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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