Crazy things happen to my students when I tell them that we are going to make booklets in class. They do not even recognize that there will be writing required to fill the booklet. Their attention is focused completely on the class set of scissors, stack of paper, and big bin of assorted colored pencils. I have a handful of favorite foldable booklets that I am sharing below. I also included a new one I am trying this year with my poetry unit called a tunnel booklet.
Teacher Note: To fold a piece of paper the hamburger way is to fold any rectangular piece of paper in half the short, fat way. An 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper would become 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″. To fold a piece of paper the hot dog way is to fold any rectangular piece of paper in half the long, skinny way. An 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper would become 4 1/4″ x 11″. The top of the tent is the folded edge of the paper. If you were to stand your folded piece of paper up on the table like a tent, the part at the top is the edge you usually need to cut. Don’t ask me who came up with this terminology, but it saves me a lot of messed up pieces of paper.
Parent Note: Any of these booklets can be adapted for scout projects, book reports, science reports, or home schooling.
I use these for an activity with Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. When we read the chapter about Danny’s granddad’s great pheasant poaching methods, the students choose one of the crazy poaching methods from the story. The students break the poaching method into steps and write the steps with illustrations into the Tiny Books to create a “How To” booklet. This is a great way to introduce technical writing and procedures (anyone prepping for science fair?).
- basic white copy paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, (one per student)
We make these booklets for a lot of novel studies in my class. I recently used them while reading The Bread Winner by Arvella Whitmore. I created a Bread Winner Burrito Book Template and made a gazillion copies (front and back) that gave the students space to write a gist statement (one to two sentence summary of a chapter), character notes, and historical facts for each chapter in the book. I also use these booklets for point of view journals. This activity works well for The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. At the beginning of the book, students select one main character. After reading each chapter, the students re-tell the chapter in the first person from the point of view of their chosen character. I mentioned this writing activity before in my Novel Ideas post.
- basic white copy paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 6 sheets per student? (1 piece of paper = 4 booklet pages)
- construction paper, any color, 1 per student (optional– can be used to make a cover for the booklet)
- glue stick if adding construction paper book covers
- Step 3: Pick up the second pile of papers. Starting about 1-inch from the folded edge of the paper (top of the tent), cut a long skinny rectangle out of the center of the page. Stop 1-inch before the other end of the paper. This is the same as cutting a Valentine heart out of the center of a piece of paper.
Pop Up Books
Kids get really creative with the cutting on these pages. Once you teach the basic pop up, they quickly discover how to add more details. Currently, I use these with tall tales. We read a few picture books (McBroom and the Big Wind by Sid Fleischman, A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech, and Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin) and discuss the basics of a tall tale. Students then write their own tall tale, break the story into about 6 sections (which will become the text for each page), and book production begins.
- basic white copy paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″ (~6 pieces per student)
- class set of scissors
- class set of glue sticks
- construction paper (1 piece per student)
- colored pencils or markers
- Step 5: When one page is completed, use a new piece of paper and create a new pop-up page. Do the second page of illustrations and text. When pages are ready, you will attach the back of the bottom of the first page to the back of the top of the second page. Use a glue stick and run glue around the outside edges only. If you glue too close to the center, it might stick the pop ups to each other.
I found this cool pin on Pinterest (thank you Cheryl at Teach Kids Art) and decided to add this activity to my poetry unit. The students were going to be writing Haikus anyway, so it seemed like a good project. Plus, my poetry unit is a few years old, and I needed something new to freshen up the content. I think I could also use these as character tunnels. A picture of the main character would go on the back panel, and the student could document changes in the character with each frame. Hmmm, I can see this showing up in my Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell unit in the spring– stay tuned.
- 4″ x 6″ postcard, horizontal picture, one per student
- 4 per student 4″ x 6″ white notecards
- 4 per student 4″ x 6″ white notecards each pre-cut into 2- 3″ x 4″ pieces*
- 1 per student 3″ x 5″ notecard, cut to 2 ½”x 4 ½” (color other than white if possible, use as a template for tracing the opening)*
- glue stick
- pencil and eraser
- black fine tip pen (Sharpie works well)
- colored pencils
* I recommend doing this step ahead of time for your students with the paper cutter in the teacher workroom.
- Prep: Make the hinged sides for your book by folding each of your 3”x 4” index cards accordion style. Fold in half the hot dog way (mountain fold), then fold each loose edge up (valley fold) to line up with the fold in the middle. I used lined notecards to illustrate direction of the folds on the hinges better. Trace the 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle on the center of the 4 remaining notecards.
- Step 1: Write one line of your haiku across the top of each of 3 cards, and your title (if you want one) across the other. Trace with Sharpie. Illustrate each page of your book by choosing elements from the post card and repeating them on the edges of each page. Keep most of your design along the top, bottom, and sides but allow some elements to overlap into the center section. Color with colored pencils.
Step 5: Assemble your tunnel book, working from the back (line 3 of your haiku) to the front, gluing the back of each hinged page to the hinges behind it.
Haiku Tunnel Poem Finished (top view)
Haiku Tunnel Poem Finished (front view)