This past week I worked with four classes of enthusastic and creative first graders (about 80 students). We celebrated their emerging writing skills by making books for their work.
We started with a 23 inch x 17 1/2 inch piece of paper, then folded and cut our way into an origami pamphlet with a window. They liked the window. The window starts out looking like a page that has a bite taken out of it: a gentle tug on the side pages opens the window to reveal the “secret room, ” where the book’s illustration resides. This illustration can be drawn directly onto the paper of the book, but, since the papers I used were brightly colored, we drew on a separate piece of 9″ x 7″ white paper, which was then glued into the book.
The classroom teachers worked with students on their writing pieces before I arrived. These writing pieces were framed on brightly colored papers which were then glued into the books. On the last page there was room for “Author Notes,” and a cut-out tracing of the child’s hand, which was attached on to the book with a paper spring. The hand, therefore, waves.
Some of the books were made out of black paper. For these, I supplied the students with Gel Markers, made by Crayola. Although the color choice is limited, these markers show up well on the black paper; this makes working with them quite exciting.