Entries Tagged 'Publishing Project Ideas' ↓
March 25th, 2013 — Publishing Project Ideas, Resources & Links
DO YOU have a child who loves to write? Encourage your creative son or daughter to learn more about the real-world publishing process. Submitting original work to an editor just might be the perfect spring project!
The magazines below—most listed in the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market guide—make a great place to get started.
- Website: StoneSoup.com
- Who they publish: Children ages 8-13
- What they’re looking for: “Writing and art based on real-life experiences. We have a strong preference for writing on subjects that mean a lot to the author. Stories should have good descriptions, realistic dialogue, and a point to make.” Free verse poetry accepted.
- Submission Guidelines
Bi-monthly magazine for girls ages 8-14, edited by girls aged 8-14
- Website: NewMoon.com
- Who they publish: Girls and women
- What they’re looking for: Girl-centered fiction, and non-fiction stories about “real girls doing real things written by girls. These can be about anything the girl has done personally, or she can write about something she’s studied.”
- Submission Guidelines
Amazing Kids! Magazine
Kid-created, award-winning monthly online magazine
- Website: Mag.Amazing-Kids.org
- Who they publish: Children ages 5-18
- What they’re looking for: Kid-friendly, age-appropriate original creative works done by kids and teens, including recipes, travel stories, science and technology, poetry, art, photography, and videos.
- Submission Guidelines
Bi-monthly award-winning, nonprofit magazine designed to promote cooperation, creativity and celebration of cultural and ecological richness
- Website: SkippingStones.org
- Who they publish: “We encourage submissions by children of color, minorities, and under-represented populations.” Poetry accepted from youth under age 18 only.
- What they’re looking for: Contemporary, meaningful, or humorous fiction for middle readers or young adults. Non-fiction with multicultural, nature, or cross-cultural themes. Wants “material that gives insight to cultural celebrations, lifestyle, customs and traditions, glimpse of daily life in other countries and cultures.”
- Submission Guidelines
August 6th, 2012 — Publishing Project Ideas, Writing Across the Curriculum
Creative Commons – Adreson Vita Sá
SPECIAL PROJECTS can grow naturally from your children’s studies and interests. When they invest in a such a project, it can benefit them by:
- Providing the opportunity for delight-directed learning;
- Opening doors to more deeply explore a topic;
- Appealing to their unique interests;
- Allowing them to use their individual skills and abilities;
- Helping them experience greater success with writing.
When kids are inventive, artistic, or crafty, it’s important to find ways to incorporate those interests into other subjects. They’ll more readily embrace a history, science, or other writing assignment when they can use their gifts and talents alongside the writing.
Here are a few ways imaginative students can combine art and creativity with writing:
1. Alphabet Book
Create an illustrated alphabet book or scrapbook representing a historical era, single historical subject, civilization or country, or science topic.
- First, make an alphabetical list from A to Z. Brainstorm and write down several words, phrases, or terms for each letter of the alphabet that directly relate to your overall topic. Narrow your choices and make your final selections before creating pages.
- Make one page for each letter. Choose a word or phrase that relates to your book’s theme. Example: xylem (Plant theme, letter X)
- Write a sentence that offers a brief explanation. Example: Xylem are plant tissues that transport water and minerals from the roots to other parts of a plant.
- Draw pictures or cut photos from a magazine or online source to illustrate the sentence and embellish pages.
Possible Themes: Japan, Incas, the Renaissance, the Civil War, the Victorian Era, nutrition and health, plants, rocks and minerals, weather
2. State Birds or Flowers Book
Research the birds or flowers for each of the 50 states, and make an illustrated booklet.
Include the name of the bird or flower. In your own words, write a few sentences telling interesting facts about each.
This activity will take time, so spread it out over several months, perhaps drawing and coloring two birds or flowers each week. This would also make a great family or group project!
Official US State Birds
Official US State Flowers
What period of time are you studying? Design and make a collage about a certain decade, historical era, invention, or historical figure. Collect pictures from online sources or old magazines such as National Geographic, which you can often pick up at library sales or thrift stores for pennies.
Alternatively, create a college that reflects the popular cultureof a particular time period. Your collage could include painters/artists, books/authors, sports figures, entertainers, musicians/music titles, and clothing for a certain decade or era.
Either way, prepare a written guide that explains the symbols, people, and other images you chose, telling the importance of each.
How to Make a Collage
14 Tips on How to Make a Collage (see “Paper Collage”)
Make Collage Art Using Magazine Clippings
4. Coloring Book
Do you draw or sketch? This would be a great way to use your artistic skills!
- Create 12-15 outline drawings that illustrate the life of a famous historical figure, the historic events of a particular era, sea creatures from an oceanography study, leaves or flowers from a plant study, or other subject-specific area you’re learning about.
- Add a caption to each page.
- Include an appendix for the back of the coloring book that features a brief paragraph about each of the coloring pages.
- Design and color a cover.
- Assemble the pages into a book, which you can have bound inexpensively at most office-supply or copy stores.
Consider photocopying the originals to create several coloring books to share with others.
March 29th, 2012 — Publishing Project Ideas, Reluctant Writers
Manila file folders are the darling of both teachers and homeschool moms, who love to turn these ordinary, commonplace office staples into all sorts of fun projects.
Let’s look at two ways you can use manila folders to help your children publish their writing!
1. Reveal Parts of a Story
Try showcasing your children’s writing projects in a lapbook-style flap book. Flap books work especially well when a child wants to reveal one part of the story at a time or hide a surprise ending. They’re simple and fun, and even the least crafty among your kids will enjoy producing a final draft like one of these!
A younger child’s short story can be displayed in a flap book that contains one numbered flap or mini book for every sentence in the story.
Depending on the child’s level of interest, you could cut the flaps from brightly colored scrapbooking or construction paper, and then affix the sentence strips to the colored paper.
Lift-the-Flaps: Beginning, Middle, and End
This flap book is perfect for revealing the beginning, middle, and end of a story.
Cut the front cover of a file folder horizontally to form two or three flaps.
Then cut the story into strips and glue the strips into the file folder under the corresponding flaps. If the story is longer than one page, simply staple additional (uncut) pages onto the back cover of the file folder.
Your child may also enjoy gluing special clip art, magazine pictures, or a small map on the inside of each flap.
2. Showcase a Report or Narrative
Open up a manila folder and fold the edges into the center to make a different type of flap book. Your student can publish a nonfiction report by stapling it in the center and adding photos, illustrations, charts, maps, tables, or graphs to the two outside flaps.
Your child could also use this idea to publish a narrative, using photos or drawings that illustrate parts of the story.
How do you use manila file folders to display your children’s writing assignments?
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Each of these flap book activities comes straight from the pages of WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior, two elementary writing programs that incorporate clever publishing ideas into every lesson.
January 30th, 2012 — Publishing Project Ideas
IN MOST HOMES, it seems, the refrigerator door is the showcase for children’s artwork. From the tiniest toddler’s wobbly scribbles to a teen’s pencil sketch, the fridge gallery beckons everyone to enjoy the offerings.
The question is: Why don’t we do this as often with their writing?
A Purpose for Publishing
To make it more meaningful, children need an audience for their writing. If rough drafts are their only writing efforts—and they rarely (or never) rewrite, publish, and SHARE—it’s easy for them to lose heart. After all, they’re missing the point of writing: to share a published project with someone.
Granted, not all writing is meant for others’ eyes, such as diaries or personal journals. But for some reluctant writers, encouraging them to produce polished final drafts of their stories and reports can make the whole writing ordeal worthwhile.
Non-Crafty Publishing Projects
Publishing a project can be as simple as neatly rewriting the final draft and sharing it with Dad or Grandma. But there are loads of other ways to showcase a piece of writing, from plain and simple to craftily creative.
Since not every child will enjoy the creative element of publishing, an older student, or one who is not keen on crafty projects, may prefer displaying his final draft in one of the following simple but effective ways:
1. Computer Publishing
Type the story on the computer—or let an older child type his own. Add clip art, if desired.
2. Mat Mount
The quickest, easiest way to display your child’s story is to affix it to a slightly larger sheet of colored construction paper. The construction paper forms a simple mat that gives the final draft a polished, published look.
This is another simple publishing idea. Your child can place his Writing Project inside a piece of 12- x 18-inch construction paper folded to resemble a book. Glue or staple the story or report inside. Have him draw a picture and write the story title on the cover of the “book.”
4. Presentation Folder
Don’t underestimate the value of using a purchased report cover or presentation folder. There are many kinds from which to choose, such as ones with page protectors or pockets, but any report cover will lend a more professional or “official” look to children’s stories and reports.
“My daughter … liked how clean and nice the published project looked in the report folder.” ~Heidi D.
5. Manila File Folder
You will need one manila file folder for each story your child publishes this way.
- Decorate the inside left of the file folder with illustrations, photos, or clipart.
- Staple the story along the top, positioning it on the inside right of the folder.
- Write the story title on the tab and front of the folder. Let your child decorate the cover to match the story or report.
Each time your children produce a polished final draft, encourage them to share it with a grandparent or other special person. They’ll feel like real authors!
Copyright 2012 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.
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WriteShop encourages students to write, edit, and revise in order to create a published final draft. These ideas, and many more, can be found in both WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior books.
January 13th, 2011 — Publishing Project Ideas, Writing Games & Activities
This is a tale of two moms.
Cheryl’s son has motivational issues, so she likes to help him approach a concept in many different ways. “If one activity doesn’t cement the idea, another will,” she says. She loves when a curriculum appeals to different learning styles by offering activities that appeal to her hands-on, kinesthetic child.
Jennifer looks for books and materials that just teach writing. She doesn’t want pre-writing activities, games, craft projects, or other “bells and whistles.” To Jennifer, these things are busy work. “I just want to teach my kids how to write,” she says. “I’ll play games another time.”
What Is Busy Work?
bu · sy work n. useless tasks or assignments that appear productive, but merely occupy students.
I remember busy work—inane worksheets my teachers passed out as a dubious reward for those of us who followed directions and finished our in-class assignments on time.
We didn’t get to read a book or play a quiet game in the back of the room. No, our promptness and diligence were punished, in essence, with silly coloring pages and fill-in-the-blank worksheets that kept us quiet while everyone else slogged along.
Sadly, Jennifer lumps word games and craft-based publishing ideas with busy work. She thinks they’re unnecessary and time-consuming.
But my own experience with real busy work reminds me that pushing a pencil around a worksheet is worlds apart from using educational games and other creative activities to enhance learning.
Are you, like Jennifer, tempted to think of such activities as busy work? If so, consider their importance in light of the way most young children learn.
Manipulatives and pre-writing activities are vital, engaging learning aids, unlike those tedious workbooks meant to keep children out of your hair for an hour.
Educational methods such as spelling or vocabulary games help a child’s brain remember new concepts. They teach him about important story elements and help him discover fresh new ways to practice writing skills. Such activities especially benefit young—and usually kinesthetic—learners.
Learning games can teach a child skills such as:
- Adding description
- Developing voice
- Planning a mystery
- Adding details to a story
- Expanding writing vocabulary
- Thinking about story elements such as setting and character
- Summarizing a book
Crafty Publishing Projects
One of the most encouraging and rewarding experiences for any author is to see his work published. Most children love publishing their stories through a fun, imaginative activity.
Not only does this enhance the writing experience, but they end up with a really creative final draft they’re eager to share with others.
Your child can publish his writing project in many ways. For example, he can:
- Create a Top Secret File for his mystery story.
- Make a travel poster or paper “suitcase” for his adventure story.
- Present his report on a three-panel display board.
- Make a decorative invitation or thank-you letter.
- Design a lift-the-flap book or trivia game for an informative report.
The Craft Caveat
Like most young children, Cheryl’s son loves to combine writing and art to create his own “published work.” Your child, however, may not like craft projects as much. Or perhaps you’re not a crafty person and would rather bypass the hands-on activities because they’re not your style.
Either way, it’s still important to encourage your child to produce a final draft because it reinforces the concept of editing and revising. So whether your child creates a crafty masterpiece or simply rewrites his final draft on fresh paper in his best penmanship, remember that the final draft is as much a part of the writing process as brainstorming and writing.
The quickest, easiest way to display your child’s story is to affix it to a slightly larger sheet of colored construction paper. The construction paper forms a simple mat that gives the final draft a polished, published look and reminds your student that he did his best.
Writing = Fun!
You want your child to associate writing with fun, and you want his brain to be stimulated in as many ways as possible through tactile and sensory experiences. So if your writing program offers crafty or game-focused writing activities, take the time to make the suggested props, even if it feels like busy work to you. Most children love using them—and they don’t even realize they’re learning!
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WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior use creative, hands-on activities to teach and review elementary-age writing skills.
WriteShop Primary is currently available in three levels: Book A, Book B, and Book C. WriteShop Junior Book D will be published in Spring 2011. To be among the first to get the scoop about the book’s release, join our mailing list by visiting www.writeshop.com and looking for the newsletter sign-up box
November 2nd, 2010 — Holiday & Seasonal Ideas, Publishing Project Ideas
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?
Making 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)
- Facial expressions (happy, sad, mad)
- Articles of clothing
- Seasonal words, holidays, and activities
- Action words (jump, sleep, dig)
2. 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
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August 9th, 2010 — Publishing Project Ideas, Reluctant Writers, Writing Games & Activities
Intrinsic motivation means children write without any additional outside incentive. No bribes. No treats. No money.
But the truth is that few children are motivated by the sheer love of writing. So—short of paying them off with cash or candy—what can you do to inspire them?
Writers Need an Audience
Having an audience takes your child past the point of writing for a “requirement” or a grade—and it certainly takes him beyond writing just for his normal, everyday audience of one: you.
Importance of an Audience
You can spark renewed interest in writing by guiding your child to think of ways to broaden his understanding of what an audience can be. Help him experience how others can find pleasure in reading his work. He’ll be rewarded with increased joy and confidence, and I think you’ll begin to see his writing blossom as he takes more pride in his efforts.
Seeing Their Works in Print
When I taught writing classes years ago, we always ended the year with a Writers’ Tea. Our students invited friends and family, dressed up for the occasion,and recited poetry. At the end, we passed out class anthologies featuring samples of each student’s best writing.
As they pored over the stories and poems in the spiral-bound booklets, it was clear how much the children enjoyed seeing their works in print and sharing the anthologies with their parents and grandparents.
Thinking Outside the Box
An anthology is just one of many ways to publish. Below are some other suggestions for expanding your kids’ writing audience or showcasing their writing through their published projects. When they polish a story or poem so that it’s the best it can be—and when they go beyond the traditional “final draft” to create an interesting published project—they’ll be much more likely to write for the joy of it. Here are some ideas:
- Shape Books: Cut out shapes that match the story’s theme (e.g., house, car, seashell or animal shape). Use cardboard or heavy cardstock for the top and bottom cover and grade-level lined paper for the pages. Staple edges, or lace the pages together with yarn.
- Puzzle: Glue a photocopy of the child’s story to a piece of cardstock. On the back, have her draw a picture about the story. Cut the cardstock into 8 or 9 simple puzzle pieces that a friend or family member can assemble.
- Board Game: Suggest that your child create a board game about his story. Play the game with the family.
- Journaling Notebook: Assemble your child’s journal pages into a special notebook.
- Cards and Letters: Help your child create a card on the computer. Or provide her with scrapbooking papers, punches, stickers, and other supplies so that she can make a fancy card for publishing her friendly letter or invitation letter.
- Comedy Night: Have your child write & illustrate funny story. Host a special family Comedy Night. Start by having your young author share her humorous story. Then choose a funny cartoon to watch or a stack of silly books to read. Invite everyone to tell their favorite jokes.
- Suitcase Story: For a story about a travel or vacation experience, make a suitcase out of a 12- x 18-inch piece of brown construction paper. Fold the paper in half and round the corners with scissors. Cut two handles from yellow or tan paper and tape them in place. Staple the child’s final story inside the suitcase.
Publishing Factual Reports and Book Reports
- Lapbooks and Flap Books: These make great avenues for displaying facts, photos, drawings, and short reports. They work well for factual reports as well as for explaining the steps of a process. Here’s just one of many lapbooking websites to help get you started.
- Mobiles: Mobiles are a fun way to publish a report or book report! You can attach index cards or paper shapes to a length of string or yarn and hang them from a coat hanger or the rim of a paper plate. On one side of each card, have the child write facts about his topic or details about a book’s characters, setting, or action. On the back, he can illustrate.
- Trivia Game: This is a great way to publish a younger child’s short factual report. On the cover of a manila file folder, have the child write five questions about her topic and then staple the report inside. Let family members or friends try to guess the answers. Then they can open the folder and read the report to see if they were right!
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Most of these fun and creative activities come straight from the pages of WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior, two elementary writing programs that incorporate clever publishing ideas into every lesson.
September 25th, 2008 — Publishing Project Ideas, WriteShop Primary, Writing Games & Activities
Publish Your Child’s Stories
ONE OF the most encouraging and rewarding experiences for a young author is to see her work published. As a second and third grader, I remember how much I loved to find my own little stories and poems published in our school’s newsletter.
WriteShop Primary gives your student the opportunity to publish her writing project as a book or other art form that she can share with others.
She might make a story kite to fly around the house as she “reads” it to Daddy; create a paper-plate face book; or turn her story into an accordian-folded train. (Visit our website for more info about WriteShop Primary, our delightful parent-guided writing program for K-3rd graders. It’s filled with fun, engaging activities to promote a love for writing!)
Make a Story Pocket
Featured in Book A, story pockets make wonderful publishing tools, and they’re perfect for storing and displaying a child’s early stories and drawings. Here’s how to make one.
Short Pocket: Use one paper plate. Cut it in half. Place both pieces face to face and staple together around the curved edges. The top straight edges remain open to form a pocket.
Tall Pocket: Use two paper plates. Leave one plate whole. Cut the second plate in two, discarding one of the halves. Staple the half plate to the full-size plate to create a tall pocket with a high back.
- Allow time for the child to use crayons, markers, paint, or stickers to decorate the paper plate so it matches the theme of the story.
- Fold the story and store it inside the pocket.
- (Optional) Have your child draw a picture of each object in the story on cardboard, poster board, or tagboard. Cut out the tagboard pieces and store them in the pocket along with the story.
- Encourage your child to read her story to family members or a friend, pulling out the corresponding pieces from the pocket and placing them on the table as she shares.
- These pockets also make great holders for holiday greeting cards!
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Copyright © 2008 Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.