My personal goal in requiring my kids to do language art activities is that they have the ability to communicate their ideas effectively. O.K really it may be deeper than that. LOL. All three of them right now have strong interest in enrolling in an University. Which means that I must add more goals into the mix like the ability to write a research paper, know and follow the guidelines of a five paragraph essay, etc.
Recently Ken and DJ have expressed interest in wanting to write and publish a book. This new goal of theirs probably comes from Michelle who is always writing some kind of story or report. Thanks to a lot of work with Montessori language materials and applying their knowledge while doing lessons in Write Shop they are well on their way. Like everything they express interest in I run with it and research the best way to guide them to help them be successful at the task at hand. I researched long and hard! I came across some awesome resources, but mostly they were all aiming at a high school age group.
Finally I came across a really neat book that goes about teaching a child how to write a book in the most interactive way imaginable.
What Ken and DJ are doing with this material is writing a mystery with help from the brilliant, hilarious pseudonymous bosch. I would call it the Life of Fred of language arts, in fact I am willing to bet that if you have a child who is 8 and up which is the recommended age, and they like Life of Fred they would love this book.
Concepts that they have been introduced to and understand so far..
What is a pseudonym? They write and apply all of the information right in the book where the information is to be applied.
How to write a Dedication Page.
What is a Epigraph? This was a really fun activity for them. They really enjoyed searching and thinking about the best quote from one of their favorite authors. Ken chose "Don't Judge a man until you walked two moons in his moccasins"- Sharon Creech. DJ chose "Don't cry because it is over. Smile because it happened"- Dr.Seuss.
They also have learned more about the copyright page in a book, what a footnote is, and how to write a preface. There are 17 chapters that cover everything there is to know to write a book in a format written to the child.
I had to slow DJ down a bit, because he is all over this book and eager as a beaver to keep writing! He decided that he could get closer to the book and "become as one" as he put it by removing the book jacket.
Right now, I am trying very hard to work side by side with them while they do this activity, but I am finding it very hard to do because they really enjoy this book and want to work on it as much as they can.