Entries from November 2010 ↓

Make an ABC book

Encourage older children to make an ABC book as a gift for younger siblings!

Do your older children have a hard time thinking of what to give a younger sibling for a birthday or Christmas gift? Why not encourage them to create a scrapbook-style (or digital) alphabet book for a fun writing project with a real purpose?

Make an ABC Book


1.  Gather stickers, die cuts, and pictures. Keep in mind that young children love bright colors. Collect pictures from old magazines, catalogs, greeting cards, and calendars as well as photos of familiar faces and objects.

For a digital ABC book, go through your own digital photos, encourage your older child to take some new ones, and look for free images online at sites such as StockXchng.

Make the book as personalized as possible by including pictures of things the child knows and loves. Use these categories as starting points:

  • Family members and pets
  • Foods, snacks, meals, and drinks
  • Familiar household objects and furniture
  • Familiar places (park, zoo, yard, store, fair)
  • Animals
  • Vehicles
  • Facial expressions (happy, sad, mad)
  • Articles of clothing
  • Toys
  • Colors
  • Seasonal words, holidays, and activities
  • Action words (jump, sleep, dig)

Alphabet stickers2. Using alphabet stickers or neat printing, label solid-color sheets of 8.5- x 11-inch scrapbooking paper with each letter of the alphabet, one letter per page. If possible, include both upper- and lower-case letters.

3. Glue pictures and photos to the appropriate page.

4. Neatly label each picture. Encourage older children to also write a sentence or poem using several of the words on that page.

5. When dry, insert pages into page-protector sleeves and place into a slim 3-ring binder.

Don’t you just love this creative, personal gift idea? So will the young recipient! Get your older child on board, warm up those crafting muscles, and let the fun begin! And if you prefer to go the digital route, check out some of the resources below.

Resources, Ideas, and Tips

ABC word lists

ABC scrapbooking ideas

Digital scrapbooking/digital book resources


NaNoWriMo – Are your pencils sharpened?

IT’S HERE! NaNoWriMo starts TODAY!

Short for National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo is an amazing writing event that takes place every November.

I love that NaNoWriMo also has a Young Writers Program that’s open to children 17 and under. The challenge? Pump out a novel in 30 days.

According to the website, “The only thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The high-velocity approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.”

Free Resources

NaNoWriMo offers some great resources to help your students along their writing journey—“new and improved, 100% awesome, non-lame” Young Novelist Workbooks.

You can download the workbooks here absolutely FREE! Choose from:

  • Elementary Student Noveling Workbook
  • Middle School Student Noveling Workbook
  • High School Student Noveling Workbook

Ready for a crazy, roller-coaster November? Register here for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program!

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Reprinted from the archives.
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