As teachers, we know the importance of adding novel and interesting twists to some of the traditional projects that our students complete. The term “Book Report” has developed a lackluster connotation, at best. However, book reports can be a great way to engage your students in critical and creative thinking, especially with this “little” twist!
“Mint Tin Book Reports” are a perfect project that you can easily incorporate into your instruction. I love that these are SO open-ended: students can include chapter summaries, character analyses, or a story plot (which is pictured below). You can also download a free template I made for this project below.
You’ll need one of these common mint tins (about 3.5 by 2.25 inches) for each of your students. You might want to send out an email to your fellow teachers and your students’ parents for donations of their empty tins:-)
Using the background template, students can draw a background from an important scene in the book and glue into the interior of the lid. My drawing skills are lacking, to say the least, so I used John Tenniel’s illustrations for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The next step is adding your foreground, which will “pop out” from the background. Again, your students can do an amazing job drawing these themselves. If possible, I recommend having the students use card stock for this part; it holds up better and creates a cleaner pop-up effect. Once again, I used the talents of Tenniel.
To give the foreground the pop-out effect, I glued pieces of crafting foam onto the back of it.
The foam pieces of the foreground can then be glued on to the background. I just love the 3D effect! It sort of reminds me of a cross between a mini diorama and a pop-up book.
Students can then complete the “cover” of their tins. I used white label paper for the cover below, but double stick tape would also work well. Just print a few blank templates for your students and they will fit the top of the tin perfectly.
The insert that I used below focuses on story structure. However, the template that I made also has a blank option so that you can incorporate any elements you would like.
The two pieces of the insert are then attached using glue and folded like an accordion.