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If You Take a Dog to the Beach

School: Alice B. Beal Elementary

City/State: Springfield, MA

Grade(s): K

Format(s): Children's book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Visual Arts

Project Overview

Kindergarten students from the Alice B. Beal School in Springfield, Massachusetts created this children’s picture book. If You Take a Dog to the Beach was based on the commercial book series that includes If You Give a Moose a Muffin in which a sequence of events is kicked off by an initial incident.

Students worked as a class both to write the story and to create the visual images. The students created images of their characters, digitally reproduced these illustrations, and then cut and pasted them throughout the story creating collage-like images on each page. Students were involved in each step of the creation, layout and production process. 

The audience for this book was the kindergarten classes in the school, their own and a second class. This book became part of their classroom’s library and was read often.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Exemplifies young students collaboratively creating a story
  • A useful model of starting with a familiar story and then changing it based on students’ interests
  • Collage technique allows young students to do a quality drawing once, and then use it multiple times within the story
  • Illustrations are pleasing – student drawn pictures are clever; the collage-like images capture the essence of kindergarten creativity
  • Shows individual contributions amidst collaborative project
  • Powerful audience for kindergartners – themselves

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can actively participate in group reading activities.
  • I can use pictures to send a clear message to my listener.
  • I can speak using words I hear in books.
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