I know I said I’d stop posting every project we did with Brave Writer’s Partnership Writing, but they all just turn out so darn pretty. It’s hard not to.
We just finished this month’s project, which was creating a book about homophones. They wrote sentences and drew pictures to show different homophones. This dovetailed well with All About Spelling, since Mushroom is still stuck at the end of Level 3, learning about homophones and BalletBoy’s Level 4 also highlights homophones in many of the steps. I let the kids mostly draw from their All About Spelling lists for these. We also read some very cute books with homophones, such as the classics Amelia Bedelia and The King Who Rained. I know these are usually read by younger children, but the jokes were much funnier now to my kids than they ever were when they were younger. The best homophones book we looked at was Dear Deer by Joe Baretta, which featured an amusing set of animal themed homophones on every page. Again, it was clearly meant for young kids, but both boys thought it was funny, especially since they were planning their own silly homophone illustrations.
We made our own books for this project as well. I have some experience with making books, so we made up our own way, however, this set of instructions from Artists Helping Children is pretty similar to what we did and they have some other great book projects. I have learned from years of book making with kids that cardboard often makes for a far too thick book (not to mention it’s harder to work with), so we used lightweight cardboard (specifically an old department store shirt box) instead for the cover. It comes out more like a paperback that way. If you’re interested in making books with kids and the above isn’t enough, Making Books that Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop-Up, Twist, and Turn by Gwen Diehn is by far my favorite. Also, this website is also really sweet and fun.
The results were really polished looking. Overall, this was a pretty painless project and relatively quick. With just a few pointers and direction, they actually did the finding homophones and then the writing for this one mostly on their own, plus the design for the pages totally on their own. I did go over the sentences they wrote and corrected spelling, but otherwise, I left them alone. They chose to write simple sentences, but that was fine. There was a lot less partnership in this project. I’m not sure if that’s them maturing as writing or the ease of the project (mostly the latter, I suspect), but it was really neat to see what they made. I especially loved seeing Mushroom’s art for it, which was really well done and showed a great sense of space and perspective.