A great way to combine art and language skills, as well as to boost self-esteem, is to make an acrostic book based on your child's name.
The idea to make an acrostic book was inspired by a post on That Artistic Woman.
We recently made acrostic books and found that both the process and the results were well worth it. To make an acrostic book, many skills are used and developed - e.g., maths, art, language. Also, making an acrostic book based on a child's name is a fantastic opportunity to positively build a child's self-esteem.
Materials Needed to Make an Acrostic Book:
- a number of sheets of cardboard
- a computer/tablet (optional, but is of help when trying to think of adjectives)
First, we engaged some maths skills to make the pages of our acrostic books. As our cardboard was A4 size, the final width of our acrostic books was limited to the width of the A4 cardboard when positioned in a landscape orientation (29.7cms). We began by cutting strips of cardboard so that they were all the same height (e.g., 10 cms) and width (29.7 cms).
To work out the size of the a pages, we divided the width (29.7 cms) of the cardboard by the number of letters in the child's name. For example, the name "Daniel" has 6 letters therefore 29.7 ÷ 6 = 4.9 cms with .3 remaining cms. (Note: We added the .3cms to the first page to give a bit more room for the staples.) Therefore, the sizes of the pages in Daniel's book measured:
|Page 1||Page 2||Page 3||Page 4||Page 5||Page 6|
|Height||10 cms||10 cms||10 cms||10 cms||10 cms||10 cms|
This may all look a bit complicated to work out at first but it really is simple once you get going.
Next we stapled the book together so that the pages ascended in size, starting with the smallest page first and finishing with the largest page.
We found it helpful to mark, in pencil, where each page finished on the page following it. This helped to define boundaries so that any writing on the individual pages couldn't be seen when the book was closed.
The next step involved writing one letter of the name on the right hand side of each page so that all the letters could be seen clearly when the book was shut.
Then it was time for some thinking and researching. The boys were encouraged to write as many words as they could think of and find, beginning with the letters of their names, that described them. For example, "D" is for different, dramatic, decent, deep.
We found it helpful to access a website listing adjectives. The boys scrolled through the adjectives and searched for words they thought described them. We had fun with this as we suggested words for each other which obviously didn't apply (e.g., dead, deboned). (It probably doesn't sound funny now but at the time the boys thought it was hilarious!). The activity provided a great way to introduce vocabulary that we don't use every day (e.g., dazzling/dashingly handsome).
It was interesting to see the list of words the boys wrote to describe themselves ... words that I perhaps wouldn't have used but which they felt were appropriate (e.g., dangerous).
Step five introduced the artistic element of the activity as the boys needed to doodle or illustrate the letters of their name. The wonderful part of this activity is that there is no right or wrong way to do it.
Daniel creatively wove a story into his letters which were transformed into 'caves' housing ants. Inside one letter, the ants grew mushrooms. In another, the ants stored food. Rope ladders were used to connect some of the letters.
David and I worked on his letters together. Sometimes, children need an adult to play/work alongside with them. The interaction makes the activity more enjoyable. Sometimes, children prefer to work alone.
We found that adding colour optional.
Make an Acrostic Book for Many Purposes
Acrostic books can be made and used for all sorts of purposes. For example, an acrostic book would be great for:
- cards for Father's Day, Mother's Day, birthdays
- writing about favourite topics/subjects/places (e.g., horses, bears, Australia)
What do you think? Have you any ideas for using acrostic books? We'd love to hear about them. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post or on our facebook page.
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