Supporting Literacy in a School Library Makerspace

As a librarian new to the school library makerspace scene, it’s been fairly easy to become overwhelmed by makerspace ideas. Many of the school libraries leading the way in makerspaces feature programs that include electronics and circuitry, robotics, woodcraft, and other concepts I don’t necessarily feel comfortable teaching. I am an English teacher and book lover at heart, and I love investigating and practicing the latest library technology trends, but the idea of Makey Makey kits and building robots is intimidating!

Further, the idea of maker activities and literacy combined is important to me, and considering how many of my students are reading below grade level, it’s vital to my students as well. This blog post is dedicated to showing off some of the literacy projects taking place in my school library.

Melted Crayon Art

Middle school girls demonstrate their library makerspace project: melted crayon art.

For this activity, student read the book “Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm. We had several important discussions about how we maintain positivity in our lives, even when we are facing difficult situations. After brainstorming our own attitudes in day to day life, students created melted crayon artwork that featured inspirational quotes. The goal was for students to hang their artwork in their bedrooms so they’d be reminded each morning to start their days off on a positive note!

Green Screen Activities

Students engaged in library literacy program: Dr. Seuss Day Celebration using GreenScreen app by DoInk.

We completed this activity during Dr. Seuss week, though it has continued to be popular throughout the school year for many other purposes. While Dr. Seuss might seem too young for my middle school crowd, the girls enjoyed discussing prevalent themes in his well-known works and used the green screen to take Seussian photos. Other ideas for the green screen include creating book trailers and stop-motion animations to promote new reading.


DIY Bookmarks

Students demonstrate their library maker project: DIY bookmarks.

This project was ridiculously easy, but my students absolutely loved it. I picked up some paint strip sample sheets at my nearest hardware store and brought them over to my girls to design as they saw fit. Add some Sharpie markers, a bit of ribbon, and some scrap booking hole punchers, and we had a library makerspace activity that encouraged students to check out a book they liked. Students were asked to check out a book of their choice prior to creating a bookmark. Each student was able to create two- one for herself and one for her BFF.






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