My daughter's school has a really fun alternative to the usual elementary book report. Kids are encouraged to read at least one book a month and to complete a "Book-It" for it. Book-Its are choice projects that really engage readers and allow them to creatively share something from the book. Examples include creating a new book jacket, a board game inspired by the book, writing a letter to the author, a diorama of a scene from the book, a drawing a map for the book's setting, and interviewing a character from the story.
As an avid reader of children's books myself, I absolutely love working on Book-Its with my kids. I thought I'd share some of the fun ones we've completed and the books they were inspired by.
For this one we recreated the treehouse from story. The ship is a cardboard frame with popsicle sticks glued all around. (A little steam make the sticks easier to bend around curves.) The "tree" is a branch that was screwed to a piece of scrap wood. We had a little leftover wood stain that we brushed onto the ship. Bits of twine and fake moss finished the look.
In SCUMBLE, the main character Ledge has the ability to wield metal. In one of the final scenes of the story, a friend of Ledge sculpts metal into large jack rabbit sculpture. We created our own version by building frame from a coat hanger than was then bolted to a piece of wood. We then covered it with foil and glued on every scrap screw, washer, nail, and nut we could find!
Katherine Applegate is one of our very favorite authors, so we couldn't wait to dream up a project for Willowdeen. The descriptions of hummingbears and screechers was so detailed that we decided to create them! Plus, my daughter has been learning to sew and this was a great application. The screecher was created from a wild boar plushie pattern. The hummingbear wings were found in the doll-making section of a craft store.
The idea of faraway places being secretly connected by pillow forts was such a fun one. We used cardboard to create five different rooms from the book and sewed TONS of tiny pillows. It was actually the perfect project for my daughter, who was dying to learn to sew. Her Lottie Dolls fit perfectly inside and we even had two of them, one to be Maggie and one to be Abby.