Bookmaking for Kids

Help your students to make their very own books with our tutorial.

For people with careers in teaching, it is important to help students understand the importance of reading and literature. What better way to get them interested in the subject matter than to help them to make their own books? Here is some advice for English teachers and art teachers on how to help your students make their own books:

You will need: 
-Prong fasteners (3 per student)
-Cardboard (For this you can ask each student to bring in an old cereal box.)
-Paper (Regular computer paper works well for this.)
-Decorative extras like paint, glitter, fabric, glue ribbons. crayons, markers, old magazines and photos
-Paper cutter
-Hole punch

Before the students arrive
A potentially dangerous part of preparing to make these books is using a paper cutter, so take care of this part before your students arrive. Cut the paper and in half vertically with a paper cutter. Smaller books are easier for younger kids to handle. Plus, your paper supply will last longer when you cut the normal sheets in half. You can also make the bookmaking process easier by cutting the cardboard to size as well. With one of the half sheets of paper as a template, use a paper cutter to cut the boxes to size. Each student will need two cardboard pieces, one for the front cover and one for the back.

With your students
-Decide what the books will be about. Are your students learning about "Charlotte's Web?" Maybe they would like to write their own versions of Charlotte's adventures. Making their own fan fiction is a great way to get kids interested in the books they are reading and to get their imaginations going. 

-Number the pages. With the possible chaos that is to come in decorating the pages, having your students number the pages is very helpful to keep their stories in order.

-Decorate the pages. Have the students write their stories and then illustrate them with drawings, photographs, collages and more. 

-Decorate the covers. Your students should write out the book title and include their name as an author and illustrator.

- When the students finish working on the pages, use a hole punch to make three holes in the left hand side of the stack of pages. Also make holes in the side of the cardboard that you will use as the binding side.  

-Line up the holes in the front cover with the holes in the pages. Then line up the back cover with the rest of the stack. 

-Push the prong fasteners into the holes and separate the prongs to hold the book together.

-Voila! You've helped your students to self-publish. Not only have they learned about bookmaking, but they have also used their creative processes and imagination to make something that tells a story. They learn about math while numbering and making the pages and English while writing the story. Their parents will be thrilled to display their newly made book proudly in their home.  

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university.
WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit

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