Flower number 17: book making with students

Finding an authentic purpose for your students to practice the skills they've learned in your class is big. In a language arts block, one of most challenging tasks is to get the whole class set on writing with joy and excitement.

But when you've got it, there's nothing like it.

Forget writing skills for a moment-- seeing the entire group focused and writing their passionate little hearts out is what success feels like when you're a teacher.

One way to present an authentic purpose to your students is to have them write a book. There are so many steps in this project, and I've done it a few different ways, but my inspiration has been reignited through the artistry that I have found in so many online communities. I'd like to share them with you here, in hopes that you might want to explore this art from with your class, your children-- or yourself.

My favorite page for making books with children is just that:
Makingbooks.com from Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord

On Makingbooks.com, Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord offers teachers, parents, and kids great step-by-step tutorials for very easy, fun book making. She has a terrific page for teachers on how to get started. Here's another one from her blog.

Bee Accordion at Susangaylord.com

Below is another accordion book tutorial. I really like accordion books because they're fun for little hands to fold, and great practice for following directions and planning. They're also able to expand for presentation.

Bird and Little Bird presents a wonderful accordion book tutorial
Next, is a tutorial for an ancient art form-- Chinese book binding. This looks tricky, but it gives wonderful step-by-step instructions just for children.

Super tutorial for an ancient Chinese book binding style at Castle of Costa Mesa
Finally, here are two unconventional books that have stolen my heart. I can imagine using these styles in all shapes and sizes for so many reasons other than an artist book or treasure book. I think these formats would fit well with math and science in particular! Who says you have to keep writing practice in the writing block?

Marthat Stewart's Treasure Chests
Stephanie Davidson's Button Book, as featured on The Art Room Plant
BTW, Stephanie Davidson sells this little gem in her Etsy shop.

Pretty soon, I'll share photos and offer up some tips for hosting your class' very own Book Fair!

Happy Writing!

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