We are back with the second installment of our Book Art Series in collaboration with Erica from What Do We Do All Day! If you haven’t seen the first installment in this series here’s how it works: Erica is creating book lists for kids based on a topic and I’ll be supplying a companion activity. We want to inspire the young creators and authors in our children! Our first project was Pop-Up Books and can be found here.
For today’s topic we decided to focus on math, specifically shape activities for kids. Erica has compiled an amazing list of shape based books for kids. You can find links to five of the books here and five more on What Do We Do All Day. For a companion activity I created a downloadable template for an easy to make shape book. Color and layer those shapes and you have op-art!
This activity is the perfect opportunity for kids to become familiar with basic geometric shapes. I truly believe that hands-on experiences make for the most memorable lessons. Having kids cut out the shapes and assemble the book in order of the number of sides per shape will give them a wonderful opportunity to associate the name, number, and look of each of these basic shapes.
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Math Book Art: My Shape Book
- My Shape Book Template (download here)
- Cardstock/Paper (colored or white)
- Markers (these work incredibly well for quickly adding a LOT of color)or crayons or colored pencils or paint (use with white cardstock/paper)
- Step One Download and print the template on 8 ½” x 11” card stock. Print “Actual Size.” DO NOT PRINT TO FIT or your shapes won’t align.
- Step Two Cut out individual pages.
- Step Three Color the page AROUND each shape and color the back page. If you are using colored paper you can skip this step.
- Step Four Crease each shape at the dotted lines and make a cut at the center.
- Step Five Cut out remaining shape. Repeat for all shapes.
- Step Six Layer the pages in the following order, according to the number of sides in the shape:
Cover, Circle, Octagon, Hexagon, Rectangle, Square, Triangle, Back Page
- Step Seven Staple pages together along the left edge.
You’re done! I love how the layering of colors and shapes creates op-art design!
- If you plan on coloring the pages I highly recommend printing on cardstock. Saturating paper with markers or paint sometimes makes the edges curl. Heavy weight paper will help counteract this.
- In lieu of coloring cardstock you may print on colored cardstock. For different colors of each shape you will need to have 6 different colors of paper and 1 sheet of white paper/cardstock. Print as directed. You will be able to make 3 different books with this number of sheets.
- Use the template in your classroom/homeschooling for a simple geometry lesson. Round out the lesson with some books from our book list.
- It may be challenging for younger children to cut out the negative shape. You can either assist them or have tape at the ready to fix any accidental cut-throughs!
- Be aware that if you cut paper to size, i.e. cutting larger paper to 8 1/2″ x 11″, that your shapes may not align perfectly when you stack the pages edge to edge. It’s human nature that we cannot cut things exactly alike! In this instance, align the shapes, staple, then trim the edges. We did that with our colored books because I cut down the day-glo pages from larger sheets.
Here are some books made by kids! Clara made the one below and Erica’s son made a water color version. I love that!
Now it’s time to keep exploring shapes with more books! Take it away Erica….
Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes Folk art-inspired illustrations, addition of Spanish words and a playful, rhyming text elevate this tried-and-true “see all the shapes around you” concept book above the usual fare. Children explore their world, discovering the shape of objects, both universal, like bird nests, and from Latino culture, like tortillas. A glossary is included.
Shape by Shape If you are familiar with the popular Go Away Big Green Monster, you will recognize the concept behind this book. Each die-cut page is turned to build a new characteristic of an animal which is not revealed in its entirety until the end of the book. A large fold out at the end allows kids to point out all the different shapes they find.
Elizabeth Schoonmaker sent me a copy of her wonderful book, Square Cat. What’s a square cat to do in a world made for round cats? Your kids will giggle as Square Cat tries to fit into the curvy world. She especially has difficulty when she accidentally tips over! Fortunately, right-angle cats can have round cat friends who show her how much fun being square can really be.
Perfect Square Author Michael Hall starts off with a perfect square… and then he does things to it. Such as cutting off the corners, poking holes in it, or tearing it into pieces. With each modification the square transforms into something new. This is the kind of book that will inspire your own art project with the kids. How many ways can their imagination transform a simple square?
Shapes, Shapes, Shapes Tana Hoban has several books to teach children about shapes in the world around them. Her photographs are always bold and engaging. After reading this book, go on a shape walk to find shapes in familiar objects around your own neighborhood.
For the next five books in this list pop over to What Do We Do All Day!
Shape activities for kids can become art and design with this easy to make DIY book. You may just be inspiring a future architect by letting them fall in love with geometry, color, and form. I know I was obessed with them as a kid (ahem I still am obsessed with them) and look what happened to me! Be sure to pop over to Erica’s site to check out how her children’s version of the book and find 5 more amazing resources for teaching basic geometric shape to kids!
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