Making Books with children · Making books with elementary students

Alaska Books with First Graders!

Three-Panel Alaska Book
Three-Panel Alaska Book

It’s been a busy book making season here! Lots of books have been finishing up in the classrooms, and now it’s time to start showing them off. This Alaska triptych (three panel) / folder was a project that particularly caught my fancy. Students had been following the Alaskan Iditarod. Using the Iditarod as a backdrop, the teacher Mrs. Kavney  connected the study of geography, math, science and reading. Continuing with the Alaskan theme, her class work on this book that included a report, tucked into the front pocket, a Haiku, mounted within the book, a pop-up tree, an Alaskan animal, and the aurora borealis in the background.

Alaskan animal swimming??
Swimming Alaskan Sea Otter, attached with paper springs

Each student studied a different animal. I gave the students a choice of cutting out and coloring a drawing that I gave them of their animal or drawing their own. If I had more time with these children I would have liked to have spent a full period helping them to do drawings of their own, but that was one detail that I had to forgo.

Alaskan Polar Bear
Alaskan Polar Bear

Still, the decision to put in a drawing of their own was offered, and I was happy when that was the decision that was made.

Alaskan Haiku
Alaskan Haiku

Mrs. Kavney did a Haiku lesson with her students, which was proudly displayed to the right of the Alaskan landscape. The students liked writing the Haiku so much that they asked to do more!

Alaska Grizzly

My friend Susan Share told me that the Alaskan landscape is full of tall spruce, so we created spruce trees to put on a pop-up. The star of the project, though, was the colorful northern lights behind the mountains. I will be writing a separate post on how we made these whimsical and colorful additions to the Alaskan night sky.

Alaska book, closed
Alaska book, closed

The folder/pocket on the outside of the books worked out well: the standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper tucked neatly inside. See my  post on planning out this book for dimension details.

These books looked great when I had my final day with the students. I think that they will be adding more detail to the backgrounds and the water. I am hoping that they add waves to the blue areas, more trees, some mountain villages, and maybe some stars.

2 thoughts on “Alaska Books with First Graders!

    1. Hi Sue! I think I tried out rubbing alcohol with sharpies (though I may be mistaken…there were sooo many failures) on absorbent paper, but wan’t happy with the results. But I don’t think that I tried rubbing alcohol with water based markers. I will give it a try. Anyhow, I was thrilled that water-soluble markers worked well, especially after rubbing the colors together using plastic wrap.
      nice to here from you…we’ve started planting our Kale!


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