This year, Batesville Intermediate School fourth-graders participated in a book publishing project. Students wrote and illustrated their own original stories, which were published using online software.
Fourth-grade teacher Kayla Pinckley wrote a grant application and received funding from the Batesville Community Education Foundation in order to complete the project. The funds helped pay for one 7-by-9-inch softcover book for each of the teacher’s 48 language arts students. Parents were given the option to upgrade the books to hardcover and/or purchase extra copies.
Pinckley explains, “The project was designed to give students a purpose for writing. It included the study of narrative writing by real-life authors. Students read picture books to notice techniques that authors use to tell stories. They kept writers’ notebooks to collect ideas to use for writing their own stories. During the narrative study, the class observed illustrations used to support text and make stories ‘come alive.’”
“Next, students planned and composed their own stories using author techniques previously studied. They created storyboards to go with their final drafts and began working on their illustrations. Finally, students scanned their illustrations into iPhoto and uploaded them to www.shutterfly.com, where they created photo storybooks by adding text to the illustrated pages.”