Makeover Madness: Week #1

Week #1 of the TpT Seller Challenge has begun and the challenge is to make over a cover product.  (I found directions on the blog Teach Create Motivate.) I have been been working on new covers for the last month or so and have had great results.
Who knew what a difference a new background and better fonts could make?!
Here are some tips that have helped me with me with the cover above as well as others:

1.  First, I changed my cover fonts, making my titles much larger and bolder.  (My favorite fonts are
     from www.kevinandamanda.) In addition to changing the cover fonts, I also changed the titles    
     to what I thought most people would be searching for. For example, the main title in my old   
     cover page (see below) was “Writing Prompts” with “Narratives” written underneath and in   
     smaller type. Since this product will cater more to people searching for "Narrative Writing", 
     rather than "Writing Prompts",  that should be the title that people will see first, as in my new 

2.  Although there is excellent free clip art, I spent money in order to purchase some
     great frames and backgrounds. Many sellers will tell you that you have to spend money on clip  
     art to make great products and I don’t disagree.

3.  Third, I added actual pages from my product to the cover page.  I noticed that when
     I am looking for a product myself, I usually just check out the ones that have pages
     from the product on the cover.  It is one less step for me.  If those pages look interesting,
     I will click on the product to further check it out.  (To do this, just create jpeg images of
     your product and then “Insert pictures” onto your cover page.)

Old Cover
New Cover
Here is one more example:


Summer Writing Prompts

I have been trying to come up with creative (yet sneaky) ways to get my own third grader writing this summer.  Spending an entire school year preparing for testing seems to have left little time for creative writing.
I came up with some fun prompts to use with him and wanted to share.


Which is a better place to spend your summer vacation, at the beach or in the mountains? Explain your answer.

Do you think it is important for children your age to know how to swim?  Explain why or why not.

Do you think children should be allowed to stay up later in the summertime?  Explain why or why not.

Imagine that your principal has decided that you only get a two week summer vacation.  Write a letter to him/her explaining why this is not a good idea.

Informative and Explanatory

Explain how to build a sandcastle.

Write about your favorite sea animal.  Tell what it looks like, what it eats and any other interesting facts that you know.

Sometimes students say that they get bored in the summer.  Explain how students can keep busy and have fun in the summer.

Imagine you have been asked to plan a camping trip for your family.  Tell what you need to bring.  Don’t forget to include special equipment for activities such as fishing or roasting marshmallows.


Tell about a trip you have taken.  Tell where you went, who went with you and other interesting details.

Imagine that for one day, you have been turned into one of the following:  a mermaid or a pirate.  Tell about how you spend your day.

Tell about one of your favorite summer memories.  It could be a day spent at an amusement park, a visit to a favorite relative, or even a day spent at home doing something fun.

Imagine you and your friends are digging a hole in the sand at the beach.  Your shovel suddenly hits something hard.  When you look closer, you see a golden treasure chest.  Will you open it? What do you find inside? 

How To

Tell how to make a s'more

Tell how to set up a tent

Tell how to set up and run a lemonade stand

Tell how to build a sand castle

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