Facts About Pirates That May or May Not Be True

For the final project in my grammar class I worked with a classmate and constructed a children’s book that teaches modal verbs. The title of the book is Facts About Pirates That May or May Not Be True…if you couldn’t tell by the title of the blog post. The pages are meant to be side by side so that children can see the difference between the sentences with modal verbs and the sentences without them.

Grammar Book 1

Grammar Book 2

Grammar Book 3

Grammar Book 4

Grammar Book 5

Grammar Book 6

Grammar Book 7

Grammar Book 8

We chose to put the modals in red to make them noticeable. Hopefully this helps demonstrate the differences between the sentences.

The idea to teach modals through pirates came through a brainstorming session. My classmate and I looked up a list of things kids enjoy and debated each thing. We talked about everything from ice cream to bugs. For a little while I really wanted to do a book based on dinosaur princesses. Maybe I’ll someday get around to making that book idea a reality. We settled on pirates because we felt it was a flexible subject matter that appeals to both boys and girls.

Once we had that figured out, we went through our grammar notes and decided to work with modal verbs. We chose modals because there are only 9 of them: can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, and must. Also, the concepts behind them are not often touched on in younger grades. That’s not to say we are hoping to completely teach modals with our book. No, we just want to introduce them to younger kids.

For the final piece, I drew and wrote 8 pages and my classmate drew and wrote the other 8.We also devised a workbook to use with the pictures to help parents teach their kids more about modal verbs.

I spent between an hour and two hours working on each page. I had done the thumbnail sketches a couple weeks before, so I just scanned them in and used them as base drawings. I used a 100% opaque pastel brush in Photoshop. Occasionally I adjusted the flow from 100% to 70%, but not often.

Since I worked very quickly on the pages, several of them are not as well done as I’d like them to be. There are perspectival and proportion issues in a couple of them. But it was a nice test run of a different art style.

Man would I love to just draw children books all day.