Johannes Gutenberg and the Rubber Band Press

In history we have been studying Johannes Gutenberg.  If a book store warms your heart as it does mine we have Gutenberg to thank.  Most of the books we read on his life and accomplishments recommended that you conclude your study by making potato prints.  My children have done their fair share of potato prints.  I knew suggesting another go around would not be popular.  In all honesty potato printing is not one of my favorite projects.  More times than not you end up with a rather starchy mess.  The other problem with potato prints is cutting the pattern.  A classroom full of xacto knives will bode for a stressful day in the classroom.  Rubber bands are great because they can be easily cut with classroom scissors and come in different shapes and sizes.  Make sure you provide ample time.  Older children tend to take their design very seriously and want to put a lot of details.

If you are studying Gutenberg, the kids and I really enjoyed the book “Who in The World Was The Secretive Printer? The Story of Johannes Gutenberg”  by Robert Beckham.  We liked this book because it was short and comprehensive but thorough.  The author did a great job summarizing his life.  What we liked most of all was how it presented not only Gutenberg’s brilliance but also his serious flaws.  Frequently children’s biographies characterize historical figures as being these perfect people.  If your child has an upcoming biography book report  this book would be very good for that venue as well.


rubberband prints