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PROCEDURES FOR COMPLETION

The teacher and librarian will complete this lesson collaboratively. The librarian can complete the introduction of the assignment and participate in the creation, modification, and delivery of formative assessments. The graphic design teacher will work with students on creating their book covers using a design program such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Publisher, or any software that allows desktop publishing and formatting. The teacher will assess students based on design class standards.

PROCEDURES FOR COMPLETION:

The class visits the library. The librarian discusses with students the importance of the book cover in marketing-relating the idea to commercials, theatrical trailers, cereal boxes, etc. A book cover should inspire someone to choose the book to borrow or purchase.

Students then search the library shelves for examples of book covers that they find both appealing and not appealing. As a group, the students complete a list of reasons why book covers would inspire them to read or purchase a book (or leave it on the shelf).

Pull (or have students pull) a cart of fiction/nonfiction books that have unattractive or dated covers that could have a higher checkout rate if the cover were designed differently. For our projects, one year we chose fiction titles, and the next year we chose nonfiction titles. We pulled books we thought would be appealing to students based on subject, but that had covers that were decidedly not appealing Students (library aides, reading groups, etc.) could easily help in selection process.

Students in the design class should be allowed to select their own book to redesign. To avoid redundancy (and improve student assessment), we suggest that no two students in a class redesign the same cover. Students are not required to read the books prior to completing their book covers.

COMPLETION OF PROJECT

When all projects are completed, students vote on the top three designs for each class. Voting can be done in many ways. For one, students can present their designs to the class explaining why they chose their design elements and why their book cover is better than the original. Votes are based on the design and the presentation. Or, students could vote for the designs only. This past year, we had classes vote for the top designs from another period. For example, period 1 voted for the top from period 5. The best designs from each class were then displayed in the library for the student body to vote on. (I printed them on regular paper and displayed the new design next to the book with its current cover). We encouraged teachers to bring their classes to vote as well as for individual students to stop by before/after school or during lunch. The designs voted as the top three by the student body received prizes from the library (donated by community sponsors).

The final step of our process is to replace the old book covers with the students’ new designs. The first year, we printed out all of the completed covers as we only worked with one class. The second year, we printed all of the top winners from each class and ones that the library staff thought stood out as well. Our district printing office printed color copies of the winning covers on proof paper and cut them to size. We then placed the new cover over the old and fitted the book with new plastic covers. These books are now in regular circulation within the library.