Posted by: nancyisanders | March 27, 2015

Challenge: Write a Chapter Book in One Month

Chapter Book Challenge 2015 Badge sm

As we’re finishing up our back matter for our early chapter book, here are some tips to make it easier.

Creating the Abbreviated Word List
To make a list of 48 of the more challenging vocabulary words in my story, I opened up my story in a document and moved that open document to the left side of my screen. I changed the text to be 150% and made the document as small as possible to fit on my screen.

Then I opened up a new document and put it on the right side of my screen. I sized this document as small as possible so that both documents were now side by side.

Starting with Chapter 1 on the left document, I read through it and added long or difficult vocabulary words to the blank document on the right. I also numbered these with the automatic number system. I spread out to find words in every chapter until I had 48 words listed. Then I deleted the numbers and copied these words and pasted them at the end of my story in the document on the left.

Writing Discussion Questions
For the Discussion Questions in the back matter, I actually copied some of the questions in our mentor text, THE RED FLYER ROLLER COASTER, and used words from other questions. I know enough about Common Core State Standards to recognize the wording they like in this section supports the second grade English language arts standards for reading literature.

My story is about a little boy who finds an abandoned baby raccoon in the woods. Here is a sample of some of the questions I wrote for my back matter:

Before Reading:
* What do you think happens to wild animals that need help?

During Reading:
* How do you think Landon felt when he found the baby raccoon in the hollow oak tree? Use examples from the story to explain your answer.

After Reading
* Have you ever wanted to help an animal? Describe your experience.

Once you write the back matter to include with your manuscript, you’re on the home stretch! Time to finish this baby up and put it in the mail. I’ll post more on that in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!


  1. Your story sounds interesting, and I like Landon for the mc’s name!

    • Thanks, Tina! To pick Landon’s name I googled the top 100 boys’ names.

  2. Nancy, I’m really sorry I wasn’t able to follow along with you as you wrote this. I know it would have been a valuable lesson. But now that things are settling down a bit for me, I plan to review your posts and try this. I’ll probably have some questions for you, so please bear with me. 🙂

    • That’s okay, Mary! ‘Cause guess what?! We’re going to do it all over again starting next month, but this time we’ll take a leisurely pace so hopefully you’ll have the time to join in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: