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WritingFix: A Family Writing Night Idea...Family Scrapbook Journals

A Family Writing Idea from WritingFix
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This write-up was created by Julie Leimbach, a Northern Nevada Writing Project Teacher Consultant and elementary teacher. Julie encourages all schools to host Family Writing Nights to help bridge the gap between home and school.

Family Scrapbook Journals

This idea comes from Northern Nevada teacher Julie Leimbach.


Family Scrapbooking Journals encourage family members to come together with staff members and write about topics that are important to them. The Important Book poem frame can be utilized by those less confident in their writing abilities or those that wish to add more structure to their writing, while others may choose the free form journal writing. This is a great activity for a Family Writing Night because it naturally welcomes people speaking any language or age to participate.

Trait/Skill Focus:

Ideas: Participants must choose a topic and narrow it down to write about the specific pictures that they have chosen for their scrapbook page.

Voice/Word Choice: This activity will encourage the participant to use descriptive words to write about a topic that they have strong feelings about. Choose one idea and use words to paint a picture in the mind of the reader.

Materials List:

Presenting at Family Writing Night:

Thank the families for participating in the Family Writing Night. Stress the importance of writing. Writing is not just something students do only at school. Writing is an important part of every person’s life. It is a skill that must be developed to ensure life long success. It is important that the family encourages the students to write for enjoyment. Parents should encourage the students to write outside of school. It is activities like the one tonight that help students find the fun in writing. This is also an activity that you can have your students do at home. It is a wonderful gift to give your students. Years later your child will be able to look back and remember what was important to them at that time.

Activity: Create a scrapbook page using an Important Book Poem structure or free journal form

  • Explain that the Important Book frame provides a good structure for a paragraph.
  • Read a few sample poems from The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown.
  • The paragraph has an introduction (The important thing about ___ is that ___). Then list three facts about the topic. The conclusion restates the introductory sentence.
  • Provide families with the Important Book Poem frame and samples of teacher the models Max and Samee. Everything provided to the families at my school must be in both English and Spanish.
  • Directions:
    • Write out a poem using the writing frame based on the topic of your pictures/scrapbook page.
    • Once you are done writing your poem, gather your scrapbook supplies and begin creating your scrapbook page. Have teacher scrapbook page models posted or other examples for participants to look at. Stress that they need to leave room on the scrapbook page to write their poem for journal entry.
    • Make sure you are well staffed so that you can assist as needed.
  • Ask for a few volunteers to leave their work for you to display on school bulletin boards. Assure the volunteers that you will return their work to them.

Positive Impact:

The families will leave with scrapbook pagesthat they created. Everyone will have enjoyed writing and hopefully see that writing is not the chore that they fear it to be. It can be a wonderful and engaging experience.

Student Samples:



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