Book Report Keychains

by MrKindergarten, published

Book Report Keychains by MrKindergarten Feb 25, 2016

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In Invent to Learn (http://inventtolearn.com/), Martinez and Stager site 3-D printing as one of the three most powerful tools to help transform education with the Maker Movement in mind. However, they do warn against the “Yoda keychain” phenomenon, in which students use this technology to simply make infinite copies of a trinket (such as a Yoda keychain) instead of benefiting from learning the power of design when paired with desktop fabrication.

This lesson merges language arts and technology (and keychains!), to add a third dimension to your students' next book report that would garner admiration from even the wisest of Jedi masters.

How I Designed This

I created the basic keychain on Tinkercad, and that file is available publicly. (https://goo.gl/FWLH8T) and the key can be found here (https://tinkercad.com/things/20NL1tXoi9G).


Overview and Background

Book reports are nearly as old as books! Okay, not quite, but you get the picture- book reports, while a tried and true way to encourage students express their comprehension of a recently completed text are a bit dated. With this lesson you still give students the chance to reflect on their book, but also build design skills.

Students will design and print three keychains, one for each of three different characters from a recently read book. Each keychain must possess one or more elements that describe that character's personality, motivations, challenges, or important relationships in the story.

In the process, they will also gain skills and knowledge in 3-D design and fabrication.

This lesson is intended for fourth/fifth grade and up, but could be modified for younger students with support (e.g. the teacher could design a single set of keychains based on student input).

Reading comprehension

Skills Learned (Standards):
CCSS ELA: (Fourth Grade) RL.4.2, RL.4.3 (Fifth Grade) RL.5.2, RL.5.3

Lesson Plan and Activity

Step 1

After completing a book students consider three characters they wish to focus on. Journals, essays, graphic organizers, collages, etc., are a great way for students to consider the traits and motivations of those characters they wish to feature in their designs.

Step 2

Introduce students to Tinkercad, allowing them time for free exploration and/or to complete tutorials.

Step 3

Next, students design three keychains, one for each of their selected characters. As time and resources allow, encourage students to iterate- design, fabricate, re-design, fabricate- until their keychains are ready for display.

Step 4

If possible, have students share their completed keychains alongside written works, or other supporting materials, in the classroom or around school for other students to enjoy.

Step 5

As an extension, have students create a small set of keys to accompany each keychain. Each key can list an additional trait which defines that character.

Duration of Lesson

3-5 sessions


This project should be completed following reading a chapter book, either as a class or individually.


Here is a concise reminder of the importance of building strong reading comprehension (http://www.k12reader.com/the-importance-of-reading-comprehension/)

Rubric & Assessment

See the suggested rubric above to assess students on both story/character elements included and design.

Handouts & Assets

Looking for some graphic organizers to help your students structure their thoughts prior to design? Scholastic has you covered! (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/01/reading-response-forms-and-graphic-organizers)

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