Paper Bag Books

Saturday, August 25, 2012
I absolutely love creating foldables to organize notes.  One of my favorite projects is creating paper bag books.  The possibilities of what you can do with them are limitless.  Today’s post is about how I’ve been using the paper bag book during our study of matter.

This is the book I made as a model for the class.  The kids put more effort into decorating their covers than I did mine.

This is the inside flap (created from the bottom of the bag) with some basic notes.  I created templates for them to use for their notes to help keep their books organized.

I gave my class notes about solids, liquids, and gases.  They had to create a picture of the atoms in each type of matter and then write about it.  I also had them cut out pictures of solids, liquids, and gases and glue them in the empty spaces on the appropriate page.

This pocket held an AIMS book that we read in class.

This is what the foldable on page 4 looked like after it was opened up.  I got this Properties of Matter page from Teachers Clubhouse.

We explored the physical properties of a Tootsie Roll and put our findings on the right side of this section. Each of the 5 senses are on flaps that lift up and our notes are underneath. The kids all agreed that discovering the properties of taste was the best part!

On the left side we took notes on the physical changes of matter.  The right side has 2 examples of mixtures.  The top one is a mixture of sand and pebbles that we found on our playground.  The bottom example was a mixture of salt and pepper. 

The back pocket held notes on different experiments we conducted throughout the unit. 
It took us a long time to put these books together but it was a beneficial learning experience.  Plus, everything was all in one place so that kids were less likely to lose anything. 
Paper bag books look complicated to make but they are quite simple.  My 3rd graders were able to make their own with me modeling the process.  For those of you who are interested, I will post some directions soon (hopefully tomorrow).  For those of you who have done this before, what kind of projects did you use these books for?


  1. What a wonderful idea. I have never seen this before! I hope you don't mind, but I pinned this to one of my boards!

    MrsMc from Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

  2. What a great little idea! Than you so much for sharing - I'll definitely be making this with my 3rd graders. They're going to be in love! Sharing it with my team as well.

  3. Love this!!! What a fun idea!

  4. Wow, that's really cool. I love the way everything came together and the prompts used to promote student response throughout.

    The Teaching Thief

  5. Hello Ms. Hooty do you have the properties of matter labels available for purchase I absolutely love the paper bag book idea....! Keep up the wonderful work it definitely a motivation
    Thanks a mil.....

  6. Could you please email me the directions on how to make these bags?



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