Make A School Memory Book With Your Child ~ Instructions and printables to help you make a very special memory book with your child showcasing the highlights of your child’s school year.
This is one of those posts where I am wearing both my teacher and my parent hat. If you read my About The Author page you will learn that I was an elementary classroom teacher for many years. One of the activities I had my students do was to make their own school memory book highlighting what they felt were the awesome things they did and the awesome things they learned throughout the year.
Between you and I, I really enjoyed reading their entries but as a teacher I loved looking at the progress in their writing skills from the beginning to the end of the year. It was a great way to see how their ideas, sentences, spelling, punctuation and penmanship skills improved.
With some adaptations this activity is also so doable for you to do with your child at home. With this very ‘Awesome School Memory Book’ you are helping your child capture the memories and moments that were important to them throughout their school career. This school memory book will also chronicle their writing and drawing skills as they mature which in my opinion is the most magical part to witness.
Teachers often give their students a pattern to work from when writing. One of my favourite patterns that I used in the classroom is based on the fabulous best selling book ‘The Book Of Awesome’ written by Neil Pasricha. Interestingly, the author started off as a blogger based on the book title, later became a published author and now is a public speaker. I also just learned that he is a Canadian! Woo-hoo!
You can tell this book has been well read by just looking at how marked the front cover is.
If you are not familiar with this book, it is a collection of short anecdotes capturing the little things in life. I love Pasricha’s ability to take the small and typical details in life and create a paragraph about it using a delightful sense of humour. What I also really like is how he writes using quality paragraph writing skills in most of his entries. All of his entries start with a ‘hook’ and end with a closure which of course is the word ‘Awesome’!
I ended the school day with my students by reading one or two entries from this book. My grade three and four students loved it. Their favourite ones were…
“That last crumbly triangle on a bag of potato chips”
“When you arrive at your destination just as a great song ends”
“Popping bubble wrap”
It was absolutely remarkable how my students could so relate. Some of the entries are very short and some are a couple of pages but they all gave us a good giggle at the end of the school day.
Using the theme in this book I created a patterned writing activity for the students so they could create their own “Awesome Book Of School Memories”. I didn’t encourage them to be funny like Pasricha but I did encourage them to choose school memories that were awesome to them and pick one that was the most awesome and write a detailed paragraph about it just like Neil Pasricha.
Here is what you need to know to…
Make A School Memory Book With Your Child…
- Crayons or Pencil Crayons
- Binder (with front sleeve to insert title page in)
- Plastic sheet protectors
I have provided you with four different printables to use when making this school memory book with your child at home. Here they are with a brief description:
- Awesome Book Of School Memories Title Page – Print off a copy and write your child’s name in the blank. Insert into the front clear sleeve of a binder
- First Day Of School Awesome Page – Print off one copy
- Month Awesome Page – Print off one copy for each month of school
- Year Awesome Page – Print off one copy
PDF Format Of The Printables For Easy Downloading And Printing
Instructions For The School Memory Book
- This is optional but I highly recommend reading ‘The Book Of Awesome’ to your child. There is something in it for all ages from kindergarten to elementary to older children and adults. There are so many different ones to choose from and it is fun to reread the favourites. Another option is to visit the blog 1000 Awesome Things for a good giggle and inspiration.
- At the end of the first day of school, end of each month and the last day of school brainstorm with your child what the awesome highlights were. I know that some children when they come home from school say that nothing happened but my experience has been that if they know this is going to be a regular and fun activity they start to think of ideas to include in their school memory book ahead of time.
- My intent for this activity is that it not be like homework but something fun and quick to do. The first part of the printable is to fill in the date, grade and school. The second part is to list three awesome things and the third part is to write a more detailed paragraph of the most awesome thing. When choosing what to write about encourage your child to pick specific memories and not general ideas. Something general would be my teacher taught us a new dodgeball game in class compared to my teacher taught us how to play Dr. Dodgeball and I got to be the doctor and I was never caught.
- If your child is in kindergarten or grade one I know their writing skills are very limited. My suggestion is to have them write one or two words and you scribe the rest in your child’s own words. As they get older they will be able to write more and eventually all of it on their own.
- The lines in the printables are designed to be written on different ways. Younger children may need to write on two lines, as they get older they will be able to write on one line but skip lines and the oldest will be able to write on every line.
- I know it is tempting to want to correct spelling, punctuation and expect perfect penmanship but this is where I suggest that you leave whatever errors are made alone. Encourage a best effort, focus on the content and make it a fun tradition that your child looks forward to making. If you start to have the child correct errors or you correct them yourself it is no longer an authentic piece. This school memory book is a multi year project. Be patient. You will see the growth in skills and learning.
- I love children’s writing but I also love, Love, LOVE their drawings. I didn’t provide specific space for the art work but in the instructions I suggest making awesome drawings about the awesome things about school in the border and my favourite technique, lightly over top of the writing. This technique will create an absolutely stunning ‘Awesome School Memory Book’.
- My suggestion is to keep all of the written and illustrated treasured school memories in a plastic sheet protector stored in a binder. Progressively adding pages will be super simple and super easy and when you think about it super inexpensive.
That’s it! That is how to make a school memory book with your child. What I love about this idea is that it is the child who is actually creating the memories and the memory book. You are just facilitating the experience. What I also love about this idea is that it is from the child’s voice and if completed every first day of school, at the end of the month and on the last day of school reflecting back on the year you and you child will have a pretty awesome book of school memories.
Being a teacher I think making ‘Back To School’ a special time is really important. Here are some other posts I have written on this topic you might find useful too…
Have a wonderful back to school with your family members. It is a pretty special time.