Make an Ocean Book

Make an Ocean Book

In conjunction with an ocean reef study, each student creates a book with actual ocean creatures as characters. They learn how to storyboard, write character dialog, and draw illustrations. Each book is 6 or 8 pages, including front and back cover.

Grade 3
Content Area Language Arts
Key Benchmark LA 2.5.3 Use a beginning, middle, and ending in a piece of writing

LA 3.1.5 Locate information in a variety of sources
Art Form Visual Arts
Art Benchmark FA 3.1.3 Use observational skills in creating an original work of art
School Year 2010-2011
Artist Jessie Brader (author) and Cecilia Faith (visual artist)
Unit Plan

Supplies needed
• Poster board 24 X 36
• Pencils and Erasers
• Color medium (crayons and/or markers)
• Reef reference books
• Use of ELMO and printer
• Laminating
• Binding

Lesson Plans

Introducing the Project

Students look at pictures of the reef environment and are introduced to the concept of symbiotic relationships. They are given the basic requirements for their story. In this case, they need aquatic beings as characters, and one character must be in need of help from another. Each student chooses the aquatic beings who will be the main characters of their story. Students are shown a storyboard and how to use it, alternating text and pictures in the boxes. They begin work on their storyboards.


The artists lead a discussion of the universal concepts that will pertain to their stories. Students continue working on their storyboards.

Title and Dialog

Students decide on a story title and learn how to integrate dialog with their illustrations.

From Storyboard to Book Page

Students begin making pages for their books, using a storyboard panel as a basic template for each page.

Making Pages

Students continue making text and illustration pages. They are also shown the page layout process for their books.

Finishing Construction

Students edit pages, then layout their books for binding. As they are ready, students bind books to take home.

Additional Photos for "Make an Ocean Book"

Click on a photo to see the enlargement.
Cecilia Faith discusses picture ideas with a student.
Working on the storyboard
Quick break from storyboarding
Starting to paint book pages
Author Jessie Brader uses the book binding machine
Some finished books