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 +.

Link & Learn { Kids Craft Weekly Link Up! }

kids crafts

It’s time to add your post for Link & Learn!  I am going to be going into serious pinning mode to update our Best Of Link & Learn board on Pinterest. It’s been neglected for a few weeks and needs to have some new life breathed into it. So I need your best, your most amazing and yes RAD kids activities, crafts for kids, book reviews, party ideas… really anything that kids will love and might help the adults out too.

Have a great week and thank you so much for coming by and sharing. I really appreciate it!



11 Fun Math Activities For Kids

math for kidsMy kids love math. They get it from their father. I struggled with math from 4th grade on and I am determined that my kids won’t. Nothing we do can guarantee that our kids won’t struggle with learning but we can try our hardest to establish a strong foundation. Making math fun is a passion of mine . I want my kids to see it as a puzzle to solve , as a way to explain things and not as a hard thing they can’t do. These 11 math activities for kids are their favorite playful ways to work on math . They range in ability from toddler through the end of kindergarten but with minor adjustments could be used for almost any age.

Lock and Key Math
Pattern Towers
Lily Pad Math
Making Math Drills Fun
DIY Geo Board
Water Balloon Math Game
Hanging Out The Wash – Fine Motor Math
Monster Math
Lego Measurement
Counting Around The House
Estimation Jars

Paper Plate & Pom Pom Octopus Craft

paper plate octopus craftWhen I took stock of all my craft supplies and shared the progress with my facebook community members I was shocked at how many pipe cleaners and pom poms I had.  I immediately wrote down in my brainstorming journal to do a craft that would use some of this stock up.  After a trip to the aquarium where we saw an octopus I knew just what to do. These paper plate and pom pom octopus crafts were big hits and they also worked on a handful of important skills like fine motor , eye hand coordination and counting!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper plates, pom poms , glue, googly eyes, a single hole punch and pipe cleaners. If you are doing this with a child who is still eager to put small things in their mouth skip the pom poms and instead paint or use crayons to color your octopus!paper plate and pom pom octopus craft supplies
  2. Start by punching holes in the bottom of your plate. I did this for my daughter but my son did it himself.paper plate octopus craft
  3. Thread your pipe cleaners through until the short end can be twisted around the long one. paper plate ocotpus working fine motor skills
  4. Next glue on the eyes.paper plate octopus
  5. Add more glue. paper plate octopus adding glue
  6. Add pom poms. Pinching and placing the pom poms is also great for fine motor development. As they added the pom poms they counted them and my daughter compared sizes as well. paper plate octopus craft for kids works on fine motor skills
  7. Let dry . paper plate and pom pom octopus craft for kids

Does your little one love octopuses? Check out some of the other octopus crafts we’ve made over the years. Click the image to check them out.

more octopus crafts

Kids Crafts & Activities { Link Up! }

kids crafts

Link & Learn is ready for all your brilliant posts. Let’s see what your kids have been doing, creating and reading all week. Add a link or two to your posts that you think our readers will love.

If you have never linked up to us before there are no hoops to jump through, you just need to add a post that will be useful for families, teachers or anyone else that spends their day learning and growing with little kids.

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