These 'Life Cycle Flip Books' have been somewhat inspired by these flip books, but are more open-ended to match the academic level of second grade. We used these leveled readers from Scholastic as research materials (students chose a life cycle to research by choosing a book) and they created their own flip book. On the front, they illustrated each phase of the life cycle. Under each section they wrote a short paragraph explaining what happens in each cycle. The paper is a 12 X 18 construction paper, folded in half (hot-dog fold). Lines are drawn for writing on one of the halves. On the half that has NO lines, slits are made by cutting half-way down the page. Here is a sample that you can make on a regular 8 1/2 X 11 paper to get the idea. (You can adjust onto a larger paper as needed.)
In second grade, we also study American Heroes. Using the same type of Scholastic Readers students worked in teams to research their hero. They made a huge poster/book with pictures and information. The project was deliberately open-ended so that students could really show what they learned through reading, research, and collaboration.
'The Big Orange Splot' by D. Manus Pinkwater, you'll know it's a sweet story with themes ranging from 'It's okay to be an individual' to 'What are your hopes and dreams?' - and stories like that are perfect for a great keepsake art project for families. You need to carve out about two hours to read, discuss the theme, draw, paint, and write. But the final product is fantastic. I was very skeptical about it when my team presented it to me, but I'm really glad I did it! I added a writing about what each element of the picture represents and why the child chose to draw it.
Does your school have Open House? What is your school's approach? I'd love to hear from you!