Looking for an easy Christmas project that also promotes a peaceful community? Try Christmas Compliments!
Objective: The learner will practice sentence writing by creating a paper stocking and writing compliments about four other students.
Materials: Class set of Stocking reproducible, markers, crayons, pencils, lined paper, scissors, board, chart paper or electronic whiteboard
Explain to students that they will be decorating a paper stocking. Hold up and show blank stocking to students. Ask for suggestions of colors, ways to decorate etc.
Allow students time to decorate and cut out their stockings.
When complete, tell the students that one of the best gifts they can give to another is the gift of being a friend. Ask them what friends do. Write responses on board.
Once there has been a response like, “a friend says nice things,” tell them that they are going to do just that. They are going to think of nice things to say, then write about each other.
Assemble the students into groups of four or five. Instruct them to think of nice things about the people in their group.
Review what a sentence is, that it must have a subject and a predicate or who and what they do. Also remind them about capitals and periods. If cursive is an area of focus review correct formation of some troublesome letters.
Instruct students to first give oral compliments to the members of their group before writing them down. Invite them to be creative and focus on the uniqueness of each person.
Allow time for students to write sentences.
Once sentences are complete the students cut them out in strips and paste them onto each other’s stocking as if a gift were spilling out.
Evaluation: Were students able to come up with compliments for each other? Were they able to write in complete sentences?
Follow up: Stockings could be displayed on wall and different compliments read by teacher or students.
Are you an introverted author like me? Would you rather roll over hot
coals naked than do public speaking? Do you break into a cold sweat just imagining being the center of attention? We writers are a mixed bunch, but as observers, many of us shy away from taking center stage. Well, if you’re launching a new book, waiting in the wings will not sell copies. I know, I had a field of dreams attitude when I published Artania: The Pharaohs’ Cry. Write it and they will come. Well, they didn’t. Oh, I’ve steadily sold a few books, sure. But nothing like I’d imagined.
So when it was time to publish Forest Secrets I decided to do it right. Hot coals and cold sweats be damned. This time, I’d launch with a scream instead of whisper. We’d have a party and invite everyone, their cousin, their brother and their cousin’s cousin. But first I needed a venue.
I’d remembered that the owner of Toy Zoo: Anything Educational, Marc Canigiula, had suggested hosting an event at his bookstore when I told him I was publishing a new book. I was scared to ask but figured the worst he could say is no. So I headed over, marched inside, and with a gulp asked him if he’d like to host my book launch. My jaw dropped to the floor when he said yes. Not only that, he’d help me organize the event.
I was flabbergasted and, I’ll admit it, overwhelmed. But I scooped my jaw off the floor and got to work. And the results? A resounding success. I had 75 people attend and sold close to 50 books.
If you are planning your own book launch, here are a few tips:
Start early. Post the upcoming publication on your social media sites. Get over your author humility and brag a little.
Print up invitations. I use Vista Print for quality and value, but there are reasonably priced printers everywhere. Make it look as professional as you can afford, Here’s mine:
Have a theme with activities for the attendees. Since most of Forest Secrets takes place in the woods with mystical creatures, I had leaf coloring, green tape leading kids on a scavenger hunt throughout the store, and mask making.
Decorate your book signing table according to your theme. Here’s how I did mine.
Send out notices to local publications. Don’t just focus on newspapers. Be creative. Our school district newsletter did a write up that went out to thousands of employees.
But most of all, have fun! It’s your moment. Enjoy it.