The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Creative Rewriting

Several months ago, back in November, I was checking up on all of the different teacher blogs I follow and came across a post by Mr. Colby Sharp on the Nerdy Book Club blog. It was an interview with the creators of Battle Bunny or, at least, an attempt at an interview. I had never heard of Battle Bunny before, so I didn’t quite get what was going on with the interview, but I was laughing out loud the whole time anyway! So then I looked up the book they were talking about and it all made sense.

Jon Sciezska and Mac Barnett teamed up to creatively rewrite a book the way they had when they were young. But they decided that they couldn’t do that to just anyone’s book, so first they wrote a book to rewrite. They wrote a cheesy picture book called Birthday Bunny and then, with the help of Alex, rewrote it as Battle Bunny. I have been trying to hunt down a copy of this book for months and finally found an available copy at the Champaign Public Library. I picked it up this week and shared it with my class today.

Then I gave them a writing assignment to do with their reading groups. A student had brought in several picture books from when she was younger to donate to our school book exchange. I asked if I could go through them first. I selected the five Disney Pixar books based on the movies. Each group got to select one of the books and then, armed with their creativity and a permanent marker, were given the task of rewriting them.

The Incredibles became The Cannonballs, a book about villains taking over the world. Finding Nemo became Dying Nemo: The Zombie! Toy Story 2 became EVIL Story 2. And Ratatouille became Poisontouille. All of my students have been laughing as they have worked together to creatively rewrite these well-known stories. They are having to figure out how to use the pictures and the printed text to come up with the new stories, but they also know that they can use their markers to adjust as necessary. This will be a writing task that they continue over the next week as they work together to finish, then they will share the books with their classmates!


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