Friday, May 4, 2012

Classroom Project


I've been preparing all week for a classroom bookmaking project that starts next week at the Hilltown Charter School in Haydenville MA. Two classes will be involved, a grades 2-3 mixed-class and 6th grade class. The students will work in teams, with one older student paired with each younger student. Students will write poetry with the classroom teachers and then choose one poem to be showcased with illustrations in a hand-made book--that's my part.

Here are some photos of the sample books I've been making, including the mock-up sketches and finished books. One is a poem that I wrote, and the other is a peachy poem by Emily Dickinson. Some people call this the lotus book, others call it the diamond-fold book.

Mock-up sketches. The second-graders still write with lines, so writing will be on a diagonal (just like in Persian poetry).

The finished books and some details of the illustrations and text:

The books are made from three 8.5" squares of origami-folded card-stock, glued together. The book folds up into a 4 1/4" square and has added covers and a button closure. The string that wraps around the button can also be used to hang the book on the wall.

These were my samples. To see student's work, go here and here

Want to try this project in your own classroom? Download draft sheets, printing sheets and instructions here.

Please note: print drafts sheets on copy paper and glue together; final pages are printed on white card-stock. All sheets are printed on 8.5 x 11, but cut to 8.5 square.


  1. These are great! How do you attach to eachother to hang?

    1. With the kids, we used glue sticks to attach the 3 folded squares together. Covers were prepared beforehand with 2 strips of double-stick tape and one extra strip on front cover for the ribbon. This saves time. I use 3M #415 tape from Talas in NYC or Scor-Tape from Ebay.

  2. This is most helpful for teaching poetry to my special students. Thank you for posting. May you continue to be blessed with ideas to share!