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Authentic tasks: Publishing writing

Publishing student work creates a purpose for students' writing efforts beyond getting a grade or finishing an assignment. However, the publishing process need not be overwhelming for the teacher. Here are three easy ways to publish student work, inform and involve parents and help students see themselves as readers and writers:

  • Genre binders: Place completed student work in a binder labeled, for example, Historical Fiction, Memoirs, Realistic Fiction, Mystery or Research, etc. Have students make a binder cover reflecting the genre. Display the binders for students, parents and visitors to read.

    • Variation: Have students insert multiple copies of their piece in the genre binders. Readers can remove a copy of a piece they particularly appreciate to keep in a personal anthology. Remind readers to leave one copy in the original binder. When only one copy remains, students ask the teacher to make additional copies so the next reader will be able to remove a copy of the desired piece.

    • Variation: Insert a divider at the end of the school year. Label the year and keep the binders over multiple years. At the end of the next year, add another divider and label that year. Students will be able to read pieces written over several years. In addition, younger siblings will be able to locate older brothers' or sisters' writings. This will also encourage students to return years later to reread their writings.
  • Autographed copies: Make a writer famous. Print multiple copies of a student's writing so s/he can autograph the writing for classmates.
  • Whole-group share: Consider anything shared as published.