A leaving gift in five simple steps

Unbelievably, I have just one full week left teaching here in Singapore, so I made my students some leaving gifts.

1) Buy some watercolour paints and cheat by picking up a pre-designed pattern book.

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2) Paint like an amateur using watercolours for the first time in a decade. Use far too much water, fail to blend the colours and wrinkle the pages.

3) Despair, before remembering YouTube exists. Find some nifty tricks, including using salt, or using a sandwich bag to blend the colours for you. Flick paint furiously over everything.

4) Ask a responsible adult to cut the sheets into bookmark shapes:


5) Write tiny quotations on the back with the name of the quotee to confuse your students. “Who is Stephen King?”


These bookmarks have been a big hit with my students. I gave each class a mixture of designs and quotations, but I anticipated some swapping.

However, the students loved their unique bookmark, then enjoyed spending the last ten minutes of the lesson sharing the wisdom on the back with their classmates.

Since I gave these out, two students have made me bookmarks, and many of the children have proudly shown me their bookmarks tucked into library books.

The only problem is, the paint does seem to rub off slightly. Please accept my sincere apologies, Woodlands Regional Library.

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