Publishing Young Authors

Lately I have been more and more impressed with my student’s writing. I decided that it was time for us to think about publishing their work. I shared this with my students and it led to a discussion about what a good topic for a book might be. After some deliberation they decided to write a counting book as we were discussing ordinal counting in math. I thought this was a great idea!

I gave them a short tutorial on how to use the Book Creator for iPad app ($4.99USD) and off they went. The app is so easy to use they literally did everything themselves. Since they were using the app on their iPads they could take pictures and pull these pictures right into their book. We worked on what we should say in the book. Since the writing in the book would follow a pattern they wrote a skeleton sentence on a whiteboard and they filled in the different words each time they came to a new page. I helped them with their spelling but they did everything else on their own. They decided that they wanted the book to have audio as well so I told them to figure out how to add it, and they did.

When they thought they were done they brought their book to me and we talked about it and decided on ways to improve it. Some things we talked about: pictures should not overlap text, text should be relatively the same size on all pages, it should not look sloppy, each page should follow roughly the same format. After a couple revisions they were good to go! It was incredibly simple really, made me wonder why I hadn’t done it earlier in the year. After they finished the final draft they zapped it to my computer and I uploaded it to the iTunes bookstore. The whole process from starting the book, to it going live in the iTunes bookstore took about 2 weeks. I wrote about the actual process involved with publishing to the iTunes bookstore here.

I started thinking of so many cool books the kids could make. I was talking about it with a coworker and we decided we were going to make alphabet books with the 4yr olds. We’ll have them find things that start with each letter, take pictures of these things to use as illustrations for the corresponding letter page. They can then add the matching letter sound as well as the word each picture represents as audio on each page.

As I walk down the halls of my school I wonder why more kids don’t make books. I see their stories stapled together and hanging from bulletin boards outside of classrooms. Most all of these stories are typed and illustrated on a computer, why not take the extra step and make them into a book? I see how proud my students are at seeing their books displayed in the iTunes bookstore. They get so excited to learn that someone took the time to write a review of their book. (Even if it was their mom or dad.) Talk about building excitement and motivation towards writing!

You can download the books my students made, here, here, and here… for free!

Are you making books with your students?

Do you think 5 year olds are too young to be making books like this?

About Benjamin J Sheridan

Instructional designer at the University of Kentucky.
This entry was posted in classroom tools and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Publishing Young Authors

  1. Melva Herman says:

    Love these books! Thanks so much for sharing how to do it. We do paper books (not enough) and this year we did a class book that we sent away for publishing. I want to try this, but only have my personal iPad to use, so not sure how many we will get done. A wonderful way for students to show their learning.

  2. Vivian says:

    Book-marking this too. Thank you for sharing your expertise to make it easier on us when it’s our turn to try this!

  3. Aroma Pannu says:

    I don’t think they are too young to be making books…they have ideas, they have illustrations, they are digital citizens 🙂 Great work- thank you for sharing.

    Do you think 4 year olds are too young to be blogging?
    Come check us out:
    The kids blogs are on the left hand side. Would love your feedback. Best-

    • I love the blogs and the Google Site! I also like how you utilized the “i-frame” option available in Google sites to embed the blog right in Sites. Very cool way to keep everything centralized! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Benjamin,
    I think this is a fabulous idea, and you’ve got me thinking about how this could be a summative task in any unit to show your learning, or an activity for an extra-curricular writing group.

    Have you used StoryBird? This is great collaborative website which allows students to create their own stories and comment on each other’s work.

    Thanks for the great idea.


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