Young Author Projects For Your Classroom
Helping your students learn to write, both academically and for pleasure, is the single best thing you can do as a teacher. Writing is a skill that knows no boundaries. It carries over throughout life, offering students opportunities that simply aren't possible without strong writing skills. As essential as writing is, though, working it into your classroom amidst the flurry of state standards and test preparation is often difficult. If you're not sure where to get started, these young author projects and ideas can help.
A Quick Note On Encouragement
Often teachers complain that students don't even enjoy writing enough to work in ideas like these. In situations like those, it hardly seems worth the effort to design a unit around writing. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to change that tide. One of the best things you can do is to make certain your classroom feels safe and supportive for writing. You may also want to make the writing as purposeful as possible and engage them completely. You may even want to coach your young authors in writing conferences.
Great Writing Ideas
Story Starters Book: This is a wonderful way to get students excited about writing. You can simply pass out a book filled with story starters. Ideas here include things like showing students a famous painting and asking them to create a story around the painting, giving students a character profile and asking them to generate a story around that, or even plucking a student-appropriate topic from the local newspaper and asking them to construct a story around the idea. Each student gets one story starter book, and throughout the year, you can have them simply open their books, and work with their previous stories or a brand new prompt to help get those texts created!
Writing Workshops: There are few things as helpful to writers at any age as writing workshops. The goal here is to not only work with previously completed student writing, but also teach them new skills. There are all sorts of workshop topic ideas out there. Whether you want to teach students better character development, tell them how to create realistic descriptions, or convey how to better enhance dialog, writers will love these intense teaching experiences that give them hands-on training regarding a certain aspect of their writing. You'll love the results of these too.
Young Authors' Night: Students love to see their texts featured, so why not plan a night packed with readings, displays, and more? Young authors' night is a great way for students to show off what they've been working on all year. Much like a science fair, this is the chance for your young authors to shine. There are several ways to arrange this type of event. You could simply have table displays and posters of each student's writing. You could even have judges coming up with the best student works they've seen. You could also do it in a coffee-shop-reading format where students read from their works throughout the evening.
Young Author's Club: Not sure you have time to incorporate writing ideas like these into the classroom? Consider starting a young author's club before or after school. With as much time as you'd like to devote to it, you can have students learning about writing, then creating amazing texts. Your club could even feed into a few of these other ideas.
A Young Author Publishing Program of Note
No matter how you encourage young authors in your classroom, one of the single best things you can do is offer an opportunity for publication to every author. It's the chance for your students to feel like actual authors, with real books in their hands. Bookemon's Young Author Press program can help. For just $99, the young author gets a host of benefits, including:
- A hard copy of the book in bookstore quality format.
- unique ISBN and barcode for each book.
- Automatic submission of the book's title, description, and author information for worldwide distribution.
- An option to receive profit on the sale of the bookstore quality prints, just like real authors.
- Listing at Amazon.com.
- Title publication in Bookemon press releases.