April 13, 2012
Nine years ago Kathy Pike, a seasoned Scholastic author of educational books, asked if I would like to be a co-author on a book that has been entitled 25 Totally Terrific Social Studies Activities: Step-by-Step Directions for Motivating Projects That Students Can Do Independently. I did my work, received an advance, and for years and years that was the last I heard of the book. It seemed to have been shelved and forgotten. A couple of years ago I discovered that it had been published. Scholastic sent me ten copies of the book. It was a thrill to have the book in my hands. Now I’ve unexpectedly received a few hundred dollars of royalty money in the mail. I guess the book is selling…as well it should .
First, let me say there’s nothing fancy about this book. On the other hand, it’s only $9.00 and it’s full of really accessible projects. When I first saw the book I was sad that it wasn’t one of those full color glossy bookmaking books, but when I took the time to really look it I have to say that it’s diamond in the rough. The title references social studies projects, which is just fine, but it’s really a great resource about making books in the classroom.
The picutes in the book are all in black and white, but I still have some of the orginal color photos from my old camera. Here’s a color photo of one of the projects.
I bribed my children into doing the writing and making the images for this sample book as I wanted it to look authentic.
No one asked me to look over the way that the publishers presented the directions in the book, so some of the directions are not quite on target. Here’s a tip: if you buy the book and want to make the Origami Pamphlet you can print up a better set of Origami Pamphlet directions right here.
Here’s another page. I’m showing this because it describes a clever structure, submitted by one of the other authors Jean Mumper. I’ve never made it this one, but I keep meaning to try out.
At the time that we were working on the manuscript Kathy directed me to a group of students who had made this folded circle book. I took some photos which (hopefully) give a sense of the circular way that the pages of this book open.
This circle is about the size of a coffee can lid.
The title fully shows only when the book is fully closed.
When each quarter of the book is opened, a picture is revealed, and, as an added bonus, there is room on the folded piece to write a caption. The books that I saw were made with layers of circles so that there are more than four quarter pages to the book.
These folding circle books had some fun sculptural possibilities.
It was a good experience to write my part of this book. It was a real pleasure to get a surprise check many years later. I want to say, though, that the best part of putting a book into the world is that I was able to write a dedication. While my children were young their nursery school teacher and day care provider, Becky Potter, was an angel in my life. There is no way I could adequately ever thank her for the support and care and wisdom my family found in her generous spirit. I was so happy to dedicate my part of the book to her.