I recently completed the process of my published book, Ouch! I began this process during an EDU 403 class when we were given the opportunity to experience a writing workshop. We were instructed to first think of a person who matters to us and list clear moments we remember with that person, and once we decided on a person we wanted to focus on, we were assigned to sketch a picture of a memory we have with them. Before coming to class on that particular day I had spoken to my Aunt Angie on the phone, so she was the first person to pop in my head. I began reminiscing and thinking of memories we have together, and I immediately thought about the time I slammed her fingers in the car door. I sketched a picture of this to capture the moment of when it happened; while sketching the picture I was reminded of small details from the event that I wouldn’t have remembered if it weren’t for the sketch. After I finished the sketch, I began writing a short story describing the event. I have a secret love for story-telling (as well as hearing others stories), so this task was not difficult for me once I got started.
This experience of publishing a book was much different to my previous experiences with writing for several reasons. I enjoy writing, but in school I always struggled with the “free response” writing prompts; there are so many thoughts going through my mind at one time that I have a hard to narrowing my thoughts into one topic to write about. Therefore, I loved the writing workshop experience because it provided me with boundaries and guidance for my thoughts, while still allowing me to freely write. This experience was different than my previous writing experiences because I have never actually done anything with my writing once I have completed the task or assignment. The majority of my writing is completed for the purpose of school assignments, and once I turn it in I don’t typically do anything with it. However, for this assignment I was able to take my writing and actually make something of it. I really enjoyed breaking the story down into pages that sounded appropriate for a children’s book, drawing small illustrations, creating a front and back cover, and titling my writing piece.
As mentioned earlier, I found the prompt to be fairly easy. I seem to have a fond memory of my childhood, and therefore re-telling stories from my childhood is something I enjoy. I believe many students will relate to this feeling; a prompt that is not too broad but not too narrow that allows them to draw from their own lives and experiences and write about them is something many students will find easy and enjoyable. On the other hand, the area that I found to be most difficult in the publishing process was the creativity that is needed for an attractive book. For a future teacher I am, unfortunately, very uncreative. I cannot draw very well, and I don’t have a keen eye for what looks well together. I really wanted my book to look like a children’s book, but it is very obviously homemade; I suppose I can claim it as authentically my own!
Although my published book is not the most attractive book in the bunch, nor is it the funniest/cutest children’s book, I am very proud of Ouch! It is a book that I can proudly say is my writing, as well as my illustrations. I will absolutely place this book in my future classroom’s reading center and will use it as a model for when my students create their own published books.
I really enjoyed this process, not only as a student but as a future teacher. I plan on using this process to encourage writing and art integrations for illustrations in my future classroom. Publishing a book gives the writer something to be proud of, no matter what level of writing. This is also a great inspiration for students who are artistically inclined; it gives them to opportunity to share their work with their classmates. During my experience creating my book, I thought of several ways I could incorporate this project into a future classroom. It would be a really fun project to complete as a whole class; students could work together to create a book that we could publish and hand out at the end of the year to display their hard work to others in the community.