Both of my two kids love lists. Honestly I never realised how many pieces of paper I would find with unusual lists written on them – lists of different types of planes, words they have found, different dragons, and different names, made up names, oh I could go on and on. But recently they have started creating lists of books. Both my kids love reading so it was not a big surprise that they eventually got to a book list. I suggested it might be fun to create some more permanent book lists – lists that we could keep. So we looked on the Activity Village website together and the kids selected their own book list.
My daughter has recently been intrigued by sentences written in concentric circles - she saw it in one of her books. So she selected the Blank Book Frame and started playing around with writing the names of her books around the fame. Apparently this is still a "working copy" but she said I could share the photo while she decides how she wants to improve it – I think she wants to try and do different styles of handwriting for each book title.
Keeping a record of the books she has enjoyed reading
We also extended the idea a bit. We used the same book frame to think of key words or phrases from the books the kids have been reading – a really great way of getting younger kids into the idea of writing a book summary.
The picture below is one that my daughter was helping her brother with:
Using the book frame to write out the key words for a book summary
The blank frames also work well for writing book summaries – especially if the kids want to write it in an unusual way, like concentric rectangles:
Writing a book summary with interesting writing
We really ended up loving this blank book frame and now my daughter has a few more copies printed out and stashed on her desk for whenever she wants. There is also a lined version of the Book Frame which is great for a straight forward book summary.
Using a lined book frame for a book report
My son is not a big writer but he loves the booklets. He likes the fact that once he has written in a booklet it is like he has created his own book. So he selected the Book Diary – there are three different versions of this diary but he went with the chart style. It's really simple, not much writing required - so perfect for my little guy.
Writing in his reading diary
Sticking with the booklet idea we have also found that the themed booklets work well for some book related writing. My youngest loves the dragon booklet and has been using them (we have about 6 printed out now) to keep a record of the important stats that he finds in the How to Train Your Dragon books. He started off with copying out the dragon stats straight from the books and now has started creating his own dragon stats.
Dragon booklet for "How to Train Your Dragon"
These booklets are such a fun idea and my son loves bringing me his latest one to show me what he has included.
The other pages that we have been using a lot with our books are the Alphabet search pages – such a straight forward idea but one of those pages which we find adapts to so many activities.
My youngest uses a general Alphabet Search page as a way of keeping a record of new or interesting words that he finds in his books.
Using the alphabet search pages with books
And my daughter has been using the Adjective and Adverb search pages as a way of keeping track of interesting descriptive words. We have been talking a lot about how you can use adverbs and adjectives to make your sentences a bit more meaningful and tell the reader more about what is happening so they have tied in really well.
Searching for adjectives
There are also a Noun and Verb Alphabet page which the kids could use.
And even though my two did not select them, there is a book list which you could use and a lovely simple book report which we have printed out (my son wanted it) but not yet used.
Just to add – one of the ways we have found encourages the kids to use the pages is if they select them. We often search the website together and the kids point out the pages that they think are interesting and would like to try and use.
This is a guest post from Shelly. Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 6 and 9. She blogs at ofamily learning together where she shares ideas on the different learning activities that they do including lots of hand-on Maths, arts and crafts and anything else that is part of their home educating lifestyle.
You can find more guest posts by Shelly, and a list of all our guest posts, here.