One of my hobbies is scrapbooking, cardmaking etc. I really enjoy making lovely cards while watching TV programmes, usually about murders and crimes to save the balance… Well, since my students might yet grow up to be criminal masterminds, I, as the Evil Empress of the World (in the making) feel obliged to show them a way of putting their undoubtedly creative minds to use without doing anything illegal.
Hence, the scrap projects.
My adventure with scrapbooking started when I lived in Dublin, fair city. I kept collecting bits and bobs – postcards, coasters, tickets, you know, all the typical touristy stuff I’m sure you have aplenty at homes as well. I felt like making something to keep all the stuff together neatly organised, so here came my first project — a handmade book about the time I spent in Dublin. It’s a perfect way to keep only good memories, by the way!
Surprisingly, I’ve happened to use my projects in the classroom — it’s quite attractive for the students to see some actual real-life materials along with the “been there, done that” stories as an addition to the book material and better than checking things on their own on the Internet. So from students’ perspective this sole reason is enough for you, as a teacher, to collect some souvenirs from the countries you’ve been to.
Apart from a valuable classroom material, scrapbooks can also be an inspiration for the students — especially the younger ones — during classes and that’s the idea I want to share today.
For example, you can ask your students to make a holiday-based scrapbook during their summer holidays so that they hopefully won’t forget English — it’s quite a lot of work, but you may organise a contest with some nice prizes. If you don’t know whether you are going to teach the same group after a break, you can make a mini-project about their dream holidays or school trip in the classroom.
You could also use this technique to make brainstorming vocabulary games or as a way to get students’ ideas together. You can, for example, present the works in the classroom as posters. Organising your vocabulary using scrapbooking ideas is useful for all types of learners: visual learners can see the connections, auditory learners focus on the brainstorming activity, reading/writing learners have everything noted down and the most difficult group to teach English, kinesthetic learners, can finally learn something by actually making something.