How Gutenberg Changed the World. Illustrated like a medieval manuscript, the book shows how all the parts of the process came together to create the first printing press.
James Rumford, Roaring Book Press, ©2012, ISBN 978-59643-542-1
Writing From the Parts
The structure of this book is to describe something without saying what it is, and then to ask a question.
- What was it?
Then it describes how to make the thing, and asks another question:
- What was this thing made of rags and bones?
Then it answers it, and says it was ready.
- It was paper, and it was ready.
Slowly, the story builds as the next thing needed is leather, then gold, then ink, then printing types, then the printing presses, then the person (Johannes Gutenberg) until finally the book is made.
It’s a gorgeous, rhythmical pattern that students could imitate with something easier, such as making fudge. To make fudge you need:
- brown sugar
- icing sugar
- a stove
- a glass tray
- a knife
- a refrigerator
The recipe online for Cora’s fudge is the easiest one I know, because it doesn’t require any temperature gauge. Students don’t make the fudge—you do so that you can give out a sample.
“In the year 2012, in the city of New Westminster, there appeared a mysterious thing. It was made of sugar cane, cows milk, brown sugar, icing sugar, a stove, a fridge, a glass tray, and a knife. What was it?”…and so on.
It would be fun…and they could see that any time they needed to explain something where many other things had to come together first in order for the item to be successful…this pattern would be very impressive.
The recipe for Cora’s fudge is at here. (One tip: when it is partially chilled, make cut lines in the fudge, so that it comes out more easily in the end. If you forget, this will still work.)
Paper chase Vocabulary Game
Here’s a chance to develop the vocabulary of paper. Find samples of all of these kinds of paper and create 8 different packages with labels. Allow students to feel and look at, and study the names of the papers. Then remove these study material.
Next given them an envelope with sample papers and separate labels and ask them to match the word to the sample. Add a timing factor to make it more fun.
- bond paper
- parchment paper
- blotting paper
- carbon paper
- butcher paper
- crêpe paper
- glassine paper
- origami paper
- wax paper
- tissue paper
- wrapping paper
- manila tag
- toilet paper
For 10 creative writing ideas, click From the Good Mountain to download.