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Storytime Crafts: Bringing Books to Life in the Classroom

5 projects that will align with books that can spark imagination and understanding in your young scholars 

Children LOVE books, they are able to visit new places, imagine worlds beyond our own, see themselves going on adventures and learn valuable lessons through the reading of books. I cannot tell you how many times students have run up to me grinning from ear to ear eager to tell me about the amazing story they were reading about. Taking these books and extending them a step further through interaction and creation is a perfect way to keep their learning moving forward. There are countless books that students love to listen to or read for themselves. I have selected only a few that you could buy, pick up at the library or borrow from a teaching colleague if they happen to have it in their own classroom library. These are fan favorites from the scholars I have worked with and I am sure your little learners will love them too! 

1. Llama Llama, Craft-irama

The Llama Llama series is one that students cannot get enough of. You can pick up any number of these books to read to your class and they will all cheer and shout for joy! Here are two different crafts you could do to extend these creative and fun stories for students. You will also need your MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine for both of these crafts. For the first craft you will need paper plates as well as the Unicorn #2 Die Cut and the Flowers #5 Die Cut. Pass out a paper plate to each of your brilliant scholars. Make sure you also have precut Unicorn features and small flowers using many different colors of paper. Allow students to create faces that express feelings that Llama Llama might have experienced in the story. This would be a great opportunity for students to sit together and discuss emotions, feelings and problem solving that happened in the text and then connect it to a time they experienced something similar.

For activity number two this could work for kids all the way through upper elementary ages. You will need to cut out enough unicorns for your entire class, you may even choose to cut out several for each of your learners. You will use the Llama #2 Die Cut for this craft. The students could simply decorate and draw their llamas or they could dig a little deeper and write a quick summary of the story or the moral of the story. They could also decorate both llamas and then write the problem on one llama and the solution on the other as a way to show how conflict is resolved in stories. Both of these activities are a way to extend the learner after the reading of a book to students. They get to apply both their understanding of what was read and add their creativity to their thinking.  

2. Donut Forget to be Descriptive

This activity is a perfect addition to go beyond the reading of the book Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller. This book is filled with the most incredible descriptive words. The adverbs and adjectives used are a great example to show students how to bring their own writing alive. I would pull this book out after a lesson on word choice, voice and descriptive writing. As I read the book I would have students write down all the adverbs and adjectives that they hear during the story. After the reading students can take their learning a step farther by creating These donuts with descriptive word sprinkles. Start by pulling out your MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine, you will also need to utilize and cut out enough donuts for your class using the Donut Die Cut. Lastly, you will need to cut out sprinkles for the donut using different colored paper. Pass out the donut, the frosting and the sprinkles to each student, they will need to count the number of adverbs and adjectives they wrote during the read-aloud. They will glue the frosting on to their donut, then glue the sprinkles on to the frosting and then write a descriptive word on each of the sprinkles.  

3. Hungry for Reading and Crafting

This craft goes along with the longtime childhood classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This is a great craft for preschoolers or kindergarteners. It will help promote the building of motor skills, patterns, gluing and discovering some of their own creative choices. You will need to use your MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine and you will also need to use the Build A Bug Die Cut Set. You will cut out a bunch of the circles from this set as well as sets of legs for your students to glue on to their caterpillars. Use many different colors for the circles so students can create their own patterns as they make their caterpillars. You could pick the number you are focusing on for the week, maybe it is the number 6- have them pick out 6 circles then glue them together and add their legs and antennae. You can have scholars draw their own eyes for their bug or you could also use googly eyes to complete their adorable caterpillars.  

4. We’re Not Scared of getting Creative 

This is a super fun extension to add on after reading the book Are You My Monster? by Amanda Noll. This book is a fun new take on the idea of a monster being under your bed. It turns out that the monster is less scary and more comforting to the main character. You might read this book to teach on point of view or perspective. You could also pull out this story when teaching about prosocial skills such as being strong enough to ask questions, believing in your own ability to build friendships with the most unlikely of characters or people.

After doing this read aloud and any teaching you want to attach to it you can then put the next step in the hands of your learners by having them create their own monster, For all of these elements you will need to use the MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine. Then use the Monster Die Cut to cut out monsters for the scholars to pick from. You will also need to use the Heart #3 Die Cut. Allow students to pick out the pieces they want to create their monster, have them glue a heart to the front and then allow them to pick a word to describe themselves and what they want to be known for by their peers.   

5. The Superhero within Us All

This craft is a perfect way for students to view themselves as capable, strong and successful individuals. What is the superpower we all have the potential to use and create a better world? Kindness of course. Take time to read the story How to be a Superhero and Change the World by Tara Steele. Then lead a discussion on how kindness is what makes each of us a superhero, it is how we leave a mark on the world and make it a better place. The best way to extend this idea is to have students turn themselves into heroes. To do this you will need to have taken, printed and cut out each learner's face for them to add to the super hero body. You will use the MARK 5 Die Cutting Machine as well as the Super Hero Selfie Die Cut. To prepare you will need to cut out all of the elements of the super hero for students to select. You can use a variance of colors for this so students have a chance to pick their favorites when turning themselves into a hero for kindness.

These different crafts and read aloud activities are just a few examples of ways you can add creativity and imagination to help solidify the learning that can happen from reading books. Students will create memories that attach to those stories that they will never forget.       


Written by Amy Pinegar.