The characters in this book have different ideas about what should be written in the book. Why does this cause a problem? What are some of the rules that Lizzy tries to make? Why don’t Lizzy’s rules work? What do you think is the worst thing that happens? How do they finally solve the problem? Can you think of any other ways the class could have solved the problem?
Start a Collaborative Journal: Ms. Wurtz’s class creates a collaborative journal by adding entries in one blank book. You can start a collaborative journal with your family, your class, or a group of friends. Pick out a blank book, talk about rules, write down any rules on the first page, and see what develops.
Lizzy wants the book to be nice and pretty. Luke wants the book to be funny and disgusting. Think of two characters with opposite goals or personality traits and write a story about the problems (funny or serious) that occur when they collaborate on a journal or another kind of project..
The Inside Scoop: Where did you get the idea for this book?
I volunteered to help in my son’s second grade classroom. To get kids excited about reading and writing stories, I started writing stories in little books that I made by cutting and stapling paper together. I pretended that the books were written by children in a fictional class.
I had fun writing these stories and decided to try to get them published as a series of little books. At first, the stories were rejected. Instead of giving up, I revised. I imagined that all the students were writing in one book—a classroom journal. I re-wrote the whole thing and had fun all over again. The idea worked much better as one journal.