Welcome to Flannel Friday’s FOURTH Birthday celebration! Without further ado, I am so happy to have Melendra guest posting about a folder story that is going to rock everyone’s socks off!
My Many Colored Capes. . .Folder Story
Guest post by Melendra Sutliff Sanders
My folder story is based on a flannel board script that I discovered recently from Carissa Christner. Since my library system is using the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) theme, “Every Hero Has a Story,” the script is perfect for our summer reading programs. However, I have a love of folder stories, and I thought this rhyme would be perfect in that format. For anyone who hasn’t used or seen a folder story, they are an easy alternative to flannel board stories. They are perfect for outreach because you don’t have to carry a flannel board to tell them and they are light.
Now that I had a good superhero rhyme, I needed some art. Luckily, the CSLP materials come with clip art, and I found the perfect image. But, I wanted color, so I saved it into Paint and went to work. I had to make up my own skin color, but otherwise, I stuck with the pre-programmed colors in Paint. I did have to connect the dog’s back leg to his body in order to avoid recoloring all the background the same color as the dog.
It ended up looking like this. I considered using more colors, but I wanted to stay sort of basic so the cape colors would pop more during the telling of the rhyme. Since the first cape color is red, I thought that was a good place to start. I printed the image on white cardstock because I will keep it on the front of the folder for the final piece. If I’m only using the image as a template, then I would print on paper to make cutting easier.
The next step is cutting the holes in the folder. To do this, I start out by taping the image to the front of a regular file folder using permanent double-sided tape. One trick I’ve learned is that I don’t want to cut through the tape, so I make sure that I’m placing the tape in the center of what will be cut out—to hold the pieces in place and keep them from crumpling while I cut. If I plan to use the image on the completed folder (and not just as a pattern), I also place tape around all the sections that I’m going to cut. This keeps the paper from moving while I cut out sections. If I plan to keep the image on the front of the folder, I use a lot of tape. Then using an Exact-o knife, I cut out all of the cape, both the black under section and the white top section. I left a black outline around the entire thing.
Once the folder is cut, I get my paper. First I print my script. I always modify the script so that the name of the color or pattern I’m talking about is printed in that color. This allows me to glance at the script rather than read it while I’m presenting. I also make the script font as large as I can while still keeping the story or rhyme fit on one sheet of paper. This allows me to tape the script to the back of the folder instead of having to keep it separately. This keeps them from getting separated from each other, and it makes telling the folder story easier too.
I always use construction paper or cardstock inside my folders to make the folder story more durable. I’ve also started putting tape tabs on the ends of the paper to make them easier to pull out as I recite the rhyme. The first sheet of paper has a tape tab at the bottom, the second sheet of paper has a tape tab that is a step above the first sheet’s tab. This helps me grab the right sheet of paper without having to look at the edge of the folder the entire time I’m presenting the folder story. I also tape the final sheet of paper to the back of the folder, no risk of accidentally pulling that last piece out!
For this particular rhyme, the final sheet of paper needs to be rainbow colored. I don’t have any rainbow colored paper, so I found a rainbow clipart image in Publisher and printed out the page. Finally, I place all the pages inside the folder and tape one of the edges. There’s are two tricks to this too. 1) Although with the paper in the folder you have to be careful not to accidentally tape the pages, if it’s not in the folder the spacing can be off and it is hard to slide the paper in and out or get them to rest flush with the lower edge. 2) Test out to see which hand you are most comfortable holding the folder in and tape the side that is farther away from you. This ensures that you can easily hold the folder and pull the paper out comfortably.
Here’s the finished folder front and back.
If you have any questions, you can contact Melendra at msanders[at]nckls[dot]org