Home » Student-Created Books: A Learning-Immersion Opportunity

In quality writing programs, students engage in a wide variety of reading and writing practices to strengthen their own writing skills: from idea-generation to story starters, grammar and vocabulary-building to reading diverse and imaginative books which help present different ways of coming at a story. Often there are author visits with question and answer sessions and book readings—a chance for students to learn a bit more background on the book, the author’s writing practices and their history.

And all of these practices are important and, one could argue, necessary, for helping students become strong writers. But anecdotal evidence—and increasingly, research-based evidence—exists which puts the creation of a book near the top of the list for student writing best-practices.

What does it mean to create a book? This practice includes everything from brainstorming ideas, to the multiple steps of the actual writing process (choosing your topic, outlines, multiple drafts, proofing and editing) to marrying illustration with story, illustration and text layout, creation of a table of contents, copyright page, title page, and binding. No step, in a good book-creation project, is missed.

When a student finishes their entire book creation project—which may take months to the entire school year to complete—they have a broad and deep understanding of the entire process a writer, editor and publisher need to undergo when creating a book. They have had to receive feedback graciously, be willing to rework and rework, used visualization and spatial skills for illustration and layout, thought about their reader when deciding on topic, vocabulary and flow—and much more.

To create a book from start to finish is to go well beyond separate writing and reading exercises, drills and skills. It is a way to encompass them all within a large project which, when complete, also gives the student something they are constantly wishing for in regard to their own writing…a real, tangible, book.

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