Making Books and Creating Stories
By Judith Maginnis Kuster
I remember a special "newspaper" delivered to our desks in elementary school every week. The Weekly Reader (also published some years as My Weekly Reader) featured current events, interesting stories, presidental polls, and fun activities. But my favorite feature was the occasional "make your own little book" on the back page. These were treasures that were saved long after the Weekly Reader had been thrown away. (Note: Weekly Reader has entered the computer age with a website worth exploring at http://www.weeklyreader.com/.)
Several online resources offer guidance on making books and creating stories. These activities can be easily adapted for treatment and interventon with clients working on vocabulary, sequencing, memory issues, grammar, writing, literacy, self-esteem -- the list of uses is limited only by the creativity and imagination of the clinician and the client!
- DLTK's "Make Your Own Minibook" (http://www.dltk-teach.com/minibooks/) includes alphabet letter books, a farm book, customized books for boys or girls, and many more.
- "Illustrate a Story" has age-appropriate stories in pdf format to print out, illustrate and make into a book.
- Tiny Titles: Write a Little Book provides a topic, picture and pages to write a story about holidays and general topics, or blank title pages to write a story. (http://www.billybear4kids.com/TinyTitles/TinyBooks.html)
- Reading AtoZ (http://www.readinga-z.com/samples/preview.html) is a subscription site but has 30 freely-available sample books to download.
- Enchanted learning is a subscription site, but some sample books are available to non-members including A Book About Me(http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/books/allaboutme/)
- KidPrintables offers an"All About Me" book (www.kidprintables.com/allaboutme/)
- The Flip Book (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/flip-book-30054.html) allows users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books up to ten pages long in nine different layouts.
- The 13-page My Memory Book (PDF) has users fill in simple prompts and draw or attach pictures as illustrations for their favorite color, animal, sport, etc. (http://www.abcteach.com/free/m/memory_earlychild2.pdf)
- StarFall's Cut-Up and Take Home Books
(http://www.starfall.com/n/N-info/onlinebooks.htm?n=downloadcenter) are black-and-white hard-copy versions of StarFall's popular Learn to Read online books (http://www.starfall.com/n/level-a/learn-to-read/play.htm?f)
- First-School Alphabet Mini-Books at the toddler, preschool and kindergarten levels
- Users can make Emergent Reader books (http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/EmergentReaderListing.htm) at several websites (http://www.jmeacham.com/emergent.readers.htm).
- Learning Island offers printable books for older readers (http://www.learningisland.com/1book%20list.htm).
- Little Book Lane (http://www.littlebooklane.com/) and Carl's Corner (http://carlscorner.us.com/ThemesHolidays.htm) have links to many printable books
- Mrs. Jones' Room (http://www.mrsjonesroom.com/teachers/minibooks.html#mini) offers some of the above links and many others.
One Cut Books
- Find instructions for making a one-cut book at
- Patrick Ecker offers Mini-Books for Language (http://www.patrickecker.org/minibooks.htm)
- Jennifer Mitchell offers articulation one-cut books (http://www.speechtx.com/articulation.htm) for different sounds.
- Minnesota State University, Mankato, students created Twenty-two one-cut books (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster2/onecutbooks/onecutbooks.html)
- Stapleless Book provides a template for the layout of a one-cut book.
- Learning Beginning Letter Sounds offers one-cut books on the alphabet (http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/learning-letters/books.htm)
- My Story by Diane Games facilitates discussion with children and teens who stutter on concepts important in treatment and provides a template that can be adapted for any disorder (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad9/papers/therapy9/games9.html)
- "Talking Story Books" (http://priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/page_viewer.asp?page=Talking+Story+Books&pid=75) has examples and a template for making talking books. (http://priorywoods.veriovps.co.uk/resources/booktemplate.zip)
Creating online Books and Activities
- Create comics Comic Creator (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/comic-creator-30021.html), Make Beliefs (http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Comix/), and Make Your Own Captain Underpants Comic (http://www.scholastic.com/captainunderpants/comic.htm)
- Use PlayMaker (http://pbskids.org/arthur/print/playmaker/index.html) or Create your Scenario (http://www.kids-space.org/HPT/1a/11a.html) to create a script for a play.
- Explore Story Maker from the British Council (http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-writing-storymaker.htm) and Story Builder (http://www.literacyaccessonline.com/Literacy/BuildStory/index.asp)
- Naace Big Book Maker provides instructions on how to add pictures, music, or videos to a book which can be used on its own or added to a website. (http://www.mape.org.uk/activities/BigBookMaker/)
Judith Kuster is an emeritus professor from the Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her at email@example.com. An archive of all of Kuster's columns can be found on http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster4/leader.html URLs change, however, and there is no guarantee that links from previous articles are still functional.
Kuster, JM, Making Books and Creating Stories
, The ASHA Leader, June 8, 2010.