Scrapbooking – Teacher tool in school

I loved that using scrapbooking techniques got away from the "cookie cutter" or "one size fits all" approach that gets used so much in education. - Lisa Kelsey


Lisa Kelsey has taught 12 years in the public school system grades 7-12.  Her degree is in Home & Family Life/Career & Tech Ed. and she taught about 20 different courses in her 12 years. Here is what she told me when I asked her how she used scrapbooking in her classroom.

I loved creating hands on, meaningful lessons that got students up and moving while incorporating techniques to cover all the Multiple Intelligences throughout a unit. Let me give you a few examples how I used scrapbooking in my high school classes.

Early Human Development

One assignment that students would complete is a "Parenting Recipe Booklet".  They were to interview various parents about their views on parenting methods and how their life changed (or will) when children entered their family unit.  They asked the same questions from those who just brought home a newborn all the way up to those experiencing the "empty nest".  It was a peek into what parenting takes and that it really doesn't end just because the child turns 18. =)  They were to create an 8 1/2 x 11 bound compilation of their findings and "scrap or embellish" the left side (of a 2 page spread) with elements relating to the age and stage level interviewed and type up and creatively present their interview on the right page.  I had a paper scrapped sample made up that looked like a recipe book and a few student samples ranging from graphic art/drawing, scrapbooked, and some early stages of digi-scrapping using Printshop clipart.  The submissions were incredible and often went in their Senior portfolios as evidence of their "best work".


Child Development


One of the assignments was a reflection of who each student was by following a certain poem format.  We spent a great deal of time talking about how personality is shaped and factors that contribute to "who we are".  The finished product needed to be an 8 1/2 x 11 paper with the printed poem in addition to stickers, embellishes, colors, pictures, etc. that reflect their personality and style.  Again, the finished products came in all forms (graphic arts, scrapped, or created digitally.)

If I were still in my classroom, I'm sure there would still be room for paper scrapping, but digital has opened a whole new realm of possibilities and is less expensive than shopping for paper supplies.  Students can use the school computers to create and sometimes print their work.  Our students were required to make "portfolios" which was a notebook with assignments and "evidence" of concepts they had learned.  They chose "Best Works" from various classes to show their skills and many selected items from my classes where they had put this kind of creative effort in.


I believe that scrapbooking teaches so many skills in working with color palettes, design themes, balance in arrangement, and combining written word with pictures to express and idea, convey thoughts or evoke emotions.  It allows for individual student creativity to express themselves and with so many options available everyone can find a format that works best for them.  Some students love the papers, stickers, ribbons, decorative edged scissors, etc., but many enjoy the ease of using digital software, and I always had a handful of talented artists that drew or paper crafted all of their projects. It allowed for everyone to be actively involved, working in their desired format, at their level and pace all at the same time.  I loved that using scrapbooking techniques got away from the "cookie cutter" or "one size fits all" approach that gets used so much in education.  This definitely supports the differentiated instruction approach.  Students took pride in their work and were more actively engaged from beginning to end and really enjoyed seeing everyone's finished products.

- Lisa Kelsey

Next week, we’ll see what suggestions Lisa will offer to teachers for grading “scrapbooking based” assignments, and how to teach some other academic subjects with scrapbooking.

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