A Novel Idea
By Elizabeth Carey, www.ballooningnesteggs.com
Help your niece or nephew write a fictional, fantastical story about a family member. Explore lots of questions, like if Grandpa Bill was a super hero, what would his special powers be? If Aunt Lilly was a detective, what kind of case would she solve? Create illustrations for the book, a cover, and be sure to include a dedication page as well as an author’s page. Keep the story fun and cast other family members as characters in the novel—bad guys, best friends, or side-kicks. To make the book in ‘zine style, follow these directions adapted from one of Meredith’s lesson plans.
8.5” x 11” paper
Drawing tools (e.g., pencils, markers, or crayons)
Collage materials for the cover (e.g., glue stick, old magazines, or multi-colored paper)
Access to a photocopier or a scanner to make copies to give away or to send electronically
1. Fold the paper in half lengthwise or “hotdog style,” matching one long edge with the other long edge. Take care to match the corners and fold carefully.
2. Unfold the paper and then fold the paper in half “hamburger style,” matching the two short edges of the paper. Be sure to match your corners.
3. Unfold the paper and then fold one short edge to the center crease. Then fold the other short edge to the center crease. This is a “cabinet fold.”
4. Unfold. Your paper should be divided into 8 rectangles of the same size.
5. Fold the paper back in half with the short sides matching “hamburger style” and cut along the crease from the folded edge, stopping at the first crease.
6. Unfold the paper and then refold it along the cut edge, “hotdog style.” Hold the folded paper on the outside edges, and move your hands toward one another so that the cut edge opens like a mouth. Continue moving your hands toward one another until the mouth begins to close and the booklet begins to flatten. Then squish the booklet flat.
7. Fold the booklet in half along the crease. Your booklet should have a front and back cover.
Published: November 27, 2012