Using Book Builder as a Classroom Resource

Book Builder was created by Universal Design for Learning and can be used in a number of ways to assist classroom teaching. 

  • How to Use Book Builder

  • Starting Up!

  • More Basics of Book Builder

  • Making a Book for Elementary Students

  • Helping High School Students Create Books


For elementary school students, teachers can use Book Builder as a way to enhance literacy through using familiar or easy-to-follow stories.

High school students can use it as a way to demonstrate knowledge or as a general writing tool.  I like the idea of using it for personal essays.


Starting Up!


Whether you're going to use Book Builder for younger or older students, you start out the same way.

Go to the Book Builder website.  From here, you want to "Create and Edit Books."

Click "Start a new book."

Add in your name and info about your book.

If you want to use coaches who can give your reader additional insight into who you are, you may choose to do so here.

Some basics of setting up a book include:


  • Creating a title page - this should grab your audience's attention and preferably include a picture that corresponds with the content.


  • Making a Table of Contents - this pretty much creates itself after you add a "Table of Contents" page, probably after the title page.  Depending on what you're creating the book for, each page will have varying amounts of text.  For some books, you might not even want a table of contents.


  • Choosing a Layout - for each page following the table of contents, you will need to choose a page layout.  Think about where you'd like a picture, if you even need one.


  • Adding Pictures - lastly, if you choose a layout with pictures, you'll need to add pictures.  To add one, you first need to have the file on your computer.  Once you have the picture saved, you just need to browse and find where it is.  Book Builder will add it from there!

When creating a book for younger students, it is important to think about their reading level and have the text just a little above their comfort zone. 

Choosing an engaging subject matter that resonates with the students can make a big difference, as can a simple, easy to follow storyline. 

You can use the speaking option to help them along as well.  To do that, you will need to have saved an mp3 audio file on your computer ahead of time.

There are a lot of cool things older students can do to enhance their writing presentations on Book Builder.

  • They can add in links to relevant favorite websites.  You do that by highlighting text and clicking on the little chain icon. 
  • Adding audio can really enhance a book.  Maybe there is a song that really goes along with their writing or you want to read an interesting poem.  The only catch is the file can't be too big.  They might need to find some audio editing software. (If this isn't something you're familiar with, just chat with me afterwards and we can discuss it further.)
  • Additionally, they can be encouraged to play with colors and add prompts for a discussion on the bottom of the page (use the guides!).  The more stuff they add in, the more engaging their books will be!