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The Published Authors of Manu-O-Kū!

The Published Authors of Manu-O-Kū!
Coral Balubar

The children have now experienced celebrating the publication of their first books! In reaching this important milestone, the children have worked hard taking their “small moment” stories through the writing process--prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. The Writing Process is a series of actions writers in the “real world” go through to take their writing public. The Writing Process is intricately connected to two qualities that are vital to successful learning--authenticity and purpose. With the Writing Process, the children are experiencing first-hand the authentic way writers go about producing a text to fulfill a purpose.

For the prewriting step of the process, children studied mentor texts to understand the type of writing they would be creating, brainstormed ideas about topics that would inspire stories, and talked through and borrowed ideas from one another. During the drafting step, the children wrote and wrote and wrote! They completed drafts, writing about small moments from their lives and trying out the various writing techniques (onomatopoeia, action details, dialogue) we studied in class.

In the revision step, the children selected one piece they felt was strong enough to take through the other steps of the Writing Process. The children read back over their work carefully, adding and changing words to make their writing more interesting and vibrant. During the editing step of the process, children checked over their writing and made changes to ensure sentences started with capital letters and ended with periods, and that words made sense and were spelled correctly.

The children worked hard to put the final touches on their pieces--typing their words, creating quality illustrations, designing appealing book covers, and developing a title that would catch the eye of readers.

And then finally, it was time for publishing! Publishing can be done in many different forms depending on the purpose and intended audience of the writing. For our stories, the purpose of writing was to share and entertain one another with a small moment from our lives. Keeping in mind our goal of emulating writers in the “real world,” we decided to create eBooks or “electronic books,” much like the books the children read and listen to using various apps on their iPads (RAZ Kids, Epic!). Our authors used the “Clips” app on their iPads to create an electronic version of their book along with an accompanying audiobook of the author reading aloud!

The day of our Publishing Party, we celebrated our published pieces by having our very own author book reading. Just as a published author would be invited by a bookstore or library to do a book reading and signing, the children did the same, sharing a favorite part of their book aloud with their audience composed of fans of the author, book critics, fellow authors, and eager readers!

After the book signing, each reader was able to access all of the eBooks from their own iPad, and excitedly read and listened to the wonderful books presented. The readers left comments for each author, praising the illustrations, the story ideas, and the techniques used.

While not every piece of writing the children do will go through the entire writing process, it was important for them to have this experience to gain knowledge of each step, as well as take the time to truly celebrate their work in an authentic way. We have kept the books on display in our classroom for our avid readers to enjoy in the classroom, but look for a signed copy and the eBook/audiobook version to be sent home before conferences. After all, we know that our author’s biggest fans are their families! Congratulations to our Manu o Kū 12 published authors!

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