Each year, New School Montessori 5th graders create a collaborative book of fables. The project begins with students reading well-known stories within the genre to discover the structure and elements that need to be present in their original stories. They are required to develop three fables, including creating their own illustrations to accompany each story. Students then choose a favorite among their three projects to be bound together with other classmates’ favorite works.
Decisions about the type of paper to be used, the binding stitch pattern, fabric for the cover and the title of the collection are all made democratically. Students divided up the tasks of writing a dedication, and authors’ page, drilling holes, stitching the binding and gluing the pages to the board.
Students presented their book, Ferocious Fables, to the classroom where it joins books from 10 other years, serving as a wonderful reference of fable wisdom and as an inspiring way to honor and showcase their work.
Many thanks to teachers Emily Olexsey and Shawn Dougherty for their wok with the students. (Notice the intricate stitching patterns selected each year on the bindings of the books.)