Bravery on a Bridge—A Heroic Book

Bravery on a Bridge—A Heroic Book lesson plan

Who is your hero or heroine? Create a unique, handmade book that tells the story of bravery, such as Kate Shelley’s remarkable feat on a railroad bridge in the pouring rain.

  • 1.

    In the book Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express by Margaret K. Wetterer, a young girl does something extraordinarily courageous that saves many lives. Read the book or a similar one for more details.

  • 2.

    Do you know someone who has done something brave or compassionate? Tell their story in words and pictures, too. This book uses lots of recycled items, so you are preserving natural resources as well.

  • 3.

    Begin your handcrafted book by cutting several pages, all the same size, from file folders. Glue snips of decorative papers to ONE SIDE of those pages for a collage effect. Air-dry the glue.

  • 4.

    Add color to the collaged pages with Crayola Markers and Twistables™ Slick Stix™ Super Smooth Crayons. Decorate one for the cover.

  • 5.

    Punch holes in the sides of the pages so the book will fold like an accordion. Loosely lace your pages together with colorful yarn, starting with the cover. Keep the collage sides on the back.

  • 6.

    Color construction paper. Cut it into narrow strips. Use these pieces to lace little twigs into the seams between the pages, going over and under the yarn.

  • 7.

    Write your story with Crayola Colored Pencils on plain paper. Divide the plot into the same number of pages that you have in your book.

  • 8.

    Cut small squares of colorful paper. Illustrate and write your story for each page on these papers. Glue them to the inside pages or your accordion-fold book. You are ready to share your heroic story with your classmates!


  • Students read about a hero or heroine and identify others they know who have acted with bravery.
  • Children write and illustrate a unique book featuring their own experiences using recycled materials.
  • Children correctly sequence their stories in both writing and illustration.


  • Find stories about significant historical event and the people involved. Role play the situations. Create costumes, sets, and scripts for the play.
  • Research different handmade book formats and create a variety of nontraditional books on various topics.
  • Assessment: Did students identify true heroes and heroines? Are their stories told in sequence? Are the handmade books functional and well crafted? Did students make creative use of recycled materials? Is spelling accurate?