Read Across America Day is an initiative started by the National Education Association (NEA) to promote reading. It is celebrated on or around March 2, the Birthday of author Dr. Seuss.
In this project 6th grade students made replacement nameplates for the teachers and staff of the school that fit into the name plate brackets on the classroom doors. The Names are written in a font that looks like a Dr. Seuss book, and colored red and white.
In addition the students created one or more decorative pieces related to a favorite book or character from literature.
For the nameplate font we used "Grinched" from this website: https://www.1001fonts.com/dr-seuss-fonts.html
Overview and Background
In this 6th grade project students create a Dr. Seuss themed nameplate to fit in the brackets on the classroom door, and a decorative piece about a favorite book or character from literature. The pieces were put on the door during the week the school celebrated Read Across America (March 2).
Before starting the students did a survey to find out what book or character each teacher would like for their classroom.
If they had time students were allowed to make additional decorative pieces for the classroom door. These might include a favorite sports team, a hobby, or something based on the subject being taught.
Lesson Plan and Activity
Before the students start making pieces
- You can ask each teacher what book or storybook character they want for their classroom
- You must measure the bracket on the door and determine the correct size for a plate that will fit. Print a test piece to be sure. If there are no nameplate brackets on the classroom door the pieces can easily be attached to the door with tape.
Making the name plate
- Students were given a starter blank plate to work on. The correct dimensions for our brackets were 51 mm wide and 1.5 mm thick. The length was limited to 210 mm, the maximum size that would fit on our printer.
- Students use the Grinched font generator at https://www.1001fonts.com/dr-seuss-fonts.html to make the name of the teacher or staff member. Double check the spelling!
- The name is downloaded as a PNG file and converted to SVG using an online image converter.
- The name SVG file is imported into Tinkercad
- The name is "repaired." The conversion process usually is imperfect. Problems will include losing the dot on the i, filled in letter "o" and "e," etc. These should be fixed using flat bottomed shapes. For example the dot on the i and hole in the o should be made with a cylinder, not a sphere.
- The repaired and grouped name is resized to fit on the plate.
- We wanted the name plates to be engraved to match the originals we were replacing. So the name was then turned into a hole (negative space) and lifted 0.5 mm off the build plane so it cuts into the plate but not all the way through. We're not making a stencil.
- Check all the completed name plates to insure they are the right size before printing
- Plates were printed in white, then students colored the upper surface red using permanent markers. It's easy to mess up and run the marker down into the engraved part if you don't work carefully and slowly. Holding the marker flat and moving in small circles works well. Major mess ups can be covered up with white out or paint.
Making the Decorative Piece
- These should also fit in the bracket, so will be same width and depth, but shorter
- It's easier to color them if they are embossed (raised) rather than engraved. So the designs added to the plate were 2 mm high, so they were raised 0.5 mm above the surface of the plate. If using raised images make sure they don't get too close to the top or bottom edge or they may not fit into the bracket.
- The WeirdMaker Text website https://www.1001fonts.com/dr-seuss-fonts.html is a good place to get interesting text that can be converted to SVG and imported into Tinkercad.
- There are several ways to get images for this project
a. They can be made from scratch on Tinkercad or another CAD program
b. You can find black and white silhouettes, covert to SVG and import into Tinkercad
c. Students can draw the characters in black and white, take a picture, and convert the
picture to SVG
d. Students can print a color picture, shade it in with black marker, take a picture of it
and convert it to SVG
- Pieces were printed in white and colored with permanent marker
You'll need permanent markers or paint to color the pieces. We prefer to use markers.
Erasable markers don't work well for this project.