My criteria for educational projects is simple. It's must be beautiful, expressive, useful and not be more quick turn around fodder for the landfill. This of course rules out 90%+ of what you often see being created in the name of education. Admittedly I am lucky, I am principal, teacher and parent. I drive the tone and form of our lessons so that means I can tailor our projects to my personal aesthetic; goody for me!
Currently we are having lots of fun creating story disks for each book we read and enjoy. These disks take the place of the all too typical book report since just one look at the different disks bring back floods of memories and stories from my kids.
Story disks are easy to make; all you need is, one thin wooden craft shape per title, some glue and a color copy or scan from the cover or other meaningful art work from your book of choice. I pre-drill the hole at the top for hanging but this can also be done afterwards.
Center your image for cutting by holding the wooden shape and photocopied image up to the light to line up for best use. Then hold steady, flip copy down to table top with wooden piece still in place and trace the piece and cut out your image just to the inside of your tracing line. Glue the image onto the shape and then seal with some spray sealer is you like. One the back note the title of the book, the author and the year you read the book.
Our disks are being hung one by one on a curtain rod in our kitchen window but at the end of the school year they will be packed aways and then pulled back out and used as Christmas ornaments on the tree. It's a great way to hi-light and remember some of the wonderful books of childhood, not to mention that they make super cute, very personal ornaments.