Journals All Day Long

June 13, 2017

I’ve just noticed that I am more apt to blog about a project before I do it with kids when I am very nervous about how it will turn out.

I was very nervous about most of the projects that I wrote about in my last post. 

Making beautiful drawing journals in one class period is challenging. I’m relieved to say that the day of bookmaking went really well.

This post will mostly be a photo essay of making five styles of books, with kids ages 4 though 11.

Pre-K Book, Pipe Cleaner Binding

Pre-K Book, Pipe Cleaner Binding

 

The Pre-K kids immediately started to fill their books with drawings,and showing their creatations to each other.

Pre-K sharing

The Pre-K kids immediately started to fill their books with drawings, and lost no time showing off their creations to each other.

First Graders, book on a stick

Kindergartners, book on a stick

Kindergartners did a simple rubber-band and stick binding. They all wanted to decorate their sticks.  Most of the students tended towards making animal shapes with the bling.

First Graders, envelope book

First Graders, envelope book

The big surprise of the day, for me, was both how quickly the first graders finished their project and how amazingly beautiful they turned out. These books took them only twenty minutes to make.

First graders assembling their books

First graders assembling their books

Knowing what I know now I would slow the project down and help the kids less. I was so nervous about how this project would  go.

Assembling envelopes into pages

Assembling envelopes into pages

 

Finished Envelope books

Finished Envelope books

 Wallpaper-sample covers were simply glued on.  These look so good to me.

Simple sewing, lots of embellishments

Simple sewing, lots of embellishments

The modified pamphlet stitch book with pocketed covers made by 2nd & 3rd graders was the only project that I’ve done so often with students that I knew it would go well.

Second and Third graders made sewn book with beads

Second & Third graders made sewn book with beads

 

Ribbon Journal

Ribbon Journal

The highlight of the day, for me, was making these sewn journals with 4th & 5th graders.

 

 

The book block was made from 4 pieces of 11″ x 17″ papers folding into origami pamphlets, then sewn together side-by-side. All the holes for sewing were punched by paper punches.

Wallpaper-sample covers were attached by threading ribbons through holes in the cover and endpapers.

Ribbon Journals made by 4th and 5th graders

Ribbon Journals made by 4th and 5th graders

This project ran a bit over time. We were suppose to finish in 45 minuets, but it took 50 minutes. No one complained 🙂

Aerial view of Ribbon Books

Aerial view of Ribbon Books

These books, like most of the other books made yesterday, were constructed without glue, The only exception is the envelope books.  I didn’t exclude the use of glue intentionally, but I guess I think about glueless structures more often than not.

This was the last class of this school season. Now I can get back to some housecleaning.

I am ending this season happy!

 

Japanese Binding in the Classroom

Success! I had one classroom period to help Mario’s Mandarin students make a Japanese-style bound book.

I was nervous about teaching this class because I don’t think that I’ve ever taught Japanese binding. Since my daughter is a student in this class I especially wanted the outcome to be good.

This won’t be a step-by-step tutorial, but if you want one I suggest checking out http://beccamakingfaces.com/theory-of-japanese-stab-binding/  for lots instruction, history, and  beautiful samples. Also, my last post has more details on how I designed this project.

Start the sewing by making a running stitch from top to bottom

Start the sewing by making a running stitch from top to bottom

The one bit of instruction that I do want to record here is the method I used to teach the sewing.  First let me say that if you are already familiar with Japanese binding you will notice all sorts of ways that I deviate from traditional methods: the ways that I teach in classrooms are always modifications of classical techniques, otherwise projects would take longer than the time that I am allowed. And, yes, I am sometimes self-conscious about the ways that I wander.

SO! moving on here…First, I demonstrated making a simple running stitch, going in and out of the holes that were punched through the book. Making this running stitch is a simple concept to teach. To make the pattern on the edge so that it will look like the side pattern below, I told the students…

???????????????????????????????

…nothing. That’s it. Nothing. I showed them the final look of the sewing and I asked them to work it out themselves, only telling them that they shouldn’t sew over any spot that already has sewing on it.  This is a great way to instruct, and I do this sort of teaching more and more often, especially when the steps are easy to see but difficult to explain. Well, it worked like a charm, and each student was able to do the sewing much more quickly than I had projected.  This was great, because it meant they had more time to decorate!

Working on decorating the cover

Happy Hands

These are my daughter’s hands above.  Her work space looks eerily similar to mine.

Filling in Fu

Filling in Fu

The students seemed to like having the origami papers and the symbol Fu, which I am told means luck or fortune, to glue onto their book covers.  When the class period was over we cleaned up quickly, and I drove home slowly, as the snow from the day before was blown all over the roads.

Driving away

Driving away from Long Trail School

Driving slowly was fine, as I could  better take in the views.

%d bloggers like this: