Thursday, November 13, 2014

Palm Leaf Poetry Books--a classroom project

I've already written about the squash-fold hanging poetry books here and here and here. Those were done in a joint project with 2nd and 6th grade classrooms (working in mixed-age pairs). Here's another classroom project I did with the same pair of teachers, two years earlier. Again, it was part of their poetry writing unit. I wrote about it briefly once before, but am updating it to include instructions.

Based on the palm-leaf books of SE Asia, our hanging books had 4 "pages" with mat-board covers top and bottom. We first discussed possible layouts of text and illustrations, and then made draft pages on copy paper sheets in pencil. Second grade students used pages with lines for their text; sixth graders used blank pages. Books were woven together with waxed linen thread leaving a long tail with a button at the top, both for hanging and to wrap around the folded pages when closed. Pages were made from white tag board; covers were cut from colored mat-board. All covers and pages were cut and pre-punched at my local printers. Labels were designed by the students, usually a title on one cover, their name on the other.

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

Here are some examples of students' books:

Here is a hand-out I made that shows possible layouts of text and illustration.

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