I am always on the lookout for ways to incorporate recycled papers into student work. It is very appealing to me personally to incorporate what is being thrown out into something refreshed and new. When the librarian recently cleaned out shelves and placed some books in boxes for students to take I knew I might have found the idea for a new project. I selected four of the discarded books that were easy reads with little illustrations. I primarily picked up books of poetry. After disassembling the books with my handy dandy exacto knife, I was left with some great illustrated hardback covers and piles of pages just waiting to be chosen for a new project. I'm saving the hardback covers for another project to be determined!
Here was my inspiration. I have been recently following the works of a watercolor artist from Oklahoma who uses dictionaries for her art papers. They really speak to me and I know I will purchase one of her prints for my own soon. You can check her blog, flying shoes art studio, here. She chooses subject matter based on a word from the page. I knew I could probably do something similar with my book pages and fourth grade students.
I allowed each student to select a page of their choice. Yes, they had to read some poetry first and decide what was most appealing to them personally. Then, they were challenged to illustrate over the words with their drawings being driven by the passages they had read. I'm please with the way they have approached the challenge and most seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to draw on a page of a book. Here are some finished works.