Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mommy & Me Accordion Letter Book

I used to work in our school district's Writing/Arts Lab summer school. One of my favorite things to do with my second and third graders was create different types of books... accordion books were one of the types they loved. They were so fun to open and close... and open and close... and open and close. :) 

You can make them in a lot of ways... but the basic principle is the same. Here are a few tutorials you can check out if you can't figure it out yourself. I tried to explain what I did... but I'm not a tutorial genius.

We created a Letter A accordion book since it is the first letter/sound in my son's name and we've been talking about beginning sounds this week.

Materials Needed: various types and colors of paper (plain and scrapbook type with patterns), scissors (a paper cutter makes it even easier), glue, cardboard (we used a Lego box), and images the start with the letter you are studying.   

1. Decide how big you want your book. Then cut your paper to fit. The book will be the size of half of a long side of a sheet of paper.

2. Glue sides together to make it accordion style... or you can just use one long piece of paper and you won't have to use glue at all (see video tutorial above). I liked rotating the different colors. I made this one simple and just did 4 colors. It is even more fun if you do 8+ different colors or more pieces of paper to make it longer. I didn't want to overwhelm my little guy.

3. Let pages dry once they are all glued together.

4. Cut two pieces of cardboard to fit. They will be the front and back of the book.

5. Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper to cover the cardboard. The paper should be bigger than the cardboard. Cut the corners off at a slant (mine are a bit too perpendicular) and then add glue to the edges and attach the paper to the back of the cardboard.

6. Hold the paper in place and press down until everything sticks. Let it dry.

7. Gather your images while everything dries!
My son and I sat down together and talked about lots of things that started with the letter A. We got out my computer and looked at pages of pictures of words beginning with A and he decided which words were his favorite. Then we googled the specific objects and he chose his favorite. After that we uploaded each of the images to picnik and we sounded out the words while he typed them. It was AMAZING! Such a great activity for him to practice looking for the letters on the keyboard and listening to the sounds I would say and trying to figure out which letter came next in the word. It took us awhile, but by the end he knew where so many more letters were on the keyboard!

8. Print and cut out your images (I did this during lunch time and naptime, while I chatted with the kiddos).

9. Attach the cover and back cardboard pieces to the accordion pages and let that dry!

10. Glue the images into the book.

11. Add a cover.

12. Start reading! I have to note, I did not choose my son's outfit in the picture below. Can you tell? :) His new favorite thing during naptime is to strip, layer pull-ups over his underwear, and then change his outfit. This was today's sweet stylish creation.

My little guy really liked this book. It is really beautiful, but that's not why he likes it. He likes it because of the special mommy/Andrew time we had putting it together. He loved typing on my computer and having all my attention focused on him. It wouldn't have mattered what we made.

I love it because I got lots of cuddle time with my little guy while sneakily also working on my goal for the day- reviewing beginning sounds and reviewing many of the letter sounds in the alphabet. I also love book arts, so this was a fun project because I got to practice my book-making skills. Sometimes creating at our house can be selfish. :) This is not a preschool/toddler approved book. This is a mom approved book and is more appropriate for second and third graders to create independently.

Do you have any other favorite books you like to make? When you create letter books with students, what format do you typically use?

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