There are few projects that students find as exciting and engaging as putting together a book. Whether you are making photo books, scrapbooks, autobiographies, or a combination of the three, putting these projects in a permanent bound book is a fun project from beginning to end.
There are countless ways to approach the book project, as far as coming up with a theme. You will first need to decide that the scope of you project is. For instance, you could have your entire class create a book about a recent class trip, for instance, or have each student make a book about his or her entire school year. Just keep in mind that the closer your students feel to the subject matter the more they will want to contribute to the process. Once the students start to get a real feel for the project, you’ll find that their enthusiasm and eagerness to participate grow by leaps and bounds. Making sure that each student his or her own personal copy of the finished book to take home and keep forever means that you are giving them a gift they will never forget.
There are a number of ways to go about this part of the book project as well. Depending on the grade and age of the students you are working with, you may or may not want to make things easier for them by creating templates and specific guides. For instance, if your students are younger,you can have pages that contain pre-drawn boxes that specify where the student should put a photograph (of him or herself, a family member or what have you) and some lines underneath on which you would like to have them put a description of the photograph.If you are working with older students who have interest in art, writing, photography, and design, you will of course want to give them a lot more free reign over their individual projects.
Depending on what kind of binding style you are gong to be using, you will have a number of options here as well. There has, for instance, been a large increase lately in the popularity of creating hardcover books for these kinds of school projects, and there is good reason for that. The machines that do this kind of binding are surprisingly inexpensive, and amazingly easy to use. Having a thermal binding machine, as these are called, on site is a great way to get students involved in the process from beginning to end, and to create a permanent, bookstore or library-style book that your students can be proud of — and that will stay on their family’s shelves for generations to come.
There are, of course, lots of other binding options to choose from. Plastic comb binding is a great method of binding documents such as these, and many schools already have the machines that do this style of binding. Spiral coil is an option as well, and creates a book that is fairly durable and easy to use.