Writing Pattern Books

6, 7, 8

Learners will actively help younger children write and edit their own pattern books. They will determine the value of their service learning project to the betterment of the community.

Lesson Rating 
PrintSeven Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • describe the editing process by helping younger children publish their own pattern books.
  • analyze opportunity cost in helping younger children learn to read and determine if the cost was worth the result.
  • Plain paper
  • Dictionaries
  • Pencils and pens
  • Laminator
  • Book binder
  • Writing Pattern Books Rubric (Handout One )
  • Children's Book Publishing Rubric (Handout Two )
  • Planning/Reflective Rubric (Handout Three )
Home Connection 

None for this lesson.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Say to the learners, “The children really enjoyed the pattern books you read to them and wanted to read them by themselves. Their teacher said they also wanted to try making their own pattern books with your help.”

  2. Day One: Brainstorm methods to help children write a pattern book and develop a rubric or use Writing Pattern Books Rubric (Handout One).

  3. Discuss ways to overcome impatience and frustration during writing/editing process.

  4. Day Two: Go to the elementary school and form groups of a student with his/her two elementary children. Help the children write their own pattern book following the rough draft techniques developed in the Writing Pattern Books Rubric (Handout One).

  5. Explain that the final draft will be completed later. The next time the teams will get together, the pictures and book cover will be added. Children should think about what illustrations they could add.

  6. Day Three: Write the final draft of the pattern book.

  7. Day Four: Return to the elementary class and form the small groups. Encourage the children in designing book covers and adding illustrations to their writing. Develop the title page.

  8. Day Five: Laminate the covers and story pages. Bind the covers and story using a book binder.

  9. Day Six: Return to the elementary school with published copies of the books. Help the children read the books, if necessary. Celebrate!!

  10. Day Seven: Share feelings, challenges and accomplishments of the past few days, as well as success in meeting objectives, in a sharing circle.

  11. Describe the concept of an opportunity cost as “the next best alternative that must be given up when a choice is made. Not all alternatives, just the next best choice.” Explain that instead of working with the elementary children, the middle school learners could have used this large amount of time to do something else. What opportunity costs can they name as their cost for getting involved with this project? Do they believe it was a worthwhile choice?

  12. Ask the learners to describe how the community is better for their having formed teams with their elementary partners and having worked with them to learn to read.

  13. Have each learner complete one of the following in his/her reflective journal:

    • The best thing about the pattern book writing experience was…
    • Helping children publish a book made me feel…
    • I would encourage others to help others because…

The Writing Pattern Books Rubric (Handout One) , Children's Book Publishing Rubric (Handout Two) , Planning/Reflective Rubric (Handout Three) and reflection may be used to assess learning in this lesson.

Cross Curriculum 

Learners will help elementary students write, edit and publish an original pattern book.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Give examples of <i>opportunity cost</i> related to philanthropic giving by individuals and corporations.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how civil-society-sector giving can impact communities.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Provide a needed service.
    2. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.