Hi. Siddie. i know...21 times sounds like a lot, hum? But...do you
realize how small a 4x4" piece of paper is? Besides...you can make
different pages of your theme (you don't have to make the same one
over and over). You can also break it down and have 2 or three swaps
going on in one room. Kids can make up their own teams with their
chosen theme. The possibilities are endless. Also...remember you're
not actually designing a full page of 4x4"...you need to save about
1.5" on the left side for binding so the main idea is taking up only
2/3 of the decorated 4x4". That's why I think fat books might be a
good thing. They could literally do 2 pages a day with average effort.
Try it yourself. It would be like altered books but waaaaaaay shorter.
I was thinking I usually have 30 kids per class so I would offer up 3
diff. themes and let them sign up for one of them and do 10 pages each
to see how it goes.
From what I gather dangles and embellishments are important to making
fatbooks interesting. Check out this site for embellishment ideas...
One sentence books....Remember that small book you once sent to me
that was hand-sized and the pages came out in one accordion pull and
each page had been cut with pop-outs and then watercolored? It sorta
like that. We did a lot of paper decorating techniques so had lots of
paper to use. The inside was decorated on long watercolor paper but
the whole thing was done in tempera instead. When glued in, the long
page made 11 page faces so before hand I had them pick a theme and
write a one-sentence story using 11 words describing an event with un-
trite adjectives, adverbs. Here's examples:
"Silver-winged dragons floated gently among purple-hued clouds of
"Standing in the warm sun, a dandelion waited patiently to be blown."
Now that is 12 words so he was allowed to put two small words
together. He chose "to be".
It blew me away what 7/8th graders could write. We discussed diff.
lettering styles and they wrote each word on a piece of paper, tore
them out, chalked them, and added the words to the books plus cut the
pop-ups. I think I have a jpg around here I can send to you.
For zentangles...do a google search. We did them the last 2 weeks of
school and my kids flipped for them. I never, ever had such a quiet
room with such a noisy class. Amazing. We made quick, little books to
put them into as well. I got really thin pens...thinner than fine
sharpies...and they attached their pen to their book so they could
take these little books with them anywhere and work on their
zentangles over the summer. They were really into these little things.
> About the fat books, are we really asking kids to make the same design
> 21 times?? They might (and me as well) be enthusiastic a couple of
> times, but 21? Am I understanding this right?
> I would want them to actually do some art work, not just decorate
> paper. I love the idea but I cant quite work it out in my head. I
> hadn't done altered books for a couple of years and then did it
> again this year--the kids always love ripping up text books to get
> started, but they are so big that they dont get much done --a few
> really get into it, but most just do the minimum and not get
> personally involved--also the time factor. It would take them most
> of the year to do a great book.
> I tried to make a sketchbook a couple of years ago using paste paper
> over mat board for covers and ring binders. The kids never bought
> in to it. They did the minimum I required--I really have a problem
> having them make sketchbooks that they love without spending too
> much class time on it. whine whine whine--aren't you glad I had
> trouble posting!!
> I bought a book called "Wreck This Journal" by I think a person
> named Smith--it had some interesting ideas for what to do
> in a journal--spill coffee and make something out of it--draw
> everything you ate in the last 24 hours--a list of artist's excuses.
> So what are one sentence books and zentangles?? Sid