates participated in.

The first one I've done so far is a book on Summer. They are to fold a large 12x18 paper in half, and on one side write a sentence and draw a picture of something you did this summer, on the other side write a sentence and draw a picture of something you did that is not real. For example, one girl wrote "in the summer I went to the swimming pool", and for pretend "I was bit by an Anaconda snake."

class book ideas...
Posted by: teach4fun

Each of my books is written by the kids with a template from me at the beginning of the year, and on their own after christmas.

For example, I have the children write a sentence with an adjective. If they choose a sentence about a girl they have to give an adj about the girl. Then if the girl finds a bug they have to describe a bug. There has to be at least two nouns with two adj in the sentence. They write the sentence at the bottom of the page and illustrate above. I divide the adj book into sections to help with the flow of the book.

Last year the kids decided we would go to a park. So the first section was who came and what they brought, then what they saw when they got there and then lastly what they did. We choose in the morning meeting what group we will be in and then in my reading group that day we write and edit our sentence. By the end of the year the kids create and plan the whole thing with some help from me if it gets too out there or too detailed that it will be hard to get 28 kids to participate. They LOVE doing it!

We put them in dollar store 3 ring binders and keep them in our class library. Eventually the children will tear a few holes so I put those little white reinforcers on them. They love seeing their own books and we always bring them to our librarian and our principal to ohh and ahh over.

I ask parents to donate pastel copy paper so we make the pages on this paper. I copied "lined" lines on the bottom, usually 3 lines and left the top open for the picture. The children put their name "teeny tiny" on the bottom so they know who did what page but not big enough that it messes with the flow of the book (one of my students suggested this last year).

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class book
Posted by: Jo

We make an "All About Me" book the first week of school. Each student writes an autobiographical piece about himself/herself and draws a self portrait. They tell things about themselves that they want others to know. Each gives an oral report from their article. Then the pages are laminated and bound together as our class book for the year. When a new student comes to our class, they are given the book to take home to acquaint themselves with others in our class. I always put out books from years past for viewing too. The kids love it and it helps new students find kids with similar interests to befriend.

class made books
Posted by: Michele

We make a class book every week or so, I try to have enough for each student to have one at the end of the year. These are re-written stories (today we did a re-make of Dog's Don't Wear Sneakers by Laura Joffe Numeroff) At any rate, how I do it is: I read the story to my kids, then we talk about the different aspects of the story (author's purpose, different writing strategies- obviously in first grade terms). We brainstorm different ideas: in the book Dog's Don't wear... many different animals try wearing lots of outfits and doing different things. It has rhyming words and a definite rhythm, so it was easy to write blank pages and have the kids fill in the blanks. (Mine looked like ___________ don't _______ _______. And ___________ don't _________ ____________. ) The kids did 1 page...for instance Bears don't play basketball (illustration of a bear playing basketball).

I try to use books that are really rhythmic and easy to change the wording. I ALWAYS put that the book was re-written based on the origional title and author.

Class Books
Posted by: Kim

We make class books using the students' names. I use a read aloud book to kick off whatever class book we are doing. We did The Kissing Hand and I had the students make a hand print on paper. I used the sentence: I see _______'s kissing hand.

For Brown Bear Brown Bear we made the book Children, Children, Who Do you See? I have the students pictures on the pages with the words ___________, _____________, who do you see? I see __________ looking at me.

I am now making a book titled The Apples of Mrs. Chartier's Eye. I have a students picture inside an apple on each page. The leaf is velcroed with the student's name. The children have to match the names to the pictures in the book. After we read the book as a class, I let the children take it home to share with their parents. The parents can write a comment about the book back to the class. They really get excited about taking the book home and it's extra practice.

Names on Papers
Posted by: Emme

Use this [song] the first week of school. Soon, as you start to sing it, they'll join, the next month they'll start to sing on their own, while writing their name on the paper (tune: "If You're Happy")

"The first thing on my paper is my name (clap clap)
The first thing on my paper is my name (clap clap)
Mrs Smith needs to know
Who did this work and so
The first thing on my paper is my name."(clap clap)

Another idea - attach highlighters to the basket where they hand in their work, and they can highlight their names. First grade loves to use the highlighter, so if the name is missing they'll go back and put it on. Or let them keep a highlighter in their pencil box for this job.

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No title
Posted by: jen517

We make class books almost weekly about all different things. For earth day we read "Dear Mother Earth" and they wrote a friendly letter to Mother Earth telling her what they will do to take care of her. When we were learning about story problems in math they each illustrated and wrote one and put the answer on the back. The first week of school we do a "Guess Who" book that is probably the favorite to learn about their classmates.

I laminate the cover and bind the books and they hold up all year. To send them home I bought the bright colored mailing envelopes (that have almost a bubble wrap feel at Walgreens) and have a letter packing taped on the front instructing them to read it as a family, write a comment to the class on the comments pages (I put in the back of each book) and send back the next day. The next day I read the comments to the class before picking the next student to take it home. I have about 6 envelopes and just change which books are in them. After each child has had it the book is put in the classroom library. At the end of the year each child gets to keep one of the books, sometimes more if we make a lot!

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alphabet books
Posted by: Amanda

I will be creating alphabet books with my students in the first week (hopefully!). My kids are 1st/2nd grade, so their minimum should be things like "A is for Apple" "B is for Boat", etc. but for 3rd grade and up, alphabet books can be more complex like "After Art I Ate An Apple", "By Breakfast Bob Burnt Bacon and Buttered Buns", etc. Plus, there are so many different kinds of alphabet books out there you could get from the library to show as examples! (one I like that I can't recall the name has an ant on each page drawn to describe one word like "abundANT", "observeANT"). Then, once behavior is set, you could talk to a teacher of a lower grade about having your students go over and read their book to a buddy.

Class books
Posted by: Dina

My favorite class book that I have done two years now is a version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear. We take pictures of each students and make pages with the words _________,__________, what do you see? Leave a space so they can glue their picture. Then the words I see ____________ looking at me. I use writing fonts that allow me to put the writing lines for the students to write their names. They write their name, glue their picture on, and then pass it to their neighbor and they write their name on the last line. It is the number one book my students read in the reading corner. It will also show them how much improvement they have made at writing their name.

Class Books
Posted by: MalibuBarbie

I LOVE making class books with my class! I usually do take-offs from shared reading/read aloud books. I send the books home with kids each night and this procedure works GREAT! I sent bits of the following idea into Mailbox magazine. They took the idea but I never saw that it was published in a magazine yet- The following includes a LOT more details!

Laminate the front and back covers (construction paper or card stock) of class-made books and staple the books together with a heavy duty stapler. Use clear packaging tape as "binding". It covers the staples nicely and adds extra reinforcement. The kids pages are usually done on regular copy paper. They hold up very nicely when bound this way. I typically have from 20 to 25 students each year.

Reduce a class list to about 70% on the copy machine and tape it on the back cover along with a note on lime green paper (or any eye-catching color!) that says something like this:

"Please read and enjoy this class made book at home tonight with your child. Please return the book tomorrow (or as soon as possible) so that another family can enjoy the book."

Randomly pick a child to take the book home and write the date next to their name on the class list (and also on a master list--I keep one on a clipboard by my rocking chair). I tell the kids that I understand that they might not have time to read the book that night. But I encourage them to return it as soon as possible.

I started adding the bright colored paper note (please read and enjoy this book) a few years ago. Before that, books went missing! I'd ask for the books back and kids would tell me their parents threw the book away!!! :eek: The note really helps!

I usually have two or three kids each year that lose the privilege of taking class books home. They get ruined, come back in about three weeks after lots of hounding or are never returned. I'll have a parent volunteer or fifth grade buddy read class made books at school with these kids.

Here are some class book ideas:

*How to Be a Friend
*How to Play Safe on the Playground
(you might assign pairs of kids to each piece of playground equipment)
*How My Parents Chose My Name
(after reading "Chrysanthemum", I have parents help their child make this class book page at home. They might add a picture of child and namesake along with an explanation of how and why they chose the name--these are PRICELESS!)
*Dear Zoo can be changed to Dear Santa
(I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet. It was too ____. I sent it back! I wrote to Santa to send me a toy. It was too ____. I sent it back!)
*All about Owls, Turkeys or Penguins or any other animal you've studied

Just one more thing...the publishing is fun to vary. Sometimes--like when we're doing a Penguin Fact book--I'll have kids tell me a fact they've learned about penguins and I'll type it into a word document. I make sure that each child comes up with a different fact so that we don't have 10 pages that say "Penguins lay eggs". I'll enlarge the font, print the facts and cut them apart. Each child brings their fact to the computer lab and types it into a Kidpix template and then illustrates the fact. Print and wa-lah!

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Class Books
Posted by: Kim C

I've made 5 books with my class so far. The 1st book I made myself. I put each child's picture on a cut out apple and labeled the book "The Apples of Mrs. Chartier's Eye!" I put their names on leaf cut outs to be velcroed to each apple. The children took the book home and matched names to faces. I also had parents work on beginning and ending letters for each name. (I teach K)

The next book was "The Kissing Hands." I read the picture book to the class and each child made a stamped hand print on a page with the sentence "I see ____'s kissing hand." I use the kindergarten words in my books. You can use the grade 1 words from your district. I read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?" and made the class book "Children, Children, Who Do You See?" We did "Ten Apples Up on Top" by Leo LeSieg. It's a counting book. Our book was called "Apples Up On Top" and each child had a number 3-12 to show. I took picturtes of the children looking up and they glued small cut out apples on top of their heads in the picture. We made a scarecrow in class and I took pictures of each step. The children used interactive writing to tell how we did it and the book is "How to Make a Scarecrow."

I send each book home as it is done and the children take turns sharing them with their families. I send a folder with the book telling what skills we are reviewing. I give a list of activities that the parents can do with the book. I have a comment page in the folder for the parent to write back and I share the comments with the class. They LOVE to take the books home and the parents enjoy seeing what we are doing in class. It's also a wonderful review of our skills.

We are working on our next book. It's a spin off of "Mrs. Wishy Washy." The sentences are "The ___ is in the mud." and "The ___ is in the tub." Each child has picked an animal to illustrate in both places. We are using interactive writing to write the animal names.

class books
Posted by: Judith

I do one every week or so. We do predictable charts - a 4 block ideas. On Monday and Tuesday each student dictates a sentence which I chart. For instance, "I know its fall gets dark early". Everyone completes the sentence.
On Wednesdays students read their own sentences and the class echos.
On Thursdays, we do a few things like which sentence has the longest word. Find the nouns, etc.
On Friday we read again. The students copy their sentences and expand on them and do an illustration. I put these together into a class book. I just use a file fold with a fancy, laminated cover. The students love to read these books.