Journal making is a great way to introduce some key making tools (rulers, hammers, nails, scissors, sewing needles, and thread) but doing this activity early on in a maker program gives learners a landing place for burgeoning ideas and record keeping right off the bat. The IDEAS curricula provide instructions for both a sewn binding and a wrapped binding, providing different pathways to journal making.

The picture on the left shows a handmade journal with a blue cover. The cover is decorated with multi-colored stickers and tape. Two tabs are wrapped from the front to the back of the journal and are labeled “Lock”. There is a “Do Not Open” sign sitting above the journal. The picture on the right shows a second handmade journal with a pink cover. Written on the cover are the words, “Makers Club!”. There are three line drawings of faces with googly eyes. There are 5 clusters of googly eyes under clear mounds of dried glue.

Googly eyes trapped under dried glue puddles. Security locks and warnings. What details would you include on your hand-bound journal to make it quintessentially you?

The inside of a student’s white paper journal is shown in which multiple iterations of the same rectangular figure sketch are shown.The 3D replica of this sketch is shown made out of wooden figures. Next to it, another inside of a student's white paper journal is shown. This sketch includes a few sentences, a few eggs and a sketched out dragon blowing fire.

A space to reflect on what what challenging or what could be improved upon and a place to sketch and plan. The journals give every maker a place of their own.

The inside of a student’s white paper journal is shown where there are multiple ideas for different puzzles and shapes to make. Some ideas are of a Rubik's Cube, a quarter note and a maze with three balls.

Student journal with ideas for puzzles and other shapes.

The inside of a student’s white paper journal is shown where they have sketched out an idea for a game. The sketch includes a playing board and different dinosaur playing pieces. Next to it, the dinosaur playing pieces are shown designed within the 3D program Tinkercad.

Have an idea for a game? The journals are great place to start getting ideas down on paper, noting the colors and materials to make it happen. Wondering what materials this maker was planning on using for those dinosaur playing pieces? You guessed it…playing pieces were designed in Tinkercad and printed!

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