Name Aliens

“Name Alien” by Robert

Here’s a fun symmetry project that I adapted from another really old book, “Paper Designs” by Jerome C. Brown. It’s out of print, but can still be found through used book sellers.

When students are comfortable with writing their names in cursive, they are ready for this project…. I do this with the third graders at my school every year and it’s always a hit!


1. You will need two pieces of 9?x12? construction paper in contrasting colors. Choose one of them to be the background and fold the other one in half, lengthwise (the “hot dog way”).
2. Using a pencil, write your name on the fold in cursive. If you have a descender in your name (such as “g”, “j”, “p” or “y”), just leave off the part that would go below the fold. (You will want to check students’ work to confirm that they wrote their names on the fold!)
3. Next, use a crayon to outline all of your letters, including inside the loops of letters, such as “e”, “l”, “s”, etc.
4. Now, with your paper folded, cut out your name along the outline you just drew with crayon. Be sure to cut out any inside shapes, too. (The inside shapes weren’t cut out on the sample shown here, but it usually looks best when they are.)
5. Then, open up your paper and glue onto your background, with the crayon side down.
6. Finally, add arms, legs/feet, and antennae by cutting two pieces of another color at the same time (not on the fold this time!) to get a matching set. Add “jiggle eyes” for a fun effect!

This project looks best when done completely with cut paper/collage, so resist the urge to add details by drawing!

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2 Responses to Name Aliens

  1. Rich Simms September 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    Name aliens are great! Looks like a lot of fun. Will try to do one with Benji!

  2. Hope Chella September 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    I'm excited to try this with my kids!!! Thanks so much for your blog~Hope

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