Publishing Party and "FEAR" Cake - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Publishing Party and "FEAR" Cake

One of my top goals this year is to convince my kids that they are writers.

Writing is not just something your teacher makes you do.

It is a way to express yourself. 

I feel like one of the best ways to get through to my kids is to give them authentic purposes for their writing.  As we neared the end of writing personal narratives, we decided to have a Publishing Party.  We invited the principal, the class across the hall, and few other guests!  The kids were pumped and worked extra hard to polish up their final pieces. 

On the day of the party,  I typed up a list of our favorite authors (In Cara Carroll fonts of course).

 After I cut out the names, I glued them to a big piece of butcher paper.  The paper would serve two purposes.  One- I could hang it behind the kids as kind of a backdrop.  Two (and much more importantly) the kids would see THEIR names by some of the greatest authors out there.  
They grinned from ear to ear.  They got my message loud and clear (they also tried really hard to get their names right by their personal favorites).

 One by one the kids read their personal narratives to their audience.  
 After we read we celebrated a little more with a little snack, but don't worry- we were back to the grind the next day.  I can't WAIT to celebrate our informative writing next time!

This week I took a little break from our reading series to do a Patricia Polacco author study.  If you follow me on FB or Instagram, you know I am borderline obsessed with Polacco.  NO ONE tells a story better than she does. Yesterday we read Thundercake and so of course we had to make some!  I had already decided that I was going to have the kids write a summary of Thundercake since we are working SO hard on that skill, but as I was making a mad dash through the grocery story to find everything I needed- an idea struck me!

Isn't that how it always works!  I decided that I would much prefer to have my students make personal connections to the book and write about their own fears.  We decided instead of making "Thunder"cake, we were making "Fear"cake.  

So first we brainstormed our fears.  I *may* have had to hide a snicker over seagulls.  
 After we brainstormed our fears, I had them do a little bit of prewriting.  I have found that when my kids fill out an extensive graphic organizer before they write a final draft, that their final draft is almost the "summarized" version.  So I decided I was going to give the kids one pink post-it and three blue post-its. The pink post-it was for their fear and the blue post-its were for the three ingredients that they would add to their fear cake to help them get rid of their fears. 
 We talked about "cooking lingo" and I was blown away by the voice they added to their writing.  

This little cutie said her cake needed a "dash of bravery, a sprinkle of protection, and a cup of happiness"

I was THRILLED with their pieces because they were able to give a one to two sentence summary of Thundercake, a personal connection, and a bit of creative writing when making up their cake recipes! Perfection!

And of COURSE I let them bake!

Smiles, friends- tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!

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  1. This is wonderful, Katie! I love your writer's background -so fun. I hope all is well. :)


  2. What a fabulous idea! Your enthusiasm and passion for teaching shines through your writing :)
    Your students are so lucky!

    Mindful Rambles

  3. So fun!!!! I love it!!!!!!!!!!
    And that fear cake looks delicious!!!


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