One of the books we unwrapped was "There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow" by Lucille Colandro. Before reading the book I asked how many students had read the book before. There were about a handful. Then I asked how many were familiar with these kinds of books and almost all of the students raised their hands.
As we read the book we kept track of the items she swallowed and would retell our reading partners what the cold lady had swallowed so far. At the end of the partners took turns retelling the story.
Now that we had our brains thinking like writers, we worked together, using shared writing, to create our own class version of the story. We began by choosing what large item we wanted to create. Students suggested Christmas tree, fancy hot chocolate, gingerbread girl, and gingerbread house. Then we voted. We broke our large item up in the smaller parts that our character would swallow.
Then on my prep, while the students were away at phys. ed, I quickly put together "good copy" of our book. I asked a coworker to take a picture of me and I used my Mimio to draw the items in.
Then I put them into pairs to create their own books. I handed out the planning sheet and rough draft for students to start. Most students got the planning page done during our class period. The next class period, students worked with their partner to complete their rough draft. The class periods after that students used white letter paper, cut in half, to create their book pages and construction paper to create their cover. Students really enjoyed working on their books and I can't wait for them to share them with their classmates.
_Want to try this with your class? Click here to get a copy of the planning sheet, rough copy sheet and a filled in example.