Scrapbooking – Teacher tool in school (part 2)

Last week, Lisa shared some interesting ways she has used scrapbooking in her own classroom. Let’s see what she can suggest to other teachers.

It is useful to establish benchmarks that students are aware of before starting the project so they know what has to be included for an "A", what is acceptable for a "B", etc.

My suggestion to other teachers is to try to incorporate scrapbooking as a tool on ONE assignment to start with to see how it goes.  If they are uncomfortable with scrapping all they just need to ask the students if any of their moms are scrapbookers for assistance!  There is bound to be at least one.  They can also contact a local scrapbook supply store and speak with those that teach the intro classes for ideas on integrating this technique with your subject area. (JoAnn's and Michaels have such Intro to Scrapbooking classes in my area).   That person or a parent may be willing to come in and help during class time.



Grading a project using scrapbooking can be different if teachers are used to having answer keys and things are either "right" or "wrong".  It is useful to establish benchmarks that students are aware of before starting the project so they know what has to be included for an "A", what is acceptable for a "B", etc.  I created a grade slip at the high school level that gave point allocations for things like "overall design", "required content covered", "content accuracy", "grammar/spelling", etc. depending on class and project.  Students received a copy before starting their project so they knew how their grade would be determined.  I even had "peer graders" where students brought their project in on the due date and set them on their desk.  They were given two grading slips and were assigned two other students to review.  It gave them a chance to show off their work to others, be reviewed by peers as well as give input for others.  I would be the third one to grade every project and I would incorporate the peer graders' scoring into their final score.  This is especially nice for subjective projects as "art beauty is in the eye of the beholder".  It would always raise the bar for the next project as students got to see how others met the benchmarks and what techniques they would use. Materials used do not always have to be typical "scrapping supplies" either. Rather than put kids in groups and give a speech, I had students come up with a game show concept to "teach" their topic.  One group cut out paper sheep and used cotton balls for their wool on their visual.

Other more “traditional” academic subjects can be incorporated into a scrapbook format or supplies, even at the elementary level. Here are a few examples.



Use the die-cut machine to cut out alpha letters and have elementary students work with a partner to quiz them on their spelling.  One reads from the spelling list and the other uses the letters to spell the word on the desk.  The spelling is not said aloud for others to be distracted so it can be a quiet seat activity.  Have each student choose one word and paste the letters on paper for a future vocabulary assignment.


Allow students to create a page when learning the concept of fractions.  Give them a "fraction recipe" to follow when creating it. (ex: one-third of your page should be green, and two-thirds should be white;  your title should take up one-fourth of the space at the top)


Select a prominent figure in history and design a 3 chapter book covering 3 aspects of their life.  Create a decorative, period-appropriate cover for the person selected and incorporate graphics for each chapter relating to the content discussed.  Students in my high school actually made diaries after taking on the persona of an assigned figure in history and writing from their perspective on current events.  One of my advisory/homeroom students showed me his completed 18th century diary and it was amazing.  Pages were aged using a flame to slightly brown the edges.  He also put watermarks in and made the edges worn.  It was bound with leather fabric with a simple tie. As this was a diary assignment, all entries were hand written and graphics, if included, would have been tucked in but the teacher had them tape or staple so nothing would get lost.


Students can research a state and its capital and find out what that state is known for.  They can create a presentation poster board using scrapping materials out of the state's colors, stickers or clip art of food grown or industry production, etc. to teach the other students about their state and later hang them up in the room.  Use principles of design to create a pleasing visual display.  Again, students can go to a scrapbook store and many have state related papers/stickers, but they also can print images from the internet at home or hand draw and cut out to paste on.

- Lisa Kelsey

As you can see, scrapbooking can be a wonderful and different tool to teach even the most “boring” subjects. It can grab any student’s attention and help them discover more than was is taught.A big thank you to the teachers who contributed to this series of articles on “teaching and scrapbooking”.

As a teacher, did you ever use scrapbooking as a teaching tool? As a student, did you ever have the chance to use scrapbooking in your assignments? Share your own stories in the comments below.

Leave a Comment