learn / 2015

Make a Book Read a Book

Make a Book Read a Book

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by BookArtsLA

BookArtsLA will offer onsite book arts projects for public elementary school programs affording teachers an innovative, quality curriculum enhancement. Understanding the classroom teacher’s requisite adherence to state standards, each of our book arts projects can align to a specific curricular subject. Students and teachers learn deeply by creating connections in a given subject area via the making of hand-made books.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Westside
  • Braddock Drive Elementary, Culver City, LA County (76% Latino); Stoner Ave Elementary, Culver City, LA County (91% Latino); ICEF Vista Elementary Academy (Charter) (94% Latino), Los Angeles; Grandview Elementary, Los Angeles (79% Latino).

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders
  • • Demonstrate the value of creative curricular projects to enhance learning.

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics?

  • HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math
  • Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.

BookArtsLA, as an organization, believes that hands on experiences create an environment more conducive to authentic, deep learning. BookArtsLA, though our “Make a Book, Read a Book” program, will engage elementary age students by teaching the art of handmade books. Teachers trained by BookArtsLA staff will visit elementary classrooms in the LA area to both create books that enhance student learning but also, at the same time, teach classroom teachers the concepts and techniques of making books. Once the program is completed at each school site, classroom teachers should be able to use these skills to enhance classroom learning for any grade level.

BookArtsLA, in collaboration with site administrators and faculty, will work with the chosen grade level to design and implement a project related to one subject area, e.g. science, social studies or language arts.

This program will target grades 3, 4 and 5 for the initial project. BookArtsLA will train two teams (of two teachers) to deliver a program to a class once a week, for 1-2 hours, for 4 consecutive weeks. Schools may have more than one class in the program. The class teacher will participate in the program along with the students creating a potential mentor for other teachers.

An unfortunate by-product of the new State and Federal Standards is the teacher’s perception that the classroom teaching is constrained by conforming to the standards. BookArtsLA believes it is possible to create a learning environment that uses some unconventional methodology to meet all of the curricular needs of teachers and students by teaching a subject more deeply via the production of student made books.

What skills are enhances by making book?

  1. Small Motor skills
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Research ability
  4. Literacy
  5. Drawing
  6. Storytelling
  7. Confidence Skills that promote learning and critical thinking are necessary for success in school.

A four week class will consist of the following: • Week 1: Discussion about what a book is, tools to make books and hands-on experimentation.
• Week 2: Students create pages of images and text for their book.
• Week 3: Students create pages combining pictures and words and assemble their books. • Week 4: Students make any last minute changes and present their books to classmates. Student take their newly created books home.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Survey participants, administrations and our own metric for success which are: • Did children enjoy the process of creating their own books? • Did students learn about their chosen subject? • Did they increase their reading and writing skills? • Did teachers feel that students increased their skills and enthusiasm for their subject and school?

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)