Authors Shall We Be

3, 4, 5

Learners write early childhood creative books to present to new mothers or the local school library/media center to be read by very young children. They summarize their observations and feelings in their Learning Logs and reflect on the concepts of philanthropy, stewardship, advocacy, service, and volunteerism.

PrintFive to Six Forty-Five Minute Class Periods or Three Block Schedule Sessions. Additional time to be scheduled dependent on the activity: Arranged time to present children’s book written to new mothers

The learners will:

  • plan, peer edit and write books for very early learners.
  • develop fellowship with new parents or younger learners.
  • use Learning Logs to reflect on the service learning experience and self-evaluate.
  • understand that he/she will help develop a legacy of reading with future learners.
  • develop concepts of philanthropy and service:
  • Paper and pencil
  • Heavy tag board approximately 22 by 36 inches
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Binders for their books
  • Plain cloth rectangles 8.5” x 11”
  • Sheets of colored paper or plain paper
  • Handouts: Book Review and Personal Narrative Rubric
  • Advocacy (v) To write or speak in favor of or support – advocate (n)
  • Community service (n) Volunteering to improve upon the aspects of a community
  • Curriculum (n, pl. –la, -lums) The courses offered in an educational program
  • Fellowship (n) A friendly relationship the condition or fact of having common interests, Ideals, or experiences
  • Legacy (n, pl. –ies) Personal property, money, and other valuables that are bequeathed by will; anything that is handed down from an ancestor, predecessor, or earlier era
  • Peer tutoring (n) One student helping another student learn
  • Service (n) Help given to others – service (v) to repair; to furnish a service to something or someone
  • Service-learning (n) Goes beyond volunteerism, community service and youth service by connecting the service experience to the school curriculum and by requiring students to reflect on the meaning they attach to the service they performed – W.K. Kellogg Foundation definition
  • Volunteerism (v) The act of performing a service or good work for others without pay. It can be done anywhere by people of all ages – W.K. Kellogg Foundation definition
Home Connection 

The learners write a class letter to their parents/guardians telling them about their service activity. The instructor prints a copy for each learner to take home.


McPhail, David M. Edward and the Pirates. Publisher: Little Brown & Co. (Juv Trd), April 1997. ISBN: 0316563447


  1. Anticipatory Set: Ask the learners what things a really good book for K-2 should include. Have them list their favorite books and favorite authors.Form peer groups of four to five and explain that they will be writing a great book for very early readers pre-K to first grade. Tell the class they may also elect to create cloth books to present new parents to read to their infants to instill the importance of reading.

  2. Read the story, Edward and the Pirates, and talk about the challenges he encounters as he teaches pirates how to read.

  3. Ask the learners what was similar or different from what they encountered with their reading Buddies. Explain that they were successful at learning about reading and helping their Reading Buddies, and now they were going a giant step further by learning how to write their own books.

  4. Teacher Note: Have the learners write a class letter to the parents/guardians telling them about their service project. The instructor should print it and give the learners the letter to take home.

  5. Take the class to your library or bring in at least two books for each group. Give each peer group a cloth book for infants and a book for toddlers to four year olds.

  6. Have each peer group fill in Handout One: Book Review to help analyze the elements of books for very young children.

  7. Complete the Learning Logs each day. They will use their Learning Logs to reflect on and evaluate each day’s activities.

    Use the Personal Narrative Rubric handout to guide their writing.


  8. Each peer group will elect which type of book to write and illustrate. Discuss why more and more cloth books are being written for our very youngest readers. Include in your discussion the importance of all the senses, especially touch and feel to babies. Tell the class there are now floating bathtub books for babies.

  9. Learners will spend three sessions to plan, write, peer-edit, revise and complete their book.

  10. Learners will share their books with each other.

  11. Plan the celebratory service activity either at a medical center or in the school library or media center.

  12. As a class, discuss the Service Learning Project, what they’ve learned from it and whether the activity has changed them in any way.


Students will be assessed using the Narrative Writing Assessment Rubric (handout).

Cross Curriculum 

Learners will write and illustrate books for very young learners to be presented to new parents or the media center for pre-school or younger learners.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.2 Describe how a volunteer youth club in school operates.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
    3. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark E.4 Set a fund-raising goal and identify sources of private funds.
    4. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify outcomes from the service.