This was a HIT! It was one of those things where you think "I will definitely be doing this every year for as long as I teach." Those moments don't happen all that often, so when they do...I figure it is something worth sharing!
My second graders have been working on narrative stories. We have been working on them for about 3 weeks. They started with their ideas in a graphic organizer, wrote a first draft, double checked it for capitals, periods, and adjectives, participated in an author's circle (where they read their story to a few classmates who then shared what they liked about their story and their questions or "wishes"), wrote another draft which included the "wishes", and then illustrated it after I had typed it for them.
They worked really hard and I wanted to do something fun, so I decided to have an "Author's Party"! At the beginning of the week I told the kids that on Thursday we would be having an author's party for anyone who had finished their stories. A couple of kids took their stories home on Wednesday nigh to finish illustrating them, and some where finishing at school on Thursday morning. Every single one of them was done in time for our party though! Since I had been talking it up all week, I tried to make it really fun and special, after all we were celebrating them! We were celebrating the fact that they were authors and we were celebrating the fact that they had finished their first story of the year.
I had streamers in the doorway when they came back in from recess. I also had party blowers on each of their desks. And I had 23 balloons (with student names in them) blown up and taped to a door. There was also a huge party hat (to be worn by the reader), and of course party favors. All good parties have party favors.
I had the kids take turns coming up and using a pair of scissors to pop the balloons. Whosevers name was on the paper that flew out of the balloon was the one who would read their story. The kids had fun putting on the party hat and then reading their story to the class. When they were finished everyone was allowed to blow their party blower three times (as opposed to clapping) after which they placed it back on the ground in front of them. I then called on three people to share things they liked about the story that had been read. Following that we started the process all over again by popping another balloon. Each child got to pop a balloon and each child got to read their story.
Once everyone had read, I passed out the party favors. Everyone got a brand new, fun pencil, so that they could continue to be authors! There were some Smarties attached just to make it a little more fun.
Fun was had by all! I asked who had had fun at our author's party at the end of the day, and every single hand went up. I even had a girl write about it in her journal the next day saying how much fun it was.
I loved the fact that we got to celebrate the kids and their writing. This one is a keeper! I hope some of you will try it in your own classes. Happy writing!