No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
~Emma Goldman

I stumbled upon this quote the other day, and it really made me think. It's so easy to become frustrated by the way we perceive children in today's society. As I think about 29 ten and eleven year olds entering my classroom in a few weeks, I realize that I need to shift my thinking. I want to create an atmosphere where students are engaged in the real issues going on in today's world. Here's an idea that I stole came up with.

'Zines - We tried creating these last year, and it was definitely a worthwhile experience. Another teacher in our district did these originally, and if I could remember her name I would love to give her credit! Students were able to choose a topic, and create a magazine centered around that topic. Students were required to include stories, articles, and poetry about their topic. They were also able to add anything else they wanted, such as advertisements, editorials, and games. Students also had a lot of fun creating their own magazine covers using this cover creator. I also decided to play around with LiveBinders to create a resource for students to use when creating their 'zine. If you haven't used LiveBinders, I think you should give it a try. Basically it lets you organize all of your links, documents, etc. in one place. Also, it lets you embed a cool little binder widget like this one.


Here are some picture of our 'zines.  

While I think we accomplished what we set out to with our 'zines, there is always room for improvement. I came upon this video from the Penn State Exemplary Digital Teaching Archive Project (EDTAP) and it takes the idea of making 'zines and focusing it in a way that makes it more meaningful for students. Take a look and prepare to be amazed by the conversations going on in this fifth grade classroom.


  1. I love this idea. I want to use it with my fifth graders this year. What an excellent way to get the students engaged in writing that they are interested in. Can you give me any other details about his project? My email is meres525@hotmail.com

  2. Thanks for your comment! I will email you with more details. I think you and your students will enjoy this project!

  3. i too would also LOVE more information on this cool project!! i am going back up to 5th grade this year after being in kinder for the past 5 years so i am looking for all kinds of fun and engaging ideas. i am so glad i stumbled on your blog and have really been enjoying reading it. any additional info on the zines would be really appreciated!!! misstohidi@yahoo.com

  4. Yasmin,

    Thanks for checking out my blog! I think you and your students will really enjoy the 'zine project. I will email you with more details about it. I hope you have a great school year!

  5. I would love some more info too! I am teaching a 5/6 GATE combo for the first time this year and they would LOVE this. Do you need to pay to print these? I was playing around with the 'Zines link but it wants me to pay 16 dollars for the cover. My email is kkarrow@rusd.k12.ca.us. Thank you, this will be so fun for my class!!!

  6. LOVE this idea! I'm definitely going to try something like this with my grade 5/6 students this year. Thanks for the great idea and great links!

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