Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Sealed With a Kiss (and a book report)

There's nothing quite like the love of a child. For the past two days, Zack has been home with a wretched cold, and all I wanted to do was cuddle him up and put a protective shield around him with my cold-fighting super powers. Zack decided I had to have super-powers ever since he learned I have a cape. (I hate coats. So I have a cape. Because, of course, super-powers.)

Tonight Zack and I both are feeling a ton better, and we worked together on a class project that his infinitely creative English teacher devised. It's not your basic book report -- oh no. She gave the kids a white paper lunch bag, told them what topics to write on each side, and instructions to put five things into it that represented the book.

On the sides of the bag were written key points of the book. On the front and back, he needed an illustration and a synopsis of two character traits of the character he chose. Inside the bag, he needed five things things that also represented the book.

The front was easy enough -- he chose the cover of the book The Hunger Games (which I've read, and we finally saw the movie over the weekend. Brilliant.)

On the back, he opted to make an accordion-fold booklet to write his synopsis. He was nervous that he'd mess up the bag if he wrote on it and had to erase, and he liked the idea of having something a little different.

Then the inside of the bag. He dug into his LEGO collection and made flames, wings to represent the Mockingjay pin, a tree from a railroad set, a map of the Arena, and a bow that I made for him out of wire and waxed linen.

He's pretty happy about the bow. He picked out a twisted craft wire of black and silver and 14 gauge silver wire for either side. I used 26 gauge wire to weave the ends together and made it sturdy, and then used a piece of waxed linen for the string. We decided to use waxed linen instead of anything springy because the last thing we wanted to do was create an inadvertent weapon that could be used to flip things across the room like a sling shot.

So far Zack has read the first two books of The Hunger Games trilogy but is taking a break before reading the third one because while dystopian, post-apocalyptic literature is very creative, it's also very intense. I do the same thing when I read intense books; stop for a break by reading something completely unrelated.

Now he's ready for his report on Thursday.

You go, Zack. You've got this.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.


  1. What a fun way to do a report! When my elder son was in 5th grade, they did lots of book reports. He hated writing the traditional reports! But they also did something similar to this, putting representative items in a basket, and he had fun with that. He also enjoyed making a diorama of A Wrinkle in Time.

  2. WOW - what an awesome idea for a book report - not the same old boring thing. Zack has one out of the box stupendous teacher!
    I love his idea of the booklet - and did he draw those characters? Love all the selections he put in the bag - and the bow you created for him.
    I hear you about putting the book away - I have only read the first book and watched the first two movies. It was way intense and I am having a hard time starting the second book and I can't even think about the third book right now.
    I am so glad you both are feeling better!
    You guys take care!

  3. That's really cool! Gee, I wonder where he got those creative genes.. Mom? ;-)

  4. That is so cool! I see that the Apple does not fall from the tree in your house, when it comes to creativity!

    Glad you are both feeling better!

  5. Very interesting way to assign a book report. I think Zack did a great job. Another friend's daughter just wrote a song for a Spanish project. Things are much more creative these days.

  6. His teacher sounds fabulous. I love what he did.

  7. I am glad they both of you are feeling better. What a fun way to do a book report.

  8. What a great way to get to really get into your book. All of my kids did the same thing and they loved it.

  9. Ah! So creative and a wonderful way to spend time together! Fantabulous job, Zack! (& Lori!)

  10. Well done! And yes, this is a very dark series. My son didn't read the last one though I did. Maybe read it together.


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