Book Through the Summer

What You Need:

  • Rough draft paper (lots of it)
  • Final draft paper
  • Construction paper or card paper for book cover and back
  • Pencils
  • Illustration tools (they choose)
  • Dictionary/Thesaurus

What You Do:

  1. Help your child pick out a quiet spot to focus on in their writing. They may already have a place designated to do homework, but as it's summer, how about sitting outside under a tree?
  2. Encourage your child to brainstorm a topic they are excited about. They may choose a subject or setting that they are experiencing quite a bit this summer. Is your child spending time at the beach? Summer school? Focusing on learning a musical instrument? Once they have a topic picked out, sit with them and discuss their ideas and thoughts. Be enthusiastic about their choice and encourage them to get as many ideas down on paper as possible. This is brainstorming! They can organize them later.
  3. From this point, your child can start outlining their story and deciding what they want to include. What happened first, next, and last? Where, and when, did the events occur? This is the pre-writing stage, so they can jot down ideas in the form of notes, or even sketches.
  4. Next, have your child write the story. Encourage them to include as much detail, description, and personal touches as possible.
  5. When they completed the first draft, have them read it to you. You should ask questions about the story, such as, “What happened at the lake when Joe Doe fell in the duck pond?” "Why did Jason act that way?" Encourage your child to reflect on what went on behind the scenes.
  6. Using the dictionary, thesaurus, and a good listener for grammatical structure (indent paragraphs, use of capitals, punctuation, parts of speech, and spell correctly), have your child edit this story for the final draft.
  7. Next, have your child apply the corrections and revisions to the final draft, making it ready for publication!
  8. Upon completion, invite your child to include some illustrations, making drawings to go with the writing, or using photographs they took that go with the story. The more original and creative, the better!
  9. Once bound, share with friends, family, and classmates upon returning for a new school year. Your child's summer book will be a great ice-breaker for making new friends and having something to talk about with old ones, too!

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