“We can make a book about ten kids writing books!”
Midway through Nanowrimo I thought I’d merge my librarian and author hat. And, to be honest it was one of those lessons that took on a life of its own. I wanted to show the correlation between the title page and the book cover. Spoiler alert, the kids had an even bigger vision for the lesson.
I said, “Today we will design covers for stories we would want to write.”
The first-grade class heard, “Let’s write stories.”
A bright-eyed gravelly voice boy jumped up from his spot in the circle rug and exclaimed, “I have this great idea!” He raised his pointer finger to hold back objections. Both of us knew he interrupted me, but the excitement was more than his creative mind could contain. “We can make a book about ten kids writing books.”
That one suggestion ushered in a frenzy of book ideas all beginning with “I want to write a book about…” As long as their books had a title page that matched the cover page, who was I to argue with creativity? Ten kids nodded their agreement that the terms would be met. From there the lesson took place at two tables I pushed together. We used construction paper for the covers and blank paper for the interiors. While I used the big stapler for the authentic folding we discussed the different types of bindings for books. At the end of the lesson, they were authors and book format experts. I was a proud teacher librarian.
Thursday, I talked the second graders into making an anthology of holiday stories. And what I loved was every one of them had the same reaction. This was the best library lesson ever! The piece de resistance was their reactions when I showed them the stickers that would identify their books as holiday reads. This was the real deal. They were authors, and I, as the librarian, would be the proud curator of their stories.
When I started Nanowrimo five years ago it was about turning me into a writer. This year it evolved. I became an author who passed the vision on to the generations to come. From now on, when this small group of kids enters the library, they’ll see the names of authors on the spine and connect their experiences. And who knows, one or two of them could be the next small town storyteller?
I’ll close admitting that I didn’t make it to 50,000 words this year. And I’m okay with it. With the help of our six and seven-year-olds, I got a new holiday anthology for our small school library. I’ll call that my November win.
Until the next post