Creative Writing for Beginning Readers: Bookworm Books!

This month’s Creative Writing for Beginning Readers class took inspiration from the book Violet and Victor Write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book by Alice Kuipers and illustrated by Bethany Murguia.  It’s a very cute book about a boy and a girl who make up a story about a bookworm who slips from one world to another via books, and fills up on the words he hears.

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Our exercise for the day was to write our very own Bookworm Books, with help from pictures that we printed and cut out to be story starters.  But before I get to that… Here is a video to give you a brief idea of what our class was all about:

We first did a fun exercise as a whole group, to get our brains warmed up and to get a feel for how to write a story using pictures as prompts.

Miss Marie and Miss Leela created some pirate pictures as a flannelboard and arranged them to tell a pirate story.  But it was the kids who had to do the storytelling and Miss Marie wrote down the sentences the group came up with.

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Here is our finished pirate story!

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After this exercise was done, Miss Marie and I read Violet and Victor together.  Miss Marie read the part of cute, bossy Violet while I read the part of her bored, worm-loving twin brother.

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Then I read from my own Best-Ever Bookworm Book, created to be a sample to give the kids an idea of what they could do with the books and pictures that were laid out for them on the tables.

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Kids were invited to put their books together any way they liked.  Some preferred choosing pictures and storyboarding before doing the writing.  Others preferred writing it out first and then collecting pictures that fit their idea.  We had tons of pictures for different genres, so it allowed for pretty open creativity!

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The finished books were so creative!  There were books about witches, pirates, dragons, princesses, astronauts… Kids put effort into coming up with a story and a protagonist and antagonist.  They only needed help sometimes in spelling words–other than that, they made these books all on their own!

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I hope the kids are as proud of their Bookworm Books as we are!!

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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