The theme of this particular lesson is cities. Some key terms are panorama, horizon line (basically where the buildings touch the ground), outline, and cityscape (vs. landscape or seascape).
I begin by asking if anyone can guess what panorama might mean. This is a tough one for second grade, but the students catch on once I say that the paper is a clue and I hold it up so that it is horizontal (and very long). Then I ask if they know what a cityscape is. Most don't right away. I then ask what a landscape is. Some say it is their own property, like their backyards. To help them along I show some examples of paintings and ask: "Is this a landscape?" I show them a portrait, and they say no; I show them a still life, and they say no; I show them an interior, and they say no; finally, I show them a landscape and they all say yes. I then ask for details that characterize a landscape (i.e. typically nature or country scenes). I then ask for what the opposite would be and they start naming city features. That is when I tell them they are describing a cityscape. From here we brainstorm using word webs or just lists for things that are found in cities (i.e. cars, buildings, businesses, lights, signs, people, sidewalks, roads, pigeons, etc.).
Now I give a quick demo showing how to establish the ground/horizon line, space out buildings, fill the page, etc. I tell the students they will draw first in pencil then go over all their lines with black Sharpie markers. For this example, I left the line drawings with Sharpie unfilled in. I used a watercolor wash over the entire image to create the mood of sunset. I like this technique and would recommend it for use in creating such themes as "sunset", "night", "winter", "spring", etc. just by changing the color choices. If not using watercolor, then have students use colored pencils to color in their outlined drawings.
When the main drawings have been completed, it is time to design the cover. The cover should represent the inside of the book and include a title. You may choose to use edging scissors along the outside of the cover design to trim the paper so that it is smaller than the book cover itself.
Fold the dry interior pages into only 4 pages to give it more of a panoramic appearance. Once it is folded you can glue mat board (cut slightly larger than the book size) to the front and back. Since this is a book with only a few pages, you can skip adding a string or ribbon to hold the book shut; it tends to stay shut on its own just fine. With the front and back covers attached, glue the cover drawing to the front. Display open for the best effect.
Here are some student examples: