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An Original Wacky We-Search Report housed at WritingFix
this writing across the curriculum assignment inspires summarizing, not plagiarizing

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The Wacky Geography Scrapbook Activity

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Welcome to this Activity!

The Wacky
Geography Scrapbook

pretending a city, state, region or country was a "scrapbooker"

This wacky activity was created by NNWP Teacher Consultant Barb Snelgrove.

This writing activity was inspired by Barry Lane's book, 51 Wacky We-Search Reports. In Nevada, Barry's book has been teaching us to help students think deeply about learned content as they learn to put ideas in their own words.

Overview of this Wacky Writing Activity:

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the physical and human features of a city, county or state in a fun and inviting way by producing a scrapbook of a chosen place. The scrapbook, written in the "voice" of the place they are learning about, will include graphics and key information about the particular location. Hopefully, after reading and viewing scrapbooks, fellow students will want to visit those places (and they will be knowledgeable about them as well).

The Set-up:

Mentor Text: Read the picture book, Listen to the Wind. The setting of this book is in Pakistan and includes a scrapbook at the end of it, which gives information about a Pakistani village’s people, resources, landmarks and geography.

Kids love to look at pictures. I know some children who look at scrapbooks for hours on end. I know of some scrapbooks that have been viewed so much that they are falling apart. I also know of some people who stay up until the ‘wee” hours producing scrapbooks in the “scrap-o-rama” style. Tell students about these "scrapbookers," and have them think about this wacky question: "What if places stayed up all night making scrapbooks about themselves?"

This Wacky We-Search project will teach students about geographic locations in a colorful and engaging way. If each of your students were to create a scrapbook of all of the counties in your state, for example, think of the collection of engaging teaching tools you would have?

Before they get started on this project, have students bring in favorite scrapbooks from home and spend a bit of time passing the scrapbooks around the classroom. After students share their scrapbooks, create a quick list of they have learned.

You will need the following materials:

  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Templates and/or rulers
  • Glue
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooking supplies (stickers, die cuts, scraps)
  • Teacher-made example
  • Reference materials about geographic locations you are studying

The Punch:

Explain to your students that they are going to have a scrap-o-rama in their very own classroom! They will create a personal scrapbook page from the point-of-view of a county, city or state that they have been learning about in class. They will need to “delve” a bit more to find specific information on the location that they must “scrapbook.”

Remind your students that scrapbooks are often about vacations and that vacations are fun. Encourage students to write about their place so that everyone would want to visit it.

The scrapbook should include at least eight graphics and explanations/descriptions as follows:

  • Location (maps)
  • Weather
  • A natural or man-made landmark or landform
  • Natural resource(s) found in this area
  • An interesting person from this area
  • An industry of this area
  • When was this area established or founded
  • A “little known fact about this place

A Funny Tip:

It would be great for students to come up with an interesting motto about the place whose voice they are “scrapbooking” for. For example, if the place has an abundance of sagebrush, the motto could be: “All for our sagebrush,” or, perhaps, “In sagebrush we trust.”

Sample mottos below. Challenge students to think of creative mottos:

  • Live free or die.
  • Freedom and Unity.
  • Crossroads of America
  • Liberty and union, now and forever.
  • United in Pride and Hope.
  • Equal Rights.
  • Mountaineers are always free.
  • Ever Upward.



A Teacher-Made Sample:

Click the image above to see it in larger form.

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