Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fourth Grade Poetry Books

I just did a project with the fourth grade students at the Molin Upper Elementary School in Newburyport, MA. It was funded by the Newburyport Education Business Coalition from a grant proposal by teacher Pat Levitt. The grant was for each student to produce a bound collection of poetry that was written throughout the year. I sent information on border design for the pages and cover design using cut and torn paper. The students had the pages and covers ready when I came to their classes to lead them through the binding process.

We displayed some of the finished products at the NEBC Annual meeting and were pleased to receive the award for the best project. They cited the facts that it involved all the fourth grades and it was sustainable with directions and the tools provided for teachers to continue on their own in coming years as the reasons for their choice.

Flags Accordion Book

This month's project was inspired by Flag Day which is June 14 in the US. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States in 1777. It got me thinking what thinking about what interesting objects flags are. My kids had a small book of flags from around the world and I used to love to look at it. The project uses the index card accordion book; the 3 x 5 cards are a perfect flag shape.

I made my flag book about my family heritage with a flag for each country of origin. Since there were four different countries, I used one accordion section and four cards. I used the side panel of a grocery bag cut in half the long way for the accordion. I used index cards for the pages but you could also cut recycled paper or cereal boxes to size. I glued another set of cards to the back for information about the flags: the meaning of the colors, when they were adopted. You can adapt your book to however many flags you are using. The accordion sections are in multiples of four pages. I think it is easiest to always make sections of four and cut off any extra.

Some other book ideas:
* History of the American Flag

* Flags of the Fifty States

* Countries of the World: countries could be chosen randomly or by region, language, or geography (countries with coastlines, countries with mountain ranges, etc.)

* Class or Family Book of Flags: Each person designs his or her own flag. You might want each person to make a large one for display and a smaller one to put in the book which would hold one from each.

Evolution of the US Flag

Flags of the 50 States

Flags of the World

Good Flag, Bad Flag: How to Design a Great Flag
Vexillology is the study of the flags. This site from the North American Vexillological Association uses examples to illustrate the principles of flag design.

Flag Concentration Game