Allison's Book Bag

Student Projects with Words and Art

Posted on: July 24, 2015

Crafts and writing go together like peanut butter and jelly. Learn how to make fancy letters (calligraphy) to decorate greeting cards, bookmarks, and stationary. Design a treasure map for an adventure story. Go on a nature walk and keep a journal of your discoveries. Create a pop-up fairy tale. On the last day, assemble and take home your very own hand-bound book. And more!

For two weeks in July, I took on the new venture of teaching summer clubs. This post is about one of my clubs, Crafty Writers, which was for grade-two students. Early in July, I shared scans of an About Me poster, nature entry, and a hand-bound journal. These samples all represented my own creative projects over the years. Students in Crafty Writers replicated these projects, along with many others related to stationary, humor, nature, and pop-up books.

For stationary, students created letterheads, greeting cards, and bookmarks. The letterheads were created with a watercolor background and marker-based text design. So were the bookmarks. As for the greeting cards, these took the most time, due to being the most complicated. On the front is a greeting, inside is a maze on one side and a message on the other side, and finally on the back is a dot-to-dot image. Two samples are below. They’re opened up, so you can see all four sides.

GreetingCard_Lea GreetingCard_Noel

On that day, we also experimented with various art mediums and created what I call a “feeling” story. Basically, colors and sizes are used to convey the emotion of the story. One sample is below.


For nature, our group took an outdoor walk. After an hour of trekking around in the grass and sun, we returned inside to create. I read a book about analogies and then students wrote their own. I read a book about haiku and then students wrote their own. We also talked about synonyms and antonyms. As you can see, I connected nature to literary language! A few samples are below.




All of the above projects I already had experience teaching from previous clubs. Showing students how to create pop-ups was new to me. I drew heavily on examples from pop-up guru, Paul Johnson. We created a pocketbook listing our Likes and Dislikes. We created a pop-up monster story. Finally, we created a pop-up castle and wrote a fairy tale on it. A few samples are below, all of which are in the draft stage.





As I mentioned at the start, my students replicated some favorite projects of mine, including an About Me Poster and a hand-bound book. For the first, students use magazines instead of actual photos. For the latter, students created an autograph book with yarn instead of a hand-bound journal. Photos are below.

My being hired to teach two writing clubs this summer prompted me to focus my posts this month on writing projects. I hope you check out my recommended guides, as well as enjoy the reports about clubs and samples of our work. With another school year just around the corner, I’ll return in a week with my regular schedule. 🙂

4 Responses to "Student Projects with Words and Art"

Looks like a lot of fun while at the same time being really educational! Love it!

Crafty Writers looks like it was fun as well as educational. I enjoyed reading your interesting and well-illustrated account of it. Best wishes in returning to your regular schedule at Allison’s Book Bag and in preparing for the new school year.

Thank you! Our Wednesday activities probably most-related to school curriculum. After our nature walk, we talked about figurative language, comparisons, and poems. All these skills are learned in school too. 🙂 In addition, we wrote descriptions, a mode of writing taught in school and typically enjoyed by students.

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