Learn All Year Long
ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.
Children’s Book Project
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Activity Time||3+ hours (can be done over different days)|
- Lined paper
- Art supplies (unlined paper, pencil, crayons/markers/colored pencils, construction paper, glue, scissors, etc.)
- Recommended Children's Picture Books
- Tips for Writing a Children's Picture Book
- Story Map
- Plot Diagram
- Before starting this activity, you and the teen should take a look at a few children's picture books as examples for ideas on ways to proceed with an original picture book. Use the Recommended Children's Picture Books as a reference.
- Think about what's appealing about the picture books you looked at. What are their themes? (For example, acceptance of others, family dynamics, physical growth, fear of the unknown, and so forth.) Briefly discuss why these themes are appealing to young readers. How do they connect with the teen's own experiences? What theme is most interesting to the teen or the children with whom he or she works?
- Read through the Tips for Writing a Children's Picture Book with the teen to get ideas for how to organize the new book.
- Let the teen use the Story Map tool to start planning his or her story, describing the characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Print out the finished Story Map.
- Now use the Plot Diagram to decide what events the teen wants to include in his or her story and the order for the events. Print out the Plot Diagram when all the events are included in the desired order.
- Fold a piece of notebook paper into four or six boxes to create a storyboard for the book. Each box or pane of the storyboard represents a page of the book. Have the teen sketch illustrations and text for each page of the book. Remind the teen that these are just rough sketches to give him or her an idea of where to place text and illustrations in the final book.
- Using art supplies and/or any bookmaking resources, continue working on the book until the teen is satisfied with it. Make sure it has an attractive front and back cover.
- Check out the Publishing Tips with the teen before he or she reads the book to a younger child.
- After you and the teen have worked through this process once together, encourage teen caregivers to share this skill and knowledge with young children and make books with them!
- To learn more about how to make books, visit:
The person or group of people that the message of a piece of writing is meant for. Most pieces of writing have more than one audience.
Discussion is a natural way for children and teens to express or explain what they already know or what they are learning. When possible, let children and teens lead the direction of a discussion. Ask questions that lead to an extended response (“What do you think about…?” or “Why do you think…?”) rather than questions that might result in a yes or no or a simple answer.
Panels of sketches that show the plans for the scenes and actions for a comic book, graphic novel, movie, or television show.