Oh my gosh…not a lot of writing is going to happen here, but I have to archive an activity that I’ve actually never practiced before and had opportunity to try today. I have to say that the most difficult aspect of teaching a grade four class how to construct a tunnel book was teaching them how to fold creases as valleys and mountains…or let’s face it, how to fold creases at all. Do my readers remember, as children, folding fans? That’s all that’s required, really, but folding a fan seemed, at times, insurmountable.
All other concepts…near and far…background, middle ground, foreground…no problem. I don’t know. I’ll have to think about just how to make the folding easier.
What I DID do…I created a template and copied it twice for each student, providing, once folded, for the two sides of the tunnel book (accordion-like). I marked out a series of lines, dotted from one side to the opposite side. At some point, I’ll photograph my template and share it here, but, not tonight. What’s a tunnel book, you ask?
Tunnel books can be as sophisticated OR as simple as you wish. The book collapses flat, exposing a single composition. Once pulled, like an accordion, a three dimensional sensibility is revealed. The Epiphany tunnel books that the grade fours created after I shared the story, The Gift of the Magi, were very basic. Take a look at these. These illustrate the more complex tradition.
Wim de Vos is a bit of a character…but, I like that he demonstrates the kind of artistry possible where a tunnel book is concerned.
I found the following photo on Amanda Watson-Will’s site and because there is no other photographer credited, I will assume this is her archive.
This is more like it. I only wished I had seen this one before I began my lesson.
So, after the story of the Epiphany star and the fine art of gift offering…I got the students started on a background panel, deciding that it made sense to work from the back up to the front OR the background to the foreground.
These are a sampling of the tunnel books made by these awesome, open and enthusiastic students! Love them so much.
Requirements for their compositions: A guiding light, a figure, gifts, foreground, background and middle ground.
Thank you, Colleen, for your class! What beautiful children!