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Creating and Using Pop-Up Books to Foster Literacy Development in the Elementary Child. Jay D. Ballanger, M.A. CCC-SLP (Kirksville R-III School District) 2007 MSHA Convention Osage Beach, MO. Simple Operation (2002). “Stories are easier to remember-because in many ways,

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creating and using pop up books to foster literacy development in the elementary child

Creating and Using Pop-Up Books to Foster Literacy Development in the Elementary Child

Jay D. Ballanger, M.A. CCC-SLP

(Kirksville R-III School District)

2007 MSHA ConventionOsage Beach, MO

“Stories are easier to remember-because in many ways,

stories are how we remember.”

Daniel Pink

A Whole New Mind (2006)

Is Art a Language?
  • Both are pervasive
  • Both are built from basic units
  • Both have a syntax or grammar
  • Both are culturally specific
  • Both change over time
  • Both are learned symbol systems
  • The language of art and the art of language?
“Humans are not ideally set up to

understand logic; they are ideally

set up to understand stories.”

Roger C. Schank

cognitive scientist

relationship between visual arts and language

Relationship Between Visual Arts and Language

Koster, J.B. (2001)

On your handout (p. 2)

“Stories are the vehicle which keeps

language alive, and in turn, the way a

person tells a story is as important as

the story itself.”

Peggy V. Beck

Parabola (1995)

visual literacy
Visual Literacy
  • “The ability to interpret meaning through graphic stimuli which provides an alternative way of knowing and promotes higher order thinking and problem solving abilities.”

Richards, J. & Anderson, N. (2003) p. 442

stw visual literacy strategy

STW Visual Literacy Strategy

S ee T hink W onder

On your handout (p. 10)

Richards, J. & Anderson, N. (2003)

reluctant readers writers
Reluctant Readers & Writers
  • “High Risk” “At-Risk” students
  • Visual, kinesthetic, tactile learners
  • Process drama (Macy, 2003)
  • Readers Theater (Freedman, 1990)
  • Picture Writing (Olshansky, 1995)
picture writing

Picture Writing

picture writing techniques help various sub groups
Picture writing techniques help various sub-groups.
  • Create “art collage” papers
  • Look at papers for ideas/inspiration
  • Cut papers into shapes
  • Arrange picture
  • Glue shapes down to create collage
  • Begin process of writing
Haiku Poems based on the

“Picture Writing Process”

Drops of lava fall

Fire raining down to earth

Burning all of life.

All examples: 3rd Grade

thinking chart

Thinking Chart

In your handout (p. 8)

Bright light, stormy sky

Fireball slices darkness

Ground shakes,

ground explodes

Churning, bubbling sea

Darting fish escape the steam

Zooming fast away

Four hunters with spears sitting around the campfire.

Lightning scares the emus. Giant emus run around the hunters.

The hunters look for emus in the grass and by the rivers.

Ellen G.K. RubinIdeas in Motion (2005)

“The use of wheels, flaps, turn-ups, pull-tabs, and pop-ups grabs the reader’s attention and ensures active participation. Whether intended for teaching, entertainment, or aesthetic sensibility, the use of movable paper devices demands the reader interact with the book’s content and makes the experience more memorable.”

Why bookmaking projects for speech/language students?
  • Improves self-concept and confidence (sharing experiences)
  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Creates opportunities for social interaction and for self-discovery
  • Improves problem solving and decision making
  • Assists in sensory awareness
  • Vocabulary development! Increased literacy!
children as makers of meaning
Children as “Makers of Meaning”
  • Interweaves play - talk - drawing
  • Powerful combination of three communication modes working together
  • (Dyson, 1990; Cross, 1999)
narrative creation
Narrative Creation
  • Ongoing narrative creation is happening inside the child’s mind
  • Occurs during the pop-up book making process
  • Questioning: What could this be in your story? What does it look like? Could this box be a chair? Fireplace?
  • Tell me your story. What else is needed?
obstacles to expressive intervention
Obstacles to Expressive Intervention
  • Verbal/Visual Stereotypes (Dead End Characters)
  • Enrich the Commonplace
  • Reduce Convenience Images
  • Personal Images: Help child to develop creative/unique characters
  • Become the “Story Conductor”

(Johnson, 1992)

adapting books 1
Adapting Books (1)
  • Large dot of hot glue in upper right hand corner of page to separate pages (fluffer)
  • Velcro: attach one part to right side of page, wrap other part around child’s hand
  • Attach pony-tail holders to the movable parts of the book. Child pulls to activate
adapting books 2
Adapting Books (2)
  • Piece of Velcro attached to back of book cover: Push book onto carpet/carpet sample to attach and stay put

(Musslewhite & King-DeBaun, 1997)




Volvelles & Gatefolds








Movable Books

for Children

(Golden Age #1)

Golden Age


Golden Age


paper engineer
Paper Engineer????
  • Takes the ideas of the author and the illustrator and puts motion into the characters and action into the scenes.
  • Must be imaginative AND practical.
  • Determines how the movable pieces will attach to the page so they won’t break, which points need glue and how much, how long pull tabs should be and how high a piece can pop up.
  • Lays out, “nests” the pages and pieces so they fit onto the correct size pages for printing.
“America the Beautiful”

“Movable Mother Goose”

“Encyclopedia Prehistorica”

Robert Sabuda

“The Twelve Days of Christmas”

“The Pocket Paper Engineer


Carol Barton

“Five Luminous Towers”

Chuck Murphy

“Black Cat, White Cat:

A Pop-Up Book of


“Little Monsters”

Jan Pienkowski

Paper Engineers: Marcin

Stajewski, James Roger Diaz

“Dinner Time”

Concept: Jan Pienkowski

Text: Anne Carter

Paper engineers: Marcin

Stajewski, James Roger Diaz

pop up book facts
Pop-Up Book Facts
  • There are between 200-300 new pop-up books produced in English each year.
  • Currently, almost all pop-up books are assembled by hand, mostly in Colombia S.A., Mexico and Singapore.
  • Production lines can have as many as 60 people working to complete one book.
  • The most complex books can require over 100 individual handwork procedures to complete.
  • Rearrange story
  • Different beginnings
  • Different endings
  • What happens in the beginning, middle end?
  • Pin pages on a clothes line to rearrange and see all pages at once
Topics/Guiding Questions (p. 9)

Language/Literacy Group Ideas (p. 5)

other book forms

Other Book Forms

Mix & Match Book

Cathedral Book

ask yourself why

Ask yourself WHY?

Why does this book

want to exist?