Butterfly Book

Purchase Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson at Bookmarks

Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed author of Another Brooklyn, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Jacqueline Woodson’s poem, “first book”, from Brown Girl Dreaming inspired this art project. A short poem about the first book she wrote, a collection of haikus about butterflies. For her book, she stapled together small squares with a haiku written on each one. I loved the idea of the butterflies, and thought it would be fun to create a book shaped like a butterfly!


  • butterfly book templates
  • 2 sheets of white cardstock
  • 1 sheet of lightweight paper for inside cover (any color)
  • 5 sheets of plain copy paper
  • pencil
  • eraser
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • optional / paper clips
  • black Sharpie marker
  • markers or colored pencils
  • stapler


click images for larger view

  • Print the butterfly template on cardstock. Cut out both templates.
  • Fold a sheet of white cardstock in half. Place the butterfly cover template on the
  • cardstock. Be sure the flat side of the template is on the crease of the paper.
  • Trace. Cut out.
  • Open the white butterfly flat.
  • Draw your wing designs on the paper in pencil. See if you can keep your wing designs symmetrical, or same on both sides.
  • Trace over your pencil lines in black Sharpie marker.
  • Add color to your butterfly.
  • Fold the sheet of lightweight paper in half.
  • Place the butterfly cover template on the paper. Be sure the flat side of the template is on the crease of the paper.
  • Cut out.
  • Flip over the butterfly to the plain side. Glue the solid color of lightweight paper you just cut onto the backside of the butterfly. This will be the inside cover of your book, and will hide any sharpie that bled through the paper.
  • Fold the five sheets of plain copy paper in half.
  • Place the butterfly book pages template on one sheet of the copy paper. Be sure the flat side of the template is on the crease of the paper.
  • Trace. Repeat for all 5 sheets of copy paper.
  • Cut all 5 butterfly pages out.
  • Stack them together so the creases line up.
  • Open the butterfly cover page so the plain side is up. Set the 5 butterfly pages on the cover page, lining up the creases.
  • If you have paper clips, hold the pages in place by putting one on either side of a wing. If not, hold your paper tight and flip the butterfly book over so you see your colorful design.
  • Staple 3 times in the center along the crease.
  • Now your book is ready to fill with haikus about butterflies!

How to Write a Haiku

  • Haiku is a form of poetry that originated in Japan. It is a short poem, with only three lines. The first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third line has 5 syllables.
  • An example, created by my daughter, of a butterfly haiku…

floating in the sky
letting the wind take control
whoosh, butterfly gone


  • Choose a different animal or plant to create a book cover and haikus for. The book doesn’t have to be shaped as the animal. You can use a square, rectangle or circle and draw a picture of the animal on the cover.


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