For years, until she retired, I worked with an enthusiastic classroom teacher named Anna who loved seeing her students make books. Instead of teaching bookmaking skills she created a bookmaking corner in her classroom that included a little display of books that I had taught her how to make. These books were accompanied by written directions and a stack of paper. Anna’s third grade students had a great time making books independently.
Last week I received a note from Lana, a teacher in Canada who I follow and who always has insights that I value. Here’s what she wrote:
I started a personal history project with my kids today, with the big idea that our histories are different but we learn about each other because we are a community. Students start with creating a personal history of 5-10 important events in their lives. What if I open it a bit and let kids work with paper in 3 dimensions? Someone wants a line, someone else a book, a spiral, a tree, a flexagon?
I was wondering if there are some formats that you could recommend that don’t require too much pre-teaching. Ideally kids can follow template/video.
Thinking about Anna’s bookmaking corner, I want to suggest a few books to Lana.
I decided to take this opportunity to finally get around to creating the StarBook/Cascading Book tutorial (at the top of this post) with video accompaniment:
This modular origami book can be tricky, but it is totally doable, The folding needs to be done precisely, folds need to be sharp, and it’s important to pay attention to the orientation of the modules as they get glued together.
Fact is though, that it looks tricker than it is. It’s a structure I highly recommend because it’s so dynamic.
The next book I want to highlight is the Origami Pamphlet. This is the #1 book that I would like every person in the world to know how to make. Here’s the link to my post https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/how-to-make-an-origami-pamphlet
Mike Lawler made a 24 second video -Voila!- showing a piece of paper transform into the origami pamphlet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APfeGF0HqvY
The biggest problem with the origami pamphlet is that if you’re using regular copy paper, the book will be rather small, If this bothersome there are two good variations that result in a larger book (other than just finding a larger sheet of paper):
You can link two of the structures together with a rubber band. That’s what’s going on with the lilac/blue booklet above. Well, I guess it’s not actually a larger book, it’s just longer.
A way make a larger origami pamphlet is to use two sheets of paper to make two halves, then attach them together (use glue, tape, paper clips, staples? whatever ) like in the photo above. I call this half-or-an-origami pamphlet a book base.
An advantage of making a book this way is that, if composition paper is used, the lines will be going in the correct direction for writing on.
There are so many fabulous inventive book structures students can make, but sometimes it’s great to just fold a bunch of papers in half, secure them together, and be done with it. The problem here is that it is not obvious how to secure the pages together. A doable no-needle way to sew pages together in a classroom setting is to use a bit of string or yarn to do a modified pamphlet stitch.
There you have it, four books:
- the Star Book,
- the Cascading Book,
- the Origami Pamphlet (with two variations) and
- the Modified Pamphlet Stitch book
Lana’s note mentions a spiral. I’ve been playing with some spiraling pages lately, and I have something wonderful that I want to share, but the spiral deserves its own post: which will hopefully show up here in the near future.