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WritingFix...Publishing Scrapbooks

A Creative Publishing Idea from WritingFix
Celebrating Student Writing with Interesting Publishing Efforts

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This on-line write-up was posted by Amie Newberry, who invites you to share your methods of creative publishing with us at WritingFix!

Publishing Scrapbooks

Using scrapbooking and photo-journaling to create authentic
and meaningful writing experiences


A scrapbook is a MULTIGENRE technique that encourages the student to write is a multitude of ways, and it is accessible and inviting for the Kindergarden student all the way through 12 th grade. This lesson can be used in a variety of way—either to encourage students to write personal narratives or even as character analysis of your favorite literature book you teach.

Trait/Skill Focus:

The focus trait for this writing assignment is Idea Development; by exploring the different types of memorabilia and the unusual and real things one can write about, students will be inspired by the freedom and variety of pieces they can create for their scrapbooks. The support trait for this assignment voice; students will be able to explore and really work on their personal writing voice or step into a book and write from the voice of a literary character.

Teaching this lesson:

Please note that this is a final assessment, a culminating project, that generally comes at the end of a unit. I have used this to get students to write personal narratives, AND I have used it to have students do a literary analysis of a character from our reading. It is challenging to post the entire unit, so understand that is lesson is being built on for several days (if not weeks) prior to the final product being collected. ALSO, because there are two distinct ways to use this final project, either in a very real way (personal narratives) or a more fictional creation (character analysis), there are two ways to approach the teaching of this lesson. The interactive buttons will help you generate thinking and ideas for the personal narrative piece; this lesson will focus on the literary analysis.

Step one:

  • Ask students to bring in a photograph of themselves doing something.
  • Start with a movie clip from New in Town (with Renee Zellwigger). Use the clip about scrapbooking. It’s funny and breaks the ice
  • Then ask a couple of questions. Use the graphic organizer to have them catalog their thoughts. The questions are: What is a scrapbook? Why do you think people have them? What goes in scrapbooks? What might you have in your scrapbook?
  • Listen to Nickelbacks “Photograph” song. Have the lyrics on the board if possible. Ask the students to think about what the singer was reminded of and why he would never change a thing. There is a spot on the graphic organizer for their thoughts.
  • Then ask them what things would a character from the novel (they are reading) would never change and why? OR if you are doing a personal narrative, what things would they not change and why? Write answers in the graphic organizer.

Step two: Using page two of the graphic organizer, have student focus on a character from the current reading. The student will create a scrapbook for that character, so they need to start thinking like the character. Go through the questions and use the interactive buttons found on the Student Instructions page. This will help get their brains swimming with ideas.

What can go in a scrapbook? What might you write about for a scrapbook? Who might you make a scrapbook for? What types of scrapbooks are there?
  • A receipt
  • Postcard
  • Report card
  • Ribbons
  • Ticket Stubs
  • Love Letters
  • Brochures
  • Calling Cards
  • Business Cards
  • Letters
  • Awards
  • Pictures
  • Words
  • Poems
  • Religious Quotes
  • Inspirational Quotes
  • Newspaper Clippings
  • Magazine Articles
  • Movie Tickets
  • ANYTHING you can imagine!!
  • Daily happenings
  • Major events
  • Sports victories
  • Victories
  • Failures
  • Lessons learned
  • Things you believe
  • Things that you fear
  • Things that you love
  • People you love, admire or respect
  • Things you want to achieve
  • Things you wish were different
  • Blessings
  • Amazing Rescues
  • The beauty you find in life
  • What makes you happy or sad
  • Top 10 Lists (for anything you can think of)
  • Words from others
  • Favorite stories
  • Family Traditions
  • Family Stories
  • Family Sayings
  • Your History
  • YOU!
  • A sister
  • A brother
  • A cousin
  • A grandma
  • A mom
  • A dad
  • A granddad
  • A graduate
  • A best friend
  • An aunt
  • An uncle
  • A teacher
  • A boss/coworker
  • A boyfriend
  • A girlfriend
  • A family member
  • Parents
  • Family history
  • Christmas album
  • Favorite places
  • Travel
  • School career
  • Baby album
  • Pet album
  • Sports album
  • Family traditions
  • Religious album
  • Anniversary album
  • ABC album
  • Valentine’s Album (for someone you love)
  • Career album for someone
  • Retirement
  • College
  • Favorite things
  • People love
  • Things that have made you who you are
  • Love album


Step three:   After reviewing the student models and using the graphic organizer to get their brains in the right frame of mind, now ask students to begin constructing their own scrapbook for their character. These are the things I remind them when they get started:

  • A minimum of three short written pieces (use the interactive buttons for ideas).
  • Money is not necessary. You can create your own scrapbook from a folder, paper, and staples. Spending a lot of money doesn’t hide poorly produced writing and work. I’d rather have you work hard on the writing pieces.
  • Focus on idea development and voice—step into the character’s shoes.
  • I hand out a specific rubric so they know what they need to focus on.

Student Samples from Amie's Classroom


If you use this Publishing idea with your students (grades 4-12) and end up with an example that you believe I can feature here, please contact me at If you photograph/scan a journal page that I end up featuring here, I will send you one of the NNWP's Print Publications as my way of saying "Thanks!"

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