Monthly Archives: February 2010

Useful links for bookmaking in the classroom


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting a session at the ESOL Conference at Kennesaw State University.  In truth, I had contemplated presenting back in October or November – whenever they were calling for presenters.  Then, I forgot about it – things are moving so fast this year!

I thought that, since I had not sent in an official presenter application, that KSU had forgotten about me, too.  So, imagine my surprise last month when I got an e-mail asking for my presenter information…  I decided to go ahead and go for it.

I had planned vaguely last fall to maybe give a presentation on making mini books in the classroom.  I have collected all sorts of resources on the internet, as well as bought many MANY possible supplies for making books.  So I gathered as much as I could find:  student examples, reference books, the photo albums and other book vehicles I had accumulated over the years.

Then, I worked and worked to plan on what handouts to provide with my session.  I included information on folding 8, 12, and 16 page books from one piece of paper, and I demonstrated these using LARGE pieces of sketchpad paper in the front of the class.  I also had a last minute inspiration to use some sentence strips to make little accordion books.  There were 35+ attendees, and I ran out of handouts because I had only made 35 folders of paper.

I worked very hard to compile a list of internet resources on the more accessible and fun mini book projects that I could find.  I told the attendees that I would make them available online.  Here we go (this may take more than one post):

8 page mini book:  There are many MANY sites that give instruction on how to make a book out of 1 piece of paper.  Some people call it a “hot dog” book.  I realize now that, since I gave people a copy of the folding directions, I didn’t include a link to folding directions.  Here is a link from Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord’s wonderful website called Making Books with Children.  At the bottom of the page, you can click on a link to print a PDF document of the instructions.

Pocket Mod:  I could probably write an entire post on the wonders of the Pocket Mod, the free recyclable personal organizer, and I may.  One day.  For now, if you go to, you can explore the different types of pages you can add to this little 8 page book – made, of course, from one printed page of paper.  You can even print out 8 tiny copies of the folding instructions for projects on 8 page books in your classroom!

That is only the tip of the iceberg – there is also a free piece of software called the PDF to PocketMod Converter (click on the link to the right of the page to download).  With this utility, you can type up 8 pages of your own and convert them to a mini book!  The only caveat is that you have to first convert your 8 page Microsoft Word document into an Adobe Acrobat document, or PDF.  If you have a Mac, there is already a utility to do this.  If you don’t, then you need to find a PDF converter to download.  I have BullZip PDF on my computer.

Additional useful links:

  • Eduzone has a tutorial on formatting text on a computer for a mini book using Microsoft Word, I think.
  • has a “staple-less mini book generator”  that allows students to format their own mini book, then print it out.
  • has a tutorial on making an 8 page paper bag book.  There are also story ideas.

Now, I am going to just try and put the rest of my links up – I did categorize them.  They are by NO means exhaustible in scope.

16 page mini books – a step up from the 8 page.  These are also called maze books or meander books:

Accordion books – there are LOTS of links on these:

Stapled books – these are simply made by folding paper in half and stapling the “spine”.  They are also called “chap” books:

Books in a Box – Most of these are accordion style, but some of the boxes are hand-made – you could put other kinds of books in a box, too.

I still have more to list, but I need to sign off and continue later!