Friday, October 10, 2014

Celebrating a little subversion -- okay, maybe a lot of subversion

I recently found a collection of Little Golden Books at my library's used bookstore and I immediately had an idea: I'm going to let my students create their own versions of the infamous Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett.
Little Golden Books

So today I introduced this extra credit project to my 8th grade classes, and this was one of my favorite conversations of the day:

Me: Today I'm going to talk about your extra credit project for 1st quarter if you choose to accept it, but first I have to show you a book trailer.
Student (rather begrudgingly): Does this mean we're gonna have to read this book?
Me: Well yes but it's a picture book.
Student: Oh, I guess that's OK.
Me: *Shows Battle Bunny Book Trailer*
Student (with entire class in concert): I HAVE TO READ THAT BOOK!

My next favorite conversation went something like this:
Student: Mrs. Shaum are Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett going to make any other books like Battle Bunny?
Me: Well, I don't know. They're on Twitter. Maybe we could ask them.
Student: Well get tweeting.

And still another favorite conversation (that happened repeatedly throughout the day):
Student(s): So wait. You mean you want us to write all over a book?
Me: Yes. Just don't use Sharpies because they'll bleed through the page.
Student(s)' thoughts and wheels turning are almost palpable: I can't believe a teacher wants us to destroy a book.

So Mac Barnett and Jon Scieszka, if you're reading this, I hope you do create more books like Battle Bunny. Based on my students' attitudes about reading, which have been tepid so far this year, this is the first book that they were CLAMORING to read.

Needless to say, I had a swarm of 8th graders coming to get Little Golden Books after school today so they could create their own Battle Bunny stories for extra credit. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Celebrate This Week was established by Ruth Ayers


  1. I LOVE this idea! Please share the student projects when they finish them. Sounds like they are going to create some amazing books!

  2. I have to read Battle Bunny! And my creative writing kids will be all over this. thanks for the lesson idea!

  3. Sounds like a great creative project, Beth. Celebrate the enthusiasm!

  4. I love this project. Battle Bunny seems to be popular with all ages. I had recommended it to a guy for his girlfriend last Christmas and she loved it! I'm glad the students get to do something unexpected!

  5. What a creative and engaging project. Can't help but smile when reading your students responses to your invitation.

  6. Oh, you are a genius! I think this will be something they remember for a long time and it lets them exercise their creativity. :)

  7. I echo others - please share the finished products and the process of . . . Love the enthusiasm!

  8. That's great! I can't wait to hear about what your students create... Jon and Mac better watch out!

  9. What a FANTASTIC plan and I loved how even your more reluctant readers were battling for more bunny books! Thanks for sharing this!