This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.
One of my favorite things about hosting the Educational Duct Tape podcast is how often my guests surprise me with tech tools that I’ve never heard of. One of my favorite surprises came 2 years ago (almost to the day!) when my friend Angela Wojtecki told me about Boomwriter. As with every EduDuctTape episode, I asked Angela a “teacher question” that could be answered with educational technology. The question that I asked Angela, a school librarian, was “How can we have our students create ebooks?”
She gave me 4 options, but the one that delighted me with its fresh take on the process was Boomwriter. While the tool has multiple ways that it can be used to enhance students’ experiences with writing, the one that stands out to me is their collaborative book writing activity. Imagine each of your students writing drafts for every chapter of a collaborative book, getting teacher feedback, revising reading their classmates’ chapters anonymously, and then voting to select the ones that become a part of the final text! The writing skills involved in this process are innumerable!
A few months ago, when my 4th-grade daughter told me that they were using it in her class, I could barely contain my excitement. (She marveled at me already knowing what it was 😊)
But that excitement was nothing compared to when I told her and her brothers about The Boomwriter Writing Bee. She was giddy about the competition and her big brother was impressed by the two authors who are involved (more on that below). Little bro was disappointed to be too young to participate this year, but he’ll have his chance soon enough!
So, what’s The Writing Bee?
From now through April 2021, classes ranging from 3rd to 8th grade participate in Boomwriter’s collaborative writing experience to create a book. And it’s free for teachers and students! The process follows the typical process (write a chapter, get teacher feedback, revise, read classmates’ chapters, vote, repeat until you’ve got an entire book), but that’s where the “typical” part ends: the story start (chapter one) was written by Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series!
Okay, so competing against your classmates to write the best chapters for a book that starts with a chapter written by Jeff Kinney is pretty awesome, but that’s just the start of the awesomeness! Each student who is a “chapter winner” qualifies for The Writing Bee finals in May!
What happens in the Writing Bee Finals? Another eBook writing experience featuring a story start from New Kid author Jerry Craft! I also love that, in the finals, all students who participated in The Writing Bee get to peer review the pieces and vote for their favorites!
And if all of that is enough, just by involving your class in this experience, you’ll get free resources! Lesson plans, activities, games, graphic organizers, and more! Learn more about how your students can be a part of The Boomwriter Writing Bee for free here!