Making a Case for Making Your Own Books
My son does not like to write. He fights it. He doesn’t mind drawing and he likes to use his hands in other ways to create, and occasionally, when he gets his head set on something he will do the writing he needs to do to accomplish his goal. But if I ask him to write a paragraph about what he learned about weather or the American Revolution, we usually end up frustrated.
He likes comic books and creating his own, so in response to his aversion to writing I tried to come up with a way to help him make his own books based on the subjects we are studying. I call them Fast Five Fact Books. Each page has space to write one fact he learned about his chosen subject, plus space to draw an illustration. He writes really big, so just in case, I add extra lined pages. Also, sometimes he gets inspired to do more drawing or creating so I add extra blank pages for illustrations. For example, when he did the George Washington book, he used a blank page to make a timeline showing the order in which the facts he wrote about occurred.
He’s in first grade and still has trouble with the concept of summarizing, so the last few that we did I let him write facts from the book without forcing him to “put it in his own words.” We’ll get to that point, but right now it just isn’t worth the fight. Right now, I just want him to get comfortable writing. The nice thing about the Fact Books is that he can grow with them. They don’t pigeonhole him into a certain level. He can write what he needs to or wants to and I can help guide him along the way. Either way, it is a great way to help us reinforce what he is learning, and get in some much-needed writing practice.
These are a lot like notebook pages, but to him, the value is seeing that he has completed his own book that he can assemble and go back to read later. Because he loves to read. Currently, we are putting ours together in a three-ring binder so he knows where they all are and can go back to that binder to get the book he wants whenever he wants. I’ll be posting more of these very soon but in the meantime, here are the Fast Five Fact Books we have completed:
Here are some other resources we are adding to our collection to help us with writing:
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