Monday, May 6, 2013

Help Your Child Capture the Story: First Grade Book Report Pages

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A few weeks ago I shared with you how I made my daughter's writing notebook, and today I want to show you a book I made for my son!  I'm a little obsessed with book binding right now, using my new favorite tool =)

My 4 year old son is a great little reader, but he often lacks confidence in his abilities.  When I have him read to me for part of his school time, he does great, and he often sits and looks at books on his own, but I never really know if he is reading them or just looking at the pictures.  Since he doesn't nap anymore, I give him quiet time where he can read and rest for an hour or so.  I wanted to come up with a way to make sure that he was actually reading (and not just looking at) the books for at least some of this time.  So, I decided to make him a handy dandy book! 

Trevor's Story Journal

I created two lined pages (you can get them for free at Classical Copywork), one with just lines and the other with lines and a pictures box.  I printed them back to back and put them together in a book.  You would not have to bind them, but I just wanted an excuse to use my book binder again!

I made a personalized cover with lines to record the books that he completes.  My desire for this notebook is for him to read early reader chapter books, which usually have about 4 chapters in them.  Each time he completes a book, I write it down.

On the first page, he writes down any words he does not know how to read.  You could also have your child record any words that they do not know the meaning to, any questions they have about what they read, etc.  On the second page, he draws a picture of something that happened in the chapter and then writes a sentence summarizing the chapter.  Keep in mind that he is four years old.  I am not expecting great drawings (but it's good practice because he doesn't draw on his own very often) or wonderful sentences.  I am just looking to see that he remembers something about what he read and that grows in his ability to form good, complete thoughts.  I love keeping these kind of things in a notebook because it's so easy to look back and see progress!

Benefits of a Book Report

When I take a look at this after he does it, it is easy for me to see which words he is struggling with reading, which words he is struggling to spell, if he is remembering to capitalize sentences and end them with periods, etc.

For example, in the picture above, he had read chapter 1 from Tigger Comes to the Forest.  Here is what I learned from looking at his 'book report.'

  • He needs help spelling the words:
    • unwind
    • ceiling
  • He needs more practice spelling the words:
    • wanted
    • check
    • someone
    • stolen
    • honey
  • He needs to be reminded about:
    • capitalizing the beginning of sentences (and not the beginning of a new line)
    • putting a period at the end of sentences
  •  He is doing well at:
    • making his letters the correct size for the line
    • putting spaces between his words
    • summarizing a part of a story

In case you couldn't read it from the picture (I really need a better camera!) here is what he wrote:

Once upon a time Pooh Was in bed he wantid to chec to see if samwan had stolin his hane.

Here is a close up of another page he has done (after reading Gus and Grandpa and the Two Wheeled Bike):

Gus rod his old old bic then he got a noo bic  it wus shiny Gren.  he crasht it.

He does not do this every day during rest time, but often he does.  He is always so proud to come and show me what he drew and read me what he wrote!  I love that it is an aspect of school that he can do independently and without really even feeling like 'school.'

Don't forget!  You can download these pages for free at Classical Copywork.


  1. Amazing! You should be so proud of Trevor's progress!!

    1. Thanks, Jessica! You get to see all sides of him, though, even the sides that need a little more progress! hehe =)


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