Making books with elementary students

Variations for a Chick

Baby Chick pop-up

Shortly after I finished up making the dinosaur book project I received an email from Mrs. Kelly which said “…this year, we would like to make an informational book about chicks.  We will be getting chicks on April 24th.  Perhaps I could meet with  you to show you some of the writing projects and activities we do with chicks … and you could help us to create a fun book to go along with it. ”  It seemed quite natural to let the dinosaur project evolve into a chick project (what could go wrong?)

Egg to Chick title page

I thought I could seamlessly  transfer  the elements of the dinosaur project to different colored papers with chicks instead of dinosaurs, but things turned out to be more interesting than I had envisioned. These teachers (a team of four teachers for about 80 students) had put together a full blown science unit of study.

What a Chick Needs in an Egg

With real eggs incubating in the classroom, the teachers presented a lesson on “what a chick needs in an egg.” We tucked this info on the left flap of the book.

Using her Wrting Journal as reference

The students also learned about other animals who came from eggs, such as turtles, snakes, and alligators. They wrote “who am I” riddles in their writing journals, along with a drawing…

Who Am I? Riddle
The Who Am I? Riddle

… which they then transferred on to the right inner flap of the book. The students glued down just the top edge of the paper, creating a peek-a-boo experience.

lift the flap image of a turtle
The picture under the flap

It turns out there are many animals that hatch from eggs. I think I learned at least as much as the students .

The teachers also talked about the different stages of development of the chick inside of the egg. We worked together to create images for four milestones of gestation, which the students colored, cut out, glued on across the inside of the pages, then labeled the images sometime after I took this photo.

Diorama inside of the “From Egg to Chick” book

Here’s what the project looked like the day that I left.  Like the dinosaur project, there is a book tucked into the middle pocket  which will contain student writing. I believe that these first graders will be writing a story featuring a baby chick. I hope that students will draw in a habitat around the chick. On the back side of these papers is a brief “Author’s Notes” page, along with a tracing of the student’s hand.

If you are so inclined to do this project, here are the pages that  I created that helped us keep moving along.

whoamIwith lines2

what an egg needs


Egg to chick title



bookbase lines

Now, with the files safely tucked into this post so that I can find them again, I can relax…

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