Teacher Tips

Picture Book Project

1) Mr. Parra guided, inspired and energized our students. If it’s not practical to bring an illustrator or author to your school, see if you can Skype with one.

2) Plan to have the bulk of the work accomplished during a short period of time, such as a two-day workshop. Momentum fades as time passes. Schedule time for tasks, such as scanning images and revising text, which will need to be done after the workshop.

3) To keep students informed over the course of the project, use Remind.

4) Hold a pre-workshop for students to read and evaluate a diverse selection of picture books. Our students did this during study halls.

5) Motivated students can form their own teams, and will probably be more productive working with classmates they know and trust. We facilitated group formation only for students who asked for assistance.

6) If you don’t have art supplies on hand, watercolor pastels are relatively inexpensive and give illustrators flexibility.

7) Writers can collaborate (and share their work with school staff) using Office 365 or Google Drive.

8) Mr. Parra recommended that we keep the layout simple. Students placed the text on the left-hand page, and the illustration on the right. All of our students formatted their books in landscape and on the same size paper so that we would have the option to print more than one story per physical book.

9) Printing books in color is expensive, but publishing them online is free. We also wanted physical copies, and learned that it would be cheaper to print the books through a photobook website than through a small press. You could also DIY with a color printer and comb binding.

10) Even if you decide not to do a project like this right now, seek out and say yes to partnerships with community and business groups. You never know where these partnerships might lead.