Can Grade 2/3 students “bind” their own books?
Yes, they can… with a little scaffolding and a whole lot of creativity!
This project was inspired by the bookbinding workshops I took with Nancy Dawes. Nancy is an incredible and inspiring artist, a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), and a trained bookbinder. Nancy was so methodical in breaking down each step of the process that I knew that one day I could teach my students to bind their own books in the library.
Fast forward to Spring 2021, and such an opportunity presented itself when the Grade 2/3 teacher enlisted my help in making writing “fun”. We wanted the students to have a special place to free write that wasn’t in their typical half-lined journals.
So, we made our own writing books.
We “cheated” by buying colourful lined notebooks from the dollar store to save time and avoid using sewing needles. I would do this again in a heartbeat for any primary grades.
I found "free" fabric in the art room and the students chose from three colours.
Students also chose inside front/back cover paper.
I traced and cut out the front/back covers and spine pieces out of chipboard and fabric to speed up the process.
1. Front and back OUTSIDE covers
1. Attach spine to covers
1. Glue writing pad on back INSIDE cover
2. Add bling to the front OUTSIDE cover
The students thoroughly enjoyed the process. I even found a few of them during recess writing poems and stories in their new books!