January 21, 2012

Your Students Can Be Published Authors!

Did you know your students can create a book together that can be published for FREE? Take a look at this book that my 4th grade class created a few years ago. As a part of my life science unit, my students invented wacky animals with specific adaptations. Each student drew a picture of his or her animal in its habitat and wrote a one page description that included how the animal was adapted for that particular environment. Take a look at the Sniger example. Snake + Tiger = Sniger  You knew that, right?

So, how did we get the book published for free? As it turns out, there's a book publishing program called Studentreasures that's specifically designed for publishing student work. Studentreasures has several different programs available, but the one we signed up for was the Classbook project. I want to tell you about it because they still offer this free program, and I hope you'll consider signing up. My students were so excited to see their work published in an actual print book!

How the Classbook Program Works
Studentreasures sends the teacher a packet of numbered pages and a form letter to be sent home to all parents explaining the project and giving them the opportunity to order books. The teacher then selects a theme for the classbook and guides his or her students through the process of writing stories, poems, or essays and illustrating them. Everything is sent off to Studentreasures where the student pages are used to create hardcover, bound books. The actual pages are also bound into a classbook and sent back to the teacher as a free book to keep! There's no minimum number of books that the parents must purchase; the only requirement for the teacher is to send home the letters and collect the payments from those who do place orders.

How You Can Get Involved
I did this project two years in a row, and it was an amazing success both times! I've been sharing about it at teacher workshops and on my website for years, and now I'm excited to be able to spread the news about this publishing project in an even bigger way. I'm working with Studentreasures to develop a free webinar where you can learn exactly how to create your own class books! When I participated in the program, there were many times when I would have liked to ask someone a question or get some advice from a pro. So I was excited when Studentreasures approached me about presenting a webinar on their Classbook program. We've set the date for the event; the webinar will be held on March 6th at 8 p.m. EST. Sign up for my Candler's Classroom Connections newsletter to receive more information when registration opens.

But there's no reason to wait for the webinar if you're interested in signing up for the project; just go to the Studentreasure site now and order your free publishing kit. You can choose between portrait and landscape formats as well as lined or unlined pages. They'll even send a sample book to show your class!

Thousands of  teachers have had class books and student books printed with Studentreasures over the last 15 years, and if you're one of them, I invite you to leave a comment! Creating a class book does take time and commitment on the part of the teacher, but the end result is a book that your students will treasure forever!


  1. Thanks for sharing! I teach in NC and always hear about you. I'm happy that I found your blog.

    Randi @ Teach It With Class
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  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing! I'm definitely going to look into this.

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  3. This is awesome! What kid wouldn't want to make a real book from their writing?? I'd love to do this with a collection of my whole class's writings. You have a great blog here, Laura! Plenty of valuable resources. I am going to check out your book "Mastering the Math Facts". As a 3rd Grade teacher, I am working on getting these students to master their mult. facts. Sadly some of them still struggle with addition and subtraction. I have a lot of work to do yet. I am following you now.

    Stacie Ball
    Having a Ball in 3rd Grade!

  4. I ordered my kit and can't wait for the webinar! I'm sure you already know this, but on their drop down menu for how did you hear about us, your name was one of the choices:) Cool!

  5. I have done this before and my students (and their parents) really loved it. Thanks for sharing!


  6. We are currently creating individual student books through student treasures! I am excited to hear about the upcoming webinar! Maybe next year, I will sign up for the class book project instead.


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