Journal pages can be altered by teaching students how to use paper engineering. For example: younger students may be excited to learn how to use ‘pop-ups’ in their journal pages. Simple projects include making a pop-up layer, V-fold mouth pop-up or a layer + V-fold. These methods are readily available on YouTube and many books are available on the subject of paper engineering. More complicated types of pop-ups can be investigated and taught as relevant for the journal lesson objectives.
Rather than using watercolor for a background color, students can create layers of color on their pages by using dry media. Have students us up those older, broken Crayola® Crayons. Take wrappers off of old, broken Crayola brand crayons and use multiple colors to layer, texture and rub over the masked-off areas of the journal page according to the instructions in this lesson plan. Use Crayola Color Sticks to rub over and around the masked- off areas of the pages. Dip brushes into Crayola Washable Metallic Paints and Glitter Paints to dry brush over the surface before taking the tape off. The more layers of Crayola products on the paper the deeper and more complex the background.
Use the technique for masking- off areas on pages first. Next, teach students how to create mono-print plates to press their journal pages upon. Use Crayola Acrylic Paints rolled out on a smooth surface (called a ‘plate’) with a brayer. Manipulate the paint with the end of a brush handle, cardboard pieces, etc., creating lines and textures. When the mono-print is prepared, lay the journal page face down onto the wet surface and press. Peel back carefully to reveal the color from the plate. This step can be repeated when the paint has dried on the paper to create a deep and complex background.
Work collaboratively with teachers in other curricular areas of your school. It is more likely that the visual art teacher would be able to teach mono-printing, design, elements and principles of art, all things necessary for beautiful and complex backgrounds and borders on well-designed papers. Teachers in the ELA classes can have students create the writing content that is placed in the negative, masked-off areas of the pages from this lesson plan. Students can exhibit and share their journal pages both visually and orally as performance.