Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Like Making Books

I Like Me by Nancy Carlson is a simple book about the importance of feeling good about yourself and taking care of yourself. It's a great little book with fun bright ilustrations and a nice message about liking yourself. My pre-k lesson idea for today is really simple.

#1 Read this book

#2 have the kids (ages 3-5) make "I Like Me" books for themselves

I like this activity because it's really simple. I like it because it's super easy. I like it because it's easily adaptable for kids at different skill levels and learning levels. Mostly I like it because it produces an end product that reflects each child's personality better than a worksheet/coloring page does. You end up with a cool book (which your child may want to read repeatedly... if that's the case- awesome!) and it can also possibly be a cool keepsake.

Before school I made the books. There are lots of ways to make books for kids. Personally I like to sew them together. If sewn they are sturdy and look nice. It doesn't take much time but it does create a nice product. I simply used three sheets of computer paper and one piece of construction paper. I folded them in half, then used the crease as a sewing guide... straight stitch right down the center: voila.

I then wrote a few things in each book to keep us on track during class and to save time. Your book could include whatever. Because this lesson was about 'I Like Me' I decided to focus on: favorite things, eating good food, and family. I think that when you try to tackle a big project (like making a whole book) in one class period with small children it's important to keep it real simple. You don't want to sit them all down and go through page by page til it's done. It just won't be fun for anyone that way, and they won't turn out that great. I find that it's better to have each page or part of the book be an activity of it's own. Once you do one- change gears for 10 minutes, do something else, then come back to work on it again with a different approach.

The first page of our books was favorite color... I wanted the kids to have fun. Here's a chance to scribble all you want, fill the page with your favorite color how ever it pleases you!

After a little free time (everyone had a chance to spend as little or as long with the favorite color page) we changed gears. Stamping favorite animals instead of drawing.

After snack we went back to the books. I had already cut out a bunch of foods; they were ready on a tray. The kids were able to pick foods they like, then paste them on the favorite food page. We talked about foods, and eating to take care of ourselves and our bodies.

The next couple of pages focused on what we like about our bodies ending with our strong and capable hands.

The last page took us back to drawing. I decided to conclude with family portraits. Really (like I said before) you could include whatever you wanted in the book depending on your focus.

I forgot to mention, when class started I had a small piece of paper for each child to draw a self portrait on. That way when we finished they could tape their picture on the front of their book to mimic the book we'd read.

I think they turned out great! -robyn


  1. Wowee wow wow How I love this, as you already probably know. The family portrait in orange is great! and I love the idea of mixing collage with stamping and drawing and painting-genious! I'm learning about Zines at the library and these are amazing self published zines/alternative press from a bunch of 3 year olds! Book making really is for everyone! Lets all make books for each other for christmas, that would be awesome! -Bonnie

  2. p.s. too bad I'm so crappy at spelling
    p.p.s. Your sewing machine picture looks super great and cool!


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