Decoration · Making Books with children · Making books with elementary students

The Biography Project, with colorful borders and letters

book cover of Biography Project
The Biography Project Book cover, A bookmaking Project with Second Graders

During the last couple of weeks one of the in-school projects that I’ve been involved in is the Biography Project with Second Graders.   This project has been a real treat to work on, for many reasons, not the least of which has been the fine collaborative opportunities I’ve been able to be part of with the teachers.  At the time that I proposed the structure I wasn’t sure what to do with the cover page. Between watching what most motivated the students, as well as integrating ideas from the teachers, the covers were this blend of typography, student made decoration, and a silhouette.

I like framing the title of the book color. I had noticed that students were incredibly enthusiastic when I had given them outlines of letters to fill in, which was the cover of one of the mini-books that is housed inside the pages of the big book.

Here’s one of the mini-books, which is a book which will contain clues about the person who the student is studying.

Here’s one of the Clues books, which shows the questions at the edge of the pages.  The  readers are given clues which will help them guess whose biography is written here. On the next page (which is not shown in this post) there is a writing and drawings which are relevent to the subject..

I’m always searching for  ways to get the job done (create a compelling book structure for students to use) while adding details that make the  process more individualized as well as being more enjoyable for students. Giving the students these outlines to fill in, both on the frame of the book and the outlines of the letters, was a fun addition to this project.

Here’s some more samples:


Right now I’m deep into the busiest part of the season that I visit schools. What I am going to try to do is post as I go along, with the intent of focussing on details that have captured my interest when working with the students.  What captured my interest this week was this way of providing blank spaces which students could enliven with color.

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