Creativity Corner with Terry Shay – Collecting Words and Stories

by Terry Shay

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

I love books that can be used as a catalyst for creative activities. Peter H. Reynolds’ (@peterhreynolds) latest book has captured the attention of teachers and students! The Word Collector was on the New York Times Best Seller List and has inspired projects around the country. (Published by @scholastic)

In my own school, kindergarten teacher Anne Turner invited students in our K-12 school to share a favorite word and created a giant wall display with the words. The display even included Anne’s own version of Jerome. The words have been great conversation and story starters in the school.

Kim (Lovie) Howell (@LovieHowell21) at Stockwell Place Elementary in Bossier, LA is doing a Word Collector project with her students and her sidekick, Kari Johnson (@KariJohnson4101), in the library. K-2 students are using word tiles from the book that Kim and Kari ran off, laminated and put in separate bags. The students will create poetry and photograph it with their iPad, print them out, and then hang them on their PoeTree.

The older students will do “Magnetic Poetry” on Google Classroom using Chromebooks, print them out and place them on their PoeTree.

You can open the Classroom file that Kim shared and save a copy in your own drive HERE

Classroom BookShelf @clssrmbkshlf via School Library Journal also has shared some Word Collector activities HERE


The Word Collector Trailer

On the Horizon

What If… (@littlebrown) by Samantha Berger (@bergerbooks) and illustrated by Mike Curato (@mikecurato) releases on April 10. It was featured in a previous post as a recommendation from the Morning Book Club. Every creative kid needs this book. The F&G (folded and gathered pre-publication book) was supplied by the publisher at the author’s request.


Code Word Courage (Dogs of WWII) by Kirby Larson (@kirbyLarson) is a middle grade book with plenty of heart. My praise of this book is independent of the fact that my name appears on one page of the book. It introduces the history of Native American Code Talkers and it’s just enough historical fiction to get kids excited about learning more. (@Scholastic) Early copy of the book supplied by the author. The release date is April 24.


The Manic Panic
(@Crestonbooks) by Richa Jha (@RichajhaJha ‏) and illustrated by Mithila Ananth. Marissa Moss (@marissawriter ‏) at Creston Books asked me to write a book blurb for this book. It’s such an unexpected story, please check it out. Release date is  May 1. This book was supplied by the publisher.


The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl (@randomhouse) by Stacy McAnulty (@stacymcanulty) is a middle grade book with plenty of heart. Read this one on May 1. Read through Above the Treeline




Book Buzz

Bear and Chicken
by Jannie Ho (@JannieHo) is a very sweet book that deserves much more attention. It’s clever and adorable, and would be a great starter for a conversation about perception.

Morning Book Club Recommendations

Noah recommends:

How I Did It by Linda Ragsdale (@Dragonladyrags ) and Anoosha Syed (@foxville_art) (@flowerpotpress)



Dani recommends:

The Rough Patch by Brian Lies (@BrianLiesbooks) Release date: August 14 (@greenwillowbooks)



Clowey recommends:

The Rabbit Listened
by Cori Doerrfeld @CoriDoerrfeld (@

penguinrandom & @penguinRH_News)



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