Traveling Books

Oct 28, 2009 by


  • To introduce students to the entire writing process in a non-threatening way
  • To introduce and reinforce literacy skills and conventions of language
  • To give students authentic purposes and audiences for writing
  • To introduce students to writing workshop and classroom publishing
  • To give every child the opportunity to experience early success as a writer
  • To build the confidence of even struggling or reluctant writers


  1. Introduce the new skill  by identifying and describing it (see examples in the downloadable document below).
  2. Read aloud one or more mentor texts that have many examples of the targeted skill. I like to read one as an introduction the first day and then reread it or read other examples on subsequent days.
  3. Have students brainstorm a list of examples as you write them on chart paper. Examples may come from the read aloud book, other books, personal experience, etc. Generate a list of several more examples than the number of students you have (25 students/30 examples). The following are helpful resources that include lists of words that can be used for word study and word play: The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists by Edward Fry, et al,The Writing Teacher’s Book of Lists by Gary Muschla, and my personal favorite The Big Book of Phonics Fun by Carson-Dellosa.
  4. Leave the chart posted so students can add more examples that they find in their daily reading.
  5. On subsequent days review the generated list and have each student choose a different example to write about and/or illustrate. Have each child do a rough draft of his/her page for the book.
  6. Depending on the level of your students, have them peer edit or do a teacher edit with or for them.
  7. Have students complete the final copy.
  8. Design or have a student design a cover. Compile all student pages. Add the Traveling Book parent letter (download below) to the front of the book and the Kind Compliment sheet (download below) to the back of the book. Bind together into book form.
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  9. Circulate the published book among the students, allowing each child to take the book home for a day or two. Students share the book with their families and ask family members to respond to the book on the Kind Compliment page.

Traveling Book Ideas and Directions
Traveling Book Parent Letter
Kind Compliments