Every fall students begin their process of writing a book for the spring book fair. We begin by studying stories through our read-aloud classroom books and self-chosen literature. We discuss and explore the elements of literature (plot, character, setting, conflict, climax etc.). The children create story boards and maps and then begin writing. Throughout the 6 months they do peer, teacher and group critiquing, self-reflections, revising (many times), editing, illustrating, writing an author's bio and publishing. They then practice presenting their book writing process and reading excerpts to an audience. The end result is our all school book fair. Parents visit with students asking the questions below. Then we gather, cafe style, to hear the author's proudly share part of their books. The books are then for sale.
How did you get the idea for your story? Where did it come from?
How did you plan your story?
What’s your favorite part of the story?
Where does your story take place? Why did you choose that place?
Tell me about your main character – what are some of their traits?
Can you explain your plot to me?
How does your main character change?
Where did you get stuck writing your story and what did you do to get going again?
Is there anything you would change about your story if you had more time?
Do you have ideas for your book for next year? Will you write a sequel?