Class Storybook Illustration

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After every class story that we tell (well, at least every story that isn’t totally lame), I like to have the class make a storybook to add into the class library. They are great to have when students stop in with friends or come in for conferences with their parents.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 10.15.54 PMI made a 14 page template in Numbers that is sufficient for any story. The editable file allows you to input text on each page by typing the story in a table, but it doesn’t convert to Excel. DOWNLOAD IT HERE. Sometimes, there is very little text on any given page; other times, there is a lot. Here is an example of a completed storybook that I scanned into the computer (it’s not a very good scan nor is it in color, but hopefully you get the idea): El lobo hambriento class storybook. Please excuse the errors that it contains; there are a few misspellings and missing words. One of these years, I’ll iron all the errors out of my documents. I never proof read enough…

This is how we make the storybook:

  1. After you’ve finished asking a story, divide the script into 13-15 “chunks” so that you have text for a 13-15 page storybook.
  2. Divide your students into the same number of groups as you have pages (13 pages = 13 groups). In my classes, this means either two or three students per group, depending on the size of the class…you may have one or two students per “group”. They do not need to be even.
  3. Give each student a 4.25″ square piece of computer paper. Have them write their names on one side.
  4. Assign one chunk of the script to each student by saying the group members’ names and then reciting the portion of the story, in the target language, that you want them to illustrate for their page. Require all students in the class to listen as you assign sentences to different groups, asking them questions and circling in the target language as you go (ex: Do Bob and Jill draw “Sarah wants to read a book” or does Billy draw “Sarah wants to read a book”). That way, you get more repetitions of the target structures. Students can write their assigned portion of the story on the back side of the paper (the one with their name on it) if they wish so that they don’t forget what they’re supposed to draw.
  5. After you’ve assigned a scene to all groups, allow students to begin illustrating their scene on the piece of paper; on the side on which they did NOT write their name. There can be dialogue (in the target language) on the page, but the actual text that they were assigned needs to be written on the BACK, if it is written at all. Illustrations should be in color, of course!
  6. Remind students to make quality illustrations so that theirs will be selected for the class storybook! Also, the illustration should fill the space on the square of paper.
  7. IF POSSIBLE: As students finish their illustrations, show them on a Doc cam and ask students if they can tell you what is happening in that picture, and if it happened at the beginning, middle, or end of the story.
  8. After class, type the story into the template available here (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD IT). As you type text into the table on the first page, it will automatically put that text on the correct page of the book. HOWEVER, you will need to position the boxes on each page so that all of the text is showing. This may take as many as five minutes to get it perfect, GASP!
  9. Print out the storybook. Flip every other page and glue them together back to back OR copy them back to back (but that wastes paper from the original print-out so I don’t recommend it).
  10. Glue the pictures into the storybook (or have a student do this!!). Unless I have a huge number of absences, I have at least two illustrations per chunk, so I make two storybooks for each story. **It is very important that you try to include any illustration that was drawn with effort. Some kids don’t try to make them look nice, so I don’t feel bad about not including them. You can put multiple illustrations on one page, even if it means cutting them out and using the best components from each one. You can also put illustrations on the front and back cover.
  11. Laminate it and put it in your class library. You can read it to your class the next day or wait awhile and remind them of how awesome and creative they are!


  1. My imac says: The document “Storybook template.numbers” could not be opened. The file isn’t in the correct format.

    What am I not understanding?

    Love the doc camera viewing of the drawings to see if the correct Spanish content is there. = One more sneaky opportunity to get those structures heard and seen in context. Yay!


    1. I’m sorry, Jody! I tried converting it to an Excel file, but it doesn’t work 😦 If you look at the example that I scanned in, you can at least see the way that you number the pages to make a storybook so that you can do one in a Word Document or something!


  2. Hi Nancy, I don’t know what happened to the original link! I just put a free PDF on TpT and linked to it above, and you can email me if you want the editable Numbers file! Sorry for the hassle!!


  3. Making these with my class this week! Wondering how you keep it in a book format if you laminate it? Can you staple it together through the laminated pages? Do the pages still fold?


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