Tuesday, September 30, 2008

271--Pop-Up Books Lesson Plan

This is a wonderful project that bridges art and writing. It could also have an integrative aspect (science, math, social studies, etc.)

Several sheets Oak tag or Bristol board to be folded in half & used for figures
2 pieces of heavy chipboard, a little bigger than your book
Drawing paper to make covers with
Pencil, eraser
Practice paper
Elmer’s Glue
Sharpie Markers
Watercolor Brush
Water Can
Colored Pencils
Note: Do not use pastels or craypas, as they will smear.

Begin by planning your book. Decide how many pages you want it to have and how many moveable characters you will need. Most likely, your book will be horizontal in format, so plan accordingly.
Your story can be worked out on scratch paper. Students may use word processing and cut out their printed copy and glue it to the bottom of their books after the illustrations are done.
The top half of the book will be background for an outside scene or the wall for an inside one. The bottom half will be for the story and is the ground or floor. Your pop-ups will come out of folded area.
Once you have your story, fold your oak tag in half and draw your scene lightly in pencil. Outline in sharpie and watercolor in. Colored pencils can be used later, if you wish. Mixed media can add a rich look to your art work.
On separate oak tag, make your characters. When dry, cut out.
Book Assembly: Pop-ups are based on the idea that everything will fold flat along scored lines when the page is closed.
First draw an “11” on the outside of the fold. Make sure your pop-up will not extend outside of your book by visually measuring first. The “11” can’t be too thin or too thick, too long or too short. As you do this, you will get the hang of what size to make your “11”. Fold back and forth to score and put back into position. Open the fold and push out your “11” which now becomes a stair step. Your pop-up will get glued onto the front of the stair step—not the top!
For a slider, make the “11” and then cut a long strip twice the length of the slider you want. Slide it through your “11” and then glue it to itself at one end. Then glue the character or thing on the outside of the strip.
You also may use z-strips—small strips folded like zees that pop out things like clouds, birds, etc.
Advanced pop-up techniques include angled folds and pop-ups attached to pop-ups. There are many books to refer to if you want to get more sophisticated.
Glue your pages together, being mindful not to slop glue too near the open holes formed by the “11’s”.
Cover: The cover uses the “envelope” technique I showed you for your accordion books. You need to create a spine for your book which will vary depending on how many pages you have. Lay your cardboards our on your cover paper with a space between them that will become the spine. It may be as close as a quarter of an inch or as far apart as three-quarters of an inch. Trace the cardboard and remove. The cardboards, remember, are a bit bigger than the book pages (Maybe ¼” or so on each side). Draw envelope flaps from the exact corners. Angle in, not out! The spine area is just made straight. The lines are only drawn on an angle from the corners. Put the cardboard back on the tracing and fold the flaps tightly over the cardboard and tape down. Do this all eight times.
Draw your cover, sharpie and watercolor. Put your title on the cover and your name, too. It should have a compelling illustration to make us want to open it.
The last step is gluing the end book pages to the cover. Glue around the edges, and your book is finished.

Share the books as usual. Books may be displayed in the library or classroom.
Follow-up or Variations:
Students can make pop-up cards using this technique. Simple one page pop-up pictures can be done by kindergartners. If you want to display on a bulletin board, tie a piece of yarn or string on the oak tag to hold the fold open.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

271--Shape Books Lesson Plan

Shape Books (K- adult)
This is a very easy way to take a simple writing assignment to another level.

Aims: •To create a hand-written and drawn book
•To integrate other curriculum into your art lesson such as science, math, writing, poetry, social studies, etc.

Materials & Tools:
construction paper/white drawing paper (9 x 12 works well)
pencil, eraser, sharpie marker
colored pencils, watercolors, construction paper crayons
watercolor brushes, water can
Note: markers don’t look good on colored paper and craypas will smear, so I don’t suggest those materials

Have students work out their stories on scratch paper. You could do an assignment about their families, heritage, a science topic such as metamorphosis or the weather or it could just be a creative work.
They then need to come up with a shape that makes sense for their topic. The shape must be drawn simple enough to be cut out and large enough to contain the words and illustrations. One trick I use to get kids to draw large enough without a tracer is to have them make their shapes touch all four edges of the paper, thereby assuring a good-sized shape. Make sure the book has a way to staple together. It may open from the bottom, rather than the right side.
Students then cut out as many pages at one time as they need for their books. If they are making long books, they can trace their own shapes, which is valid tracing. Using tracers is a no-no in my book.
If you are using watercolor and sharpie marker, have students outline in sharpie first and the watercolor. Sharpies are oil-based and will get ruined if they get wet. When using watercolor, have students wake up their watercolors by making a puddle in each color. Make sure they know how to wast a brush off between color changes and how not to drum the side of the can. (Tickling the brush is better, since it doesn’t create spray.) When drawn and colored, staple books together.

Handy Hint:
Store watercolors open and they will dry in between use and last so much longer.

Always share your students’ work. These look great hung up on a bulletin board, too.

Make a sequel, using the same shape.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

272--Profile Poem

This is super-easy and highly adaptable to many situations. Grades 2 and Up.

Aims: To get students writing
To use the letters of their names or other thematic device to provide an in-built structure for a poem
Optional: To have students begin rhyming

Materials: paper, pencil, eraser, art supplies of your choice

Procedure: Have students write your assigned theme vertically on practice paper. They then must begin each line with a word starting with the first letter listed there. You can set all sorts of guidelines such as describing words only or making a true poem
They can then rewrite it and color and illustrate it with mixed media or your choice of materials.
Here's my (true story)example:

Sweetest creature, don't mean to boast
No dog compares, not even close
Utter devotion, trusting and dear
Gentle with kittens, with babies? No fear.
Gracious and loving, up to our goodbye
You were in pain, and you had to die.