Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School with Scrapbooking

Note from Joanna: Lori Elkins Solomon is our guest blogger today. I found her thoughts on scrapbooking and education to be stimulating--and timely. Enjoy!

By Lori Elkins Solomon

Good news for parents and teachers as they prepare for the upcoming school year—scrapbooking is not only fun, but it is educational!

For those of you who are not familiar with scrapbooks, they are living histories of one’s life expressed through writing, photography and artwork. If you teach, these types of activities probably sound familiar, whether or not you have ever made a scrapbook. Have you ever asked a child to write an autobiography, or to bring in a photo of a loved one to write about? Have you ever told a student to illustrate a poem with a drawing? If you have, then you are well on your way to teaching kids about scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking is not just for young children; older kids love it too! A good way to introduce older students to the craft is to have them read scrapbooking-themed novels such as Joanna’s new book-- Paper, Scissors, Death: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-and-Craft Mystery. This intriguing book not will only encourage students to read, but it will motivate them to try scrapbooking as well.

Here are some other powerful reasons to incorporate scrapbooking into school classrooms, as noted in Readin’, Writin’ & Scrappin’: Scrapbooking as a Teaching Tool:

· Student motivation is built right into the assignment because students are creating a book about their favorite subject—themselves.

· While the most direct application of scrapbooking is to the learning of reading and writing, scrapbooking projects can be used to develop these skills not just in language arts and English but across the curriculum— thus developing literacy in social studies, science, math, foreign language, art and other subjects as well.

· Scrapbooking is a natural extension of journal writing. In fact, in the classroom I like to refer to scrapbooks as “photojournals.” This makes the concept more easily understood by students (and better accepted by fellow teachers and administrators as well).

· Scrapbooking is easily adapted to different grades and ability levels.

· Scrapbooking incorporates various learning modes: visual, motor, verbal and auditory.

· Scrapbooking encourages hands-on learning—a real incentive for children who are bored with traditional textbook learning.

· The ordinary becomes extraordinary when you add scrapbooking to your curriculum. All the basic supplies—looseleaf binders, paper, page protectors, glue sticks, drawing and writing utensils—are already in your classroom just waiting for a touch of creativity.

· Scrapbooking creates a sense of community among students--and among parents and families who can’t resist getting involved as well!

For more information about the educational applications of scrapbooking, please visit:

© 2008 Lori Elkins Solomon

1 comment:

Camille Minichino said...

Thanks Lori and Joanna -- I love your broad interpretation of scrapbooking and ideas for school curricula.
I guess in some way, lab books are scrapbooking activities!