This is one of my favorite projects ever! I do it every year and I always love the results.
Five years ago I came across an image on Pinterest that was just a cute little card featuring a puppy made of recycled book pages. The puppy was holding a little red heart because it was a Valentines Day card but there was no link back to the source and I didn’t even save the image. I just loved how simple it was and was dying to make my own.
That first year I did the project with my third grade Art Club students. They did a good job but they felt like it was too easy and weren’t very proud of their results. The next year I tried it out with second grade and it was a huge hit and has been one ever since.
Our awesome librarian sends me any books that are too damaged for the kids to check out or too outdated. I take the bindings off and just keep a stack of the pages ready for any of our recycling based projects and some in my scrap paper bucket as well.
This typically a one day project but occasionally I will have a class that gets so into it that we have to roll over into another session.
I let the students choose their back ground color. We pass out scissors, glue, book pages, and scraps of black construction paper. The only rule I give them is that they have to cut their shapes without drawing them first. I find that this helps them keep the shapes LARGE. I usually introduce the lesson as “Today you’re going to make a cat or dog out of recycled paper” but I never stop the ones who want to make bunnies, frogs, or alligators. This year everyone kept to making cats and dogs though. It also never fails that there is always one stand out every year. This little guy makes me smile every time I see him.