Writing Books With Your Child { Guest Post}

Writing Books with Your Child

by Becky Spence { This Reading Mama }

When kids are first learning to read, one of the things they need are some basic sight words under their belt. My son {age 4.5} has learned about 25 sight words this past year through the PreK reading curriculum I created for him. This summer, I want to expand and review that sight word learning without being too structured.

One way we will do this is by composing emergent readers together about him and the things he loves. There are many reasons why this concept works well. For one, it is all about the child. The majority of readers, even reluctant readers, will stick with something longer when the topic is of high interest to them {and what is more interesting to a child than a story about himself?} Secondly, this idea is highly adaptable to meet the developmental needs of the child {most writing activities are}. I will include some of those adaptations at the end of the post. But for now, I want to share how we made our first emergent book of the summer.

Steps to Writing Books with Your Child

Take Photos of Your Child Doing What He Loves | This Reading Mama

1. Ahead of time, I chose the predictable sentence I wanted for this particular book: “I like to…”. {For young readers, predictable text like this works well because of the repetition of words.} I asked him to pick several things he liked to do and he did them. While he was doing them, I took pictures of him. Painting, jumping, playing his favorite bird game, coloring…you name it.

2. I saved all the pictures to our computer. He chose the pictures he wanted to use and I printed them each onto a separate piece of paper to create a book.

3. I modeled the first sentence, “I like to color”. He listened as I talked through my sentence. It’s great for kids to hear us think out loud as we read and write. This is one way they gain the strategies they need to read and write with independence. An example of what I said, “I’m going to start writing over here on the left side of the paper because that’s where you start with reading and writing.” Think basic. Think simple.

Writing Books with Your Child

4. We worked on the other sentences together. “I like to jump.” “I like to play.” And so on. I let him take the lead and write as much as he wanted. When he didn’t want to write any more, I helped out. To keep him active in the writing while I had the pencil, he continued to help me sound out words. Writing books with kids is a great way to model spacing, capitialization, listening for phonemes {sounds in words}, and other foundational reading and writing skills.

5. Once all the sentences were written {this took two days}, we worked on the title page; made from colored construciton paper of his choice. Coming up with a title was a bit tricky for him, so I offered him several choices. He picked, “Things I Like to Do”. He added “by {his name}” to the title page as well.

6. We stapled the book together and he used our recycled bubble wand to read it to me. The book now has a home in his independent reading bin {a bin of books he can read himself, mainly from Reading the Alphabet}. If you don’t have a bin, displaying the books your child has written among the other books on the shelf or in a special space shows him you value his work as a writer.

Adaptations for Writing Books with Your Child

  • Instead of taking photos, ask your child to illustrate the pictures. This works particularly well for those children who love to draw.
  • Adapt the predictable sentence based on the words your child already knows or needs to know. Start simple. Sight words need to be introduced slowly with children just learning to read.
  • Use life experiences to create your sentences. For example, after a trip to the zoo, you could write the predictable sentence: “I saw a…” filling in the different animals your child saw that day.
  • Make it as long or as short as you’d like. Our book was five pages long because that’s all his attention span could handle.
  • Break up the activity into different segments. The entire book does not have to be completed in one sitting. Break it up over a few days, especially if you’re asking your child to do most of the drawing or writing.
  • For children who are not ready to do the writing, do it for them. But require that they be your helper, listening for sounds {phonemes} in words, helping put the space in between words by placing their finger there as a space holder, or drawing the period at the end of the sentence. Sometimes children just aren’t ready to write the entire sentence. Ask them to write the letters they do know how to write.
  • For more advanced readers/writers, mix up the sentences a bit instead of making the book totally predictable. For example, “I like to jump./I can jump very high./I jump the highest on my trampoline.” etc.

Predictable Sentence Starters

As a head-start, here are a few sentence starters that work well for writing predictable books with young readers, based on early sight word lists:

  • The _______.
  • A ______.
  • I see the ______.
  • I see a ______.
  • I can _______.
  • I like _______.
  • I like to ______. {example I used}
  • I saw a ______.
  • I am _______.
  • My _______.
  • Look at the ______.

 

Becky @ This Reading Mama

Becky Spence is a homeschooling mama to four little blessings. She is passionate about teaching, specifically literacy. She is the author of This Reading Mama, where she shares reading and writing activities as well as literacy curricula and printables. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.

25 Books with Crafts To Match

craft ideas for preschoolWhen I started No Time For Flash Cards I started it with the intention of trying to give my friends who were at home with their kids some fun activities to fill in their day. When I taught I would always link the book I read at opening circle time with our art exploration for the day. It gave the students focus and padded the learning on both ends. We didn’t hit the kids over the head with facts or structure but a little themed continuity went a long way in our exploration of the chosen topic.  After more than 5 years of blogging I have paired countless books with crafts. Consider this list of 25 a cheat sheet. I hope you find it useful.

For the full craft tutorials click the craft title under each pair. The book title is an affiliate link and will take you to Amazon.com
 

craft for if you give a mouse a cookie 1. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and Puffy Paint Cookie Craft .

knight craft and book

2. Small Knight and George by Ronda Armitage and Knight’s Shield Craft readmake14

3. Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert and Sticky Window Flower Garden readmake21

4. The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle and Spider Web Walking . readmake19

5. Firefighter Frank by Monica Wellington is a wonderful read before working on writing and counting with our  Count & Write Fire Trucks .readmake17

6. How Big Is a Pig? by Claire Beaton and Paper Plate Pig Craftreadmake22

7.The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems goes perfectly with this Squeeze Painting Hot Dog Craft.

preschool craft

8. The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle and our popular Band-aid Fireflies Craft. craft for leo the late bloomer

9.Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus goes well with our Paper Bag Tiger Puppet. activity for alphabet under construction

10. Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming is the perfect read before you Build With Letters.activities for the big red barn book

11. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown can be read before or after you play with this Farm Sensory Bin. tacky the penguin craft idea

12.Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester and our Simple Penguin Craft . craft for Frederick by leo lionni

13.Frederick by Leo Lionni and a craft especially made to look like Frederickalphabet craft with cars

14. Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson and our Car Alphabet is a great match! readmake9

15. Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson and our Easy Peasy Paper Plate Frog Craft. craft for goodnight moon

16.Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and our Homemade Puffy Paint Moon.craft for the grouchy ladybug

17. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle and our simple Ladybug Craft.trashy town craft

18. Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha has been a favorite for years and goes perfectly with our Shape Garbage Truck Craft. swimmy craft idea

19. Swimmy   by Leo Lionni is a wonderful to share while creating this cool School Of Fish Craft. craft for dinosaur vs the potty

20. Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea will have your kids laughing and this Dinosaur Craft with have them using their fine motor skills. chicka chicka boom boom craft

21. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault was the inspiration for this craft. bulldozer books and craft

22. Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo is a great read before learning about shapes with the Shape Bulldozer. princess craft

23. The Very Fairy Princess Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton is sweet just like our Shape Princess Craft . cloudy with a chance of meatballs craft

24. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi and Ron Barrett is a perfect match for our DIY Weather Station. how to catch a star book and craft

25. How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers goes so well with our Make Your Own Constellation Craft.

 

 

 

Reading Resources On Pinterest

learn to readOne of my greatest passions in life is to help children learn to read and develop a love of books. Now that I am out of the classroom and online one way I do that is to help other parents support their own children’s learning. Digging to find activities, ideas for struggling readers ,and just the right book has never been easier. I have found incredible reading resources via Pinterest and want to share them with you. These 6 boards have consistently useful pins for all things early literacy. Check them out !

 

1.Reading & Writing Readiness by us … but really it’s a community board made up of great bloggers and wonderful reading and writing ideas.

2.Reading Activities by The Educator’s Spin On It and check out their blog here.

3.Little Book Lovers by Zina Harrington and check out her blog here.

4.Struggling Readers by This Reading Mama and check out her blog here.

5.Literacy by Teachmama and check out her blog here.

6.Early Literacy by I Can Teach My Child and visit her blog here.

 

Do you have a favorite board on Pinterest ? Leave a link in comments so we can check it out!

Summer Reading Bucket List

Summer Reading Bucket List

The school year is almost over and if you are like me you have already started planning your family calendar for the whole season. Before you declare all the planning done take some time and plan your summer reading adventure!

Summer reading isn’t just for fun it’s the best way to prevent summer slide. Did you know that it’s estimated that teachers spend on average 4-6 weeks re-teaching material children have forgotten over the summer? Think of all the time that teachers could have for other things if we send our kids ready to learn new material instead of reviewing and re-learning . My kids and I brainstormed fun, silly and educational ideas for summer reading and came up with this bucket list. Follow the links to book recommendations .

  1. Read in a tent.
  2. Read a book about wild animals.
  3. Read a book in the bath.
  4. Read a book under a tree.
  5. Read a book about a city far away.
  6. Read at dinner.
  7. Read a magazine.
  8. Read as a family.
  9. Read a book about your country.
  10. Read in a blanket fort.
  11. Read a book about friendship.
  12. Read a comic book.
  13. Read at the park.
  14. Read a magazine.
  15. Read a book about art.
  16. Read a book that makes your laugh.
  17. Read a book with a flashlight.
  18. Read a book to a pet.
  19. Read at the beach.
  20. Read a book about space.
  21. Read a book in a funny accent.
  22. Read a book while having ice cream.
  23. Read a book then act it out.
  24. Read a book and capture it on video.
  25. Read a biography.
  26. Read a book with chapters.
  27. Read a book about bugs.
  28. Read a book without any words.
  29. Read an alphabet book.
  30. Read a pop up book
  31. Read at breakfast.
  32. Read a book you wrote yourself.
  33. Read an ebook .
  34. Read all summer long.

 

As you know together with Amy Mascott I write  all about family literacy for Scholastic Parent’s Raise A Reader blog .  On Monday night we will be taking over  Scholastic Parent’s Facebook page for a great kick off of their Scholastic Summer Challenge. This year is set to be the best yet and Amy and I will be answering questions to get you and your family ready for a summer filled with reading. Do not miss it!

 

summer-reading-facebook-chat

Find & Rhyme – Gross Motor Rhyming Game

find and rhyme game for readingGetting my son learning after school isn’t always easy because he’s just been at school all day!  This rhyming  game was originally supposed to be a Frisbee like game with the hula hoops acting as targets but my dollar store plates were too light and even doubled up wouldn’t fly well. So we turned it into a hunt and my daughter came along for the ride and everyone had fun . You could adapt this easily for different levels using upper and lowercase as pairs to match, sight words ( writing out two and finding the match) or word families. Even though my almost 3 year old participated this activity is part of our Learning After School series . This series is filled with ideas for fun active learning after school gets out.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cheap plastic plates ( just don’t expect them to make good Frisbees… ) , a sharpie and some hula hoops.Rhyming Hunt for kindergarten
  2. Start by writing some words on the plates. I chose 4 words that offered lots of rhyming words.  Bake, car, band and hat.rhyming activity for kids with movement
  3. Write out as many rhyming words on the rest of the plates for each as you think will offer your child the right amount of challenge.  You can always have a few extra on hand to hide on the go if your child is into it and you want to extend it.
  4. Place the anchor words ( bake, car, band and hat) in the hula hoops.hunt and rhyme learning after school
  5. Hide the other plates. rhyming word hunt
  6. Get your kids ready – I had my son agree that he’d let his sister find her share and not zoom through and grab them all . He also offered up his reading and rhyming skills to help. I wasn’t sure how it would play out … if you are doing this with a number of children with similar rhyming and reading abilities a great way to do it is to start each child off with a different word and have them search only for words that rhyme with their assigned word. * Whenever I am explaining rules I start with a quick game of Simon Says. It gets them focused. hunt and rhyme learning after school game
  7. It was great. hunt and rhyme early literacy gameHe needed a reminder not to grab all the plates but one reminder was enough. They would find a plate, run over and match the rhymes. She got a few solo ( after we read them of course)gross motor rhyming game and he would do his in his head throwing them down fast. But then when she was stumped he took time to help his sister saying things like ” Do you hear they sound the same? Cake and bake rhyme.” It was still pretty much over her head but he got great practice being patient and teaching her.  You can see him stretching out the words for her as a hint. Best part is the plates store easily and you can add more when you want to play again. sounding out the rhymes - rhyming game for kids

 

Books That Rhyme

 

25 picture books that rhyme

Here are 25 great books that rhyme . When reading these books with your kids take some time to play with the rhymes , not every single on but a few. Be silly and have fun. Do things like use a synonym in the place of a rhyming word  in the familiar text. When your child corrects you explain that the word means the same thing. They will insist it’s still not right . Ask them why. Continue reading. Pretending not to know the answer and letting my kids answer for me always gets a good laugh and the lesson sticks as well.