The Make-A-Book Project and author-in-residence program school photographs. Pictured here are all four of the aerial-view school photos. Kids standing in the shape of a bicycle, worm, butterfly and cupcake.
A colorful sign with bugs and a voting box and ballots.
The voting station. That's an old coffee can. Kid's could name their favorite bug, like centipede, spider, fly, et cetera.

Name that bug contest

One fun idea to get the students more involved in the production of the book was to have them name the characters in the story. So I, along with my self-appointed fan club, made this ballot box.

Character naming contest student helpers
Above is a polite group of girls naming their favorite bugs. Before them, the table was mobbed with students resulting in a mess of blurry pictures.
Character naming contest ballot box
Character naming contest ballot box. An old coffee can stuffed with over 1000 ballots!

The can was half full within 1.5 hours and by the end of the week, we had hundreds of votes. I think my personal favorite is Honeynester the Bee. We also had dozens of names, such as Worm the Fly and Snail the Butterfly. It’s interesting how the students seem to collectively decide to do such things without any leader.

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More stories about the making of this book

Illustration ideas by subject

Thinking outside the words

I continue to learn how to work with the various ways kids learn and create. Some students prefer to illustrate an actual sentence from the book, which requires a more literal interpretation; while other students prefer a more conceptual approach.

A aerial view of my message. It could read "We ♥ worms" or "We heart worms" or "We love worms."

We ❤ Worms

School playground photo of “We ❤ worms”. I’m very surprised this picture turned out so great! Another one of my personal favorites. And a giant framed photo will soon be hanging in the school office until the end of times.

Students examine red worms and compost bin

Worms eat my garbage

Your adventure, should you choose to accept it, is to build your own compost bin at home. This is a great way to recycle your scraps and reduce your eco-footprint.

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