We Made A Book!

One of my great joys as an Instructor is teaching story-based programs. There is something incredibly satisfying about reading a book to a rapt group of children. No matter how wild the group, as soon as I start to tell them a story they settle in front of me, their faces open, listening intently, waiting to be transported to another world.

For Halloween Week at Wonder Camp I decided to have our Big Wonders tell me a story. Those stories eventually became a picture book that they got to take home. Since it was Halloween Week we decided that the theme of our storybook would be spooky stories. The students were broken into three groups and given the task of writing the beginning of a spooky story. The result of our first brainstorming session was three unique narratives. One group had begun a story about a ghost princess, another about a monster with a time machine and the final group came up with the concept of a zombie panda! The stories were then re-distributed among the groups and each team was asked to write the middle section of the story they had been given.

It’s always wonderful to see what kids can come up with when encouraged to be creative and to think independently. They worked as sounding boards for each other as they worked collectively to decide where each story would go next. Once the middle of each story was written I redistributed the stories again and instructed each group to finish the story they were given. This way each camper was involved in the creation of each story. I don’t want to spoil the endings but let’s just say the students came up with some very creative ways to ensure they all had a happy ending.

I took the stories and typed them up, fixing a few spelling mistakes but leaving them largely unchanged. The next step in our book creation was illustrations. Each child was given a page of the book that they were responsible for illustrating. Using pencils, pastels and watercolours, the students created vibrant pictures that really brought the world of their stories to life.

The result of all this hard work was a picture book that they actually got to take home! Each student designed their own cover and was given a colour copy of the book to enjoy with friends and family. Check out our books here:

The Zombie Panda

The Ghost Princess

The Time Traveling Monster


Want a Story Makers program in your School? This year Explore It! will be offering a new program for all the dreamers and storytellers. The class will study character development, story structure, plot development and illustration and is ideal for creative older students – in Grades 3 – 6. At the end of the session the students will go home with a picture book that they created!