Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kids as Authors (freebie included)

I just had the best day with my friend's two sweet girls. One of them is going into kindergarten in the fall. She is going to be the BEST student. She's so excited to learn how to read and write, which of course made me excited to get back and teach! Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying my summer break! I am not trying to rush back or anything, but she just got me in the teaching mood and reminded me why I  l.o.v.e teaching.

Thanks to Gracie, I've made another freebie for you all! I am busy working on my September literacy menu (finally) and one of the centers is Be an Author. I made another Be an Author book for Gracie today and she did a fabulous job! Since I teach first grade, this is the first time I've done this activity with a kindergartener. She blew me away! She had so many great ideas for what to write and she was so excited to be an author of her very own book. (This is also often  a favorite among my students.)

Her book was about the zoo. There was a picture of monkey so she added the words, The monkey eats bananas. Then she drew the little banana to go with her words.

 Here's a picture of her hippo page. She drew the hippo wading in water and wrote Hippos like water.
Isn't she a doll! And now she is officially an author too! :) 

It's pretty basic, but kids love it! They get a book with some illustrations and blank lines. They get to be the author by filling in the words on each page. They also add to the illustration to go with their words. This particular book has a different zoo animal on each page for your kiddos to write about.

clipart by KPM doodles

Like I said, it's basic but you can get some great writing practice out of it. Click on the picture to download. If you'd like to hear my long explanation of how I teach it, you can continue reading this post (I also included it in the download). 

I introduce this activity at the beginning of the year because I include it in some of my center menus. I want to set my expectations so they can be the best little authors they can be! I do it again later on in the year when they are getting to be better writers because my expectations are higher. Here is how I teach it at the beginning of the year. I use a version of the optimal learning model: Modeling writing (Demonstrating), Shared writing (shared demonstration), Guided Practice, Independent Practice

I'm sorry I don't have any actual teaching pictures, but since I'm on summer vacation I don't have any. Hopefully I'll get some pictures when I go back in the fall and I can repost this with some real action shots with student writing! 

On an unrelated note, here is my precious Shawn "reading" to his favorite stuffed animal. I was a very happy mama watching this!

and here he's pointing something out his animal to explain the story. Love it!


  1. I love this idea!! And thank you for your explanation... I love all the different styles you include in teaching the writing (interactive, guided, etc). It gives them lots of practice before setting them loose! Thanks for sharing the freebie!

    First Grade Garden

  2. Oh my goodness! What an awesome teacher you are. I'm right there with you when it comes to writing. I always have little books ready to be filled with stories be the children. It's a popular center. I usually do a lot of modeling at the beginning of the year, but your posts reminds me to hit it again and again. Thank you for that- you are so right. I think, as teachers, we get so busy in the school year that we let things go and that's a shame. Your post is like a shot in the arm. thanks for your freebie!

  3. What great ideas! We use "Write from the Beginning and Beyond," which uses Thinking Maps in writing. We model, model, model using various maps to get the children to add detail. I'm amazed how much detail I get from my children!

    Learning is for Superstars

  4. The kiddos are adorable!!

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class
    I need your help! Come check out my last post ❤

  5. I love how you went step by step through your learning model for writing. You have some really great ideas for writing! Thanks for sharing! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  6. I love how thorough your post is! Thanks for the freebie too. and you son is adorable :) I love how he's reading to his bear!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  7. Hey! Come see my post with YOU today :)
    Tori :)

  8. Just found your blog and we're your newest followers. Great ideas!

    Teaching Little Miracles

  9. Your kids are adorable!!!

    I love your freebie. Thank you VERY much.

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  10. Awesome post! Last year my kiddos loved be an author. I can't wait to see what you have in store for September. Happy Summer!

  11. Hi! I love reading your blog and nominated you for the One Clever Education Blog Award. Go grab your award here!

    The Teaching Thief

  12. What a cute idea! Thanks for sharing.
    I gave your blog the One Lovely Blog award!

    Teachin' First

  13. This is such a great and informative post!! LOVE it:) And your little Shawn IS so precious!!

  14. I've just found your blog, and I'm your newest follower. I can't wait to explore your blog more!

    Waving from The Teacher's Chatterbox,

  15. I nominated you for an award! Buzz by to pick it up=)

    The Busy Busy Hive

  16. Love this freebie! And...thank you so much for including the explanation. On my way to check out your TPT store:-)