I really like scrapbooking. In a twisted fashion that's how I ended my last post. I get a little carried away with Barthes. However, I got thinking about how my scrapbooking hobby could be useful in the classroom.
In my last practicum the classroom teacher included a photo album as part of her "class history." I really liked this idea but I thought it could be developed further to have students meet a visual arts curriculum objective in the process. The art and design process of making a layout for a scrapbooked page for a class history easily fits into 2-D design objectives in the provincial IRPs. I think it would be a great idea to also explore a photographic "collage" using class history photographs. (Possibly to do a photo mosaic as Tim will explain to us on December 1, 2005 for his Tech Challenge). As well one could do a portraiture project at the beginning and end of the year with students as a way to represent their growth over the year. A neat way to use photographs with portraiture is to get students to bring in multiple photographs of themselves (making sure the pictures feature students' faces at different angles and at different scales). Cutting up these pictures and layering them is an interesting way to make a self portrait that is recognizable but also uses layout and design elements. One might also look at some of Picasso's cubist paintings to compare design strategies.
I also did a little bit of searching and found a website that looked at scrapbooking as a way for students to present research. Making Waves is an online lesson plan for any research topic where students use digital scrapbooking to create a product. This could be a great way to incorporate visual arts, technology, and a subject of choice in an integrated fashion.
I used scrapbooking when teaching about the lithosphere myself. I brought in a scrapbook I had made about my trip to Drumheller, Alberta this past summer. I used pictures and words to show information about the area (maps), the layers of soil (pictures), and my description of the trip (journal), which lead to a hands-on activity where my students looked at my fossil collection. I used the scrapbook as an anticipatory to the lesson. I think this worked well and is a strategy I will try again in my teaching career. I think it shows the value of literacy as well because it shows students how they can be authors too.
Used in any of these ways I think scrapbooking is a worthwhile activity for students and teachers alike. I put a link on my website to a source with lots of tips for scrapbook beginners. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by kits, terms, and the amount of resources out there. If you decide to try this activity remember to keep it simple and have fun. It is a great way to personalize your work.