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The Desert Book Project

Dawson has a two-week book project to do on deserts. The assignment was for a non-fiction book.

I found an excellent rubric with instructions on how to write your own book.


But when I saw that it's instruction advised that the student could either write a comedy, mystery or other fictional story I thought, "Why not? Why not let Dawson use his imagination and make this book a fictional one including facts about deserts?" He liked that idea and immediately started brainstorming.

He has decided to make his book a fictional story about a nerdy little boy, Clyde, and his dog, Sam, who are looking to solve the mystery about how King Tut died. I thought it was a great idea, on his part, to make the story not only about deserts but about Ancient Egypt, too! We have been studying each of these topics in depth.

He has worked out the outline for his story and drawn the characters. There aren't as many desert facts in it as I would like, at this point, but I've instructed him that he needs to incorporate one fact about deserts every two pages.

Let me tell you what has made me smile (as a teacher)!


The first week of school we learned about the Elements of Literature (Writing). In his initial brainstorming session he used those elements to create his story line. The writing instructions given to him didn't mention the elements and I didn't either. He just did it on his own!

I love seeing him take what he has learned and use it in his work.

The one problem with this project??? He is so into it that he can't hardly concentrate on any other assignments. All he wants to do is work on his illustrations and story concepts. I guess there could be worse things.

The rough draft of the book, in hand-written form, is due on Thursday.

Then he will spend four days scanning his illustrations and transferring his written work into Blurb.com to create an actual black-and-white bound paperback book. He'll turn that rough draft in for my editing eye, and then he'll have two days to make revisions and turn in a final draft. Then we're going to order the book.

I forgot to mention that he also has an owl character who will be on each page. It will be fun to see how this all comes together.

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