Near the end of the school year is a good time for students to show appreciation for the people who contribute to the success of every student in the school. Class books are an excellent way to thank school personnel and build classroom community. From an educational standpoint, you will enjoy seeing how hard students work to polish their writing when it is intended as a gift.
A class book can be a collection of illustrated essays, letters, poetry, or all of the above. Here are some examples of class books my students enjoyed creating:
Reading Takes us Places: A thank-you for our librarian. We wrote and illustrated essays about places we had visited through reading.
You Direct the First Grade Musical: after my students saw a rehearsal for the first grade musical, I asked them to imagine being in charge of directing such a large group of very young performers. My students wrote essays taking the point of view of the music teacher, describing how they would feel about directing the performance. We gave this to the teacher before the first grade musical. I noticed a difference in the way my class watched the performance. After the opening song, a few turned to me and whispered “Whew! That went well, thank goodness.”
Outrageous Requests of the Building Manager: We created a book of silly essays detailing outrageous requests, like a zip line on the playground, a swimming pool with a three-story waterslide, and a video game arcade. The illustrations were especially funny! This was an appreciation present for the building manager.
I hope these ideas inspire class book projects of your own. Ask your students for ideas—they will impress you with their creativity!