Joanna visited both 1st and 2nd grade classes yesterday, armed with drafts of a children's book she is currently writing. Since she is no longer our Head of School, Joanna has time to pursue other passions, which include writing (among other things). This piece is called Lion Cat.
Joanna showed the children her draft, and told us that it was not illustrated. She needed our help to listen to the story and to give her feedback, to indicate what words or ideas were unclear or too tricky, and to show what our imaginations pictured by illustrating some favorite pages.
Students closed their eyes while she read, so that their brains and imaginations would be free to conjure up whatever images came. Then pairs of children read the book to each other, underlining some words that they needed help with. Each child picked a page (or two, or three) that really spoke to them - and those they illustrated. Since some of the scenes took place in a dream, the images could be quite fantastic.
This was a lovely time to spend our Read/Write period, and led me to have several ideas on how to extend this type of activity to future writing/illustrating times.