Why do this project?
Making chapter books is something children naturally want to do as they develop as writers. They want to write the same things they enjoy reading. This project was originally planned to suit the needs of one little boy who wished to make his own chapter book. It worked beautifully. The children in the class understood that a ‘chapter book’ gave them the freedom to write as little or as much on a page as they liked. Some children write single words while others write whole paragraphs. Indeed, a chapter book in our classroom could be a single page long! What the children enjoyed most, and what made it a ‘chapter book’ in their eyes, was the fact that they made their books portrait.
The format for this project lends itself to writing a new idea on each page – an early form of paragraphing. Chapter books are also an artefact to be picked up, handled, passed round, displayed, treasured, taken home and given as a gift. Finally it ensures children see themselves as real writers because they are making real books just like the authors they love.
Making a chapter book series as joint project is a great way of building a community of writers. As you’ll see from the mentor texts we provide as part of this project’s Genre Booklet, we decided to make our own series based on Frog & Toad. A much loved favourite amongst KS1 children. You’ll need to do the same with your class. Decide what favourite characters from your class library the children would like to use for their chapter books. There are lots of options here. The whole class can contribute a book to a single series. For example, all the children in your class could write their own Frog & Toad books. Alternatively, you could let the children decide for themselves. In the process, they could work in their groups. For example, some children might write their own Worst Witch series while others decide to make their own chapter books using Captain Underpants.
This class writing project provides you with:
+ Comprehensive teacher notes:
- Suggestions for both year group and whole school writing progression
- Advice for teachers on how to write great mentor texts
- Over 70 writing study and functional grammar mini-lessons
- Suggested book list for your classroom library
+ You also receive our popular and photocopiable child-facing Genre Booklet which includes:
- Publishing and performance menu
- 2 exemplar texts
- Revision checklist
- Editing checklist
+ Finally, we also provide you with our guide to teaching writing to help you get started.