Congratulations to the 1st and 2nd Grade authors at BCD! They recently hosted two very successful Authors’ Teas, reading aloud the stories they wrote and illustrated to audiences of family and friends. Afterwards, many of the guests observed, “We never wrote stories like this when were in 1st or 2nd Grade!” and some asked, “How do you encourage children to write so well?”
The answer is this. We read a lot in the 1-2 classroom. We talk a lot about what we read. We close our eyes and try to picture in detail the passages we most enjoy. We wonder. We question. We reflect. We predict. We imagine. In doing these things, we come to admire and care about the work of authors and illustrators.
When a love of reading, writing, and storytelling permeates a classroom, children naturally long to become storytellers themselves. They look forward to the chance to weave their own tales through pictures and words. They jump into the process (some more boldly than others!) by first creating a map of the story they want to tell. Then, after writing a first draft, they share the draft with their classmates, answering questions and soliciting suggestions to fill in gaps and add details that will enrich their second drafts. Some young authors are so inspired that they even write a third draft before producing their final work.
Just as we care about the authors and illustrators whose books we read, we care about our work as authors and illustrators. We hope you’ll care enough to stop by the classroom sometime, browse our Authors’ Shelf – currently boasting more than 18 books! – curl up on the couch, and lose yourself in a tale of imagination woven by one of our very own authors. They’ll love it, and so will you.