Accordion Books · Making Books with children

Pre-K Accordion Book Project

Book Making with Pre-K

About a year ago a school that I have visited many times asked me to work with their youngest students.  I was more nervous about working with these four-years olds than I have been with any group in years.  The teachers wanted to do a book that would help the students grasp the concept of seasons.  The project turned out well, and we repeated this same project last week.

Accordion Book with Young Children

We made a French Fold Accordion  out of a large sheet of paper (23″ x 35″).  This paper arrived in front on the children pre-folded, except for the last two accordion folds.   Drawing on my fondness for stick figures, we glued popsicle stick/craft sticks to the accordions to make our people.

accordion book Pre K

Using a combination of 3 inch squares of fabric and paper we then “dressed” the stick figures in season appropriate clothing. Full squares were used for jackets.  Sqaures were cut in half for sleeves and pants.

Pre-K pages

Children were also given circles, punched out from cover stock,  which they used to enhance their drawings: for winter they made snowmen; spring, an umbrella (half-circle); summer, a sun; fall, a pumpkin.  They then wrote the name of the seasons by tracing over dotted lines which spelled out the seasons.

To finish off the project, students arranged some bright color squares on the cover, we traced their hands and then the students wrote their names.

Accordion Book Cover

A good time was had by all.

child's drawing

8 1/2" x 11" Book Making · Binding Loose Papers · How-to · Making Books with children

Modified Pamphlet Stitch for Children

Pamphlet Stitch for Children
Click to Enlarge for Printing or Reading

     The best way to make a pamphlet with children in a classroom is, in my opinion, a wrap-around, no-needle lacing of yarn, cord,  or string.  The sequence of steps is exactly like the more grown-up version of the pamphlet stitch,  without the necessity of needles that can really slow down a class of seven-year olds.  Besides the colorful set of directions pictured above, I’ve also created a have a black and white version of this page. Enjoy! Send pictures!

8 1/2" x 11" Book Making · Making Books with children · Rubber Band Books

Four Simple Pamphlet Bindings

Simple Pamphlet Bindings with 8 1/2" x 11"
Modified pamphlet Stitch, Rubber Band Binding, Stick and Rubber Band Binding, and Classic Pamphlet Stitch

      A couple of weeks ago my work with students reminded me of how much interest and excitement can be generated from making simple pamphlets.   With this in mind, I am writing a post on how to make some simply constructed pamphlets.   I started going through my shelves of samples and realized that  there are so many ways of assembling a pamphlet!  Excercising great restraint,  I chose only four structures to show today.  I will provide brief descriptions of these here, then provide more detailed explanations in the future.   All book here are made with standard-size papers, which to me means 8 1/2″ x 11” papers.  That said, the first book  in the image above is made with typical lined paper that is found in many elementary classrooms:  it is slightly smaller than typical copy paper, but this size difference is inconsequential to its construction.                                                                            

Here are my top four easily made pamphlets: 

1.  The Modified Pamphlet Stitch Book:  my opinion, today, is that this is the best book to make with early elementary students, as it is easy and requires only a 25″ length of yarn and some scissors.  It is based on the pamphlet stitch (look at the links below for this stitch, or wait a few days for the how-to page that I will be posting).  This differs from the pamphlet stitch in that, instead of sewing with needle and thread through three holes, one hole is cut in the middle of the spine, and the head and tail of the spine are notched so that the yarn can be wrapped around the book, rather than sewn through it, following the  sequence of the pamphlet stitch .   

2. The Rubber Band Binding:  The pages of this book are made by cutting standard-size paper in half, resulting in papers that are 5 1/2″ x 4  1/4″.  The cover is most easily made by folding a full sheet this size.  The covers and pages are nested together, the spine is notched and a #19 rubber band holds cover and pages together.   

3.  The Stick (or Straw) and Rubber Band Binding:  Fold papers in half,  nest together,  then  cut two notches in the spine, each about one and a half inches away from the head and tail of the spine.  Slip the loop of a rubber band (a #19 or  a #33) from the middle of  book, out through one of the notches. Slip an eight inch stick or straw through the loop.  Slide the other end of the rubber band through the empty notch,. Capture the other end of the straw or stitch through this loop.  Done!   

4.  Classic Pamphlet Stitch Book:  Fold papers in half and nest them together.  With a needle and thread (about 25″ long), starting in the inside middle of the book, sew through the spine, leaving  enough of a tail for the end knot.  Re-enter the spine about an inch down from the head of the book.  From the inside now,  sew from the inside out, entering the spine about an inch up from the tail of the book.  Sew back into the spine in the middle.  Knot the ends of the thread,  capturing the long stitch into the middle of the knot.,  If you have understood these directions, I am impressed.  For everyone else, check out one of these links: