So this week was the last week of term and now we're on a 10 day break before diving into the 4th and final term. I wanted to think of a fun way to keep my students writing in the holidays. I can't rely on them having access to writing material at home and I also believe strongly that when children have been involved in the process of making their own resources, they simply LOVE and engage with them more actively.
Enter ZINES! Zines are basically diy books made from folding single or sometimes multiple pieces of paper. They are a whole publishing subculture especially popular among artists and activist but they also have amazing applications in the classroom.
I wanted to design a zine that would allow my children to write some news or short stories during the holiday, including space for them to draw pictures. Each child folded and decorated their zine and then took them home.
Here's how we made our zines!
First I made a template by folding my own zine, designing a simple front cover and drawing 'writing lines' on each page inside. I chose to pre-title it (I called it 'Seven Small Stories') but later in the year I will definitely do more open-ended zine making where kids can design their own zine from scratch.
Next I photocopied one template for each of my students. Then I started directing them step-by-step in how to fold their zines. At each step I went round the class to help children who were struggling. Folding a zine requires quite refined fine motor skills as the paper needs to be folded precisely, so it is definitely a challenging activity for 6 - 7 year olds. Read more about how to fold a zine at this useful zine website (not my own).
...And lastly the children personalised the front cover of their zine by writing their name, drawing a picture for the front cover and colouring it in. I am so excited to see how they use their little writing zines in the holidays!
I intend to write a whole lot more about developing writing literacy, especially in ESL learners AND I also intend to write a whole lot more about how zines are an absolutely brilliant way to do this. If you enjoyed this post, read more snapshots about learning in my classroom!
A daunted but determined teacher irons out the creases of her brain.