Notebooking is a useful tool in our daily home learning, one that take far less effort than most people realize. Notebooking, in its simplest form, is one of the most effective means of encouraging a child's skills in observation, independent thought and learning, as well as artistic expression. Unfortunately, many home educators do not utilize this tool due to being so often overwhelmed by the many resources available. Sometimes, we make the process entirely too difficult, and just need to simplify.
When I began teaching history at the academy, I began re-evaluating the process that I used in Notebooking with my own children at home. I needed to simplify the process in order to teach notebooking methods to my new students who had no previous notebooking knowledge (*gasp*), without taking up precious classroom hours.
Notebooking is essential in our home education, and I wanted to give this gift of creative learning to my new students. A student that is able to keep a notebook has excellent potential as a student and life-long learner.
In the process of my many hours of
Pinterest gleaning research, I discovered a simple Notebooking assignment idea that paved the way for my creating the easiest method to teach notebooking skills, and helping my students produce excellent Notebooking pages on their own.
I have lovingly dubbed this notebooking exercise "Take 5" Notebooking. The students read or review their lesson, then they "Take 5" in their notebook.
- Document 5 important or interesting facts from the lesson.
- Create 5 illustrations to represent these facts.
- Use 5 colors to complete the illustrations in the notebook.
This is a simple assignment with the potential for excellent outcomes for the student.
- The student gleans, continually, from the lesson or reading to find the information that they feel is important, or at least, interesting. This promotes them thinking over the ideas in the living book or lesson the teacher has provided.
- The student is building narration skills and note-taking skills that will continue to help them become excellent communicators.
- The process of illustrating and coloring helps to ignite the creative spark in a child's imagination. Picturing and envisioning the ideas from the reading or lesson is an essential element to help children retain what they have learned and make a permanent connection to the ideas they are learning.
- The student utilizing this process has assimilated the information themselves, in reality teaching themselves, and providing themselves with a convenient way to review the ideas later . . . in their own notebook.
- The process of this assignment helps a child to organize their own thoughts and begin expressing them effectively and ultimately more efficiently.
Here are a few examples of "Take 5" Notebooking assignments:
|TAKE 5 on Luther & the 95 Theses|
This "Take 5" did not have the 5 illustrations, but I love the creativity of using the Wittenburg church door as the center piece illustration.
|TAKE 5: You can use printed clip art, magazine clippings, postcards and photos for your illustrations in notebooking.|
I begin with the first "Take 5" Notebooking assignment on the first week of school. My class is history, so we began with a History About Me: Take 5, but you can use this for any subject you are learning. Example: Math About Me, Science About Me, Reading About Me, Writing About Me, etc. Rather than creating a Take 5 on a lesson, they are using themselves as the "idea" to communicate. It is an easy way to begin teaching the notebooking method, set expectations for excellent work and learn a bit more about my students.
Remember, the key to successful notebooking is you being a guide to your child. Allow them a chance to meditate and communicate the ideas that they believe are important. Give them the tools and allow them to use the tools in their learning.
Here are some more posts on notebooking that you may find useful:
10 Reasons Notebooking Helps Home Educated Students, Off the Map Geography for Your Notebook, Nature Study Freebies for Your Notebook, How-To Notebook in Math,
This post is a part of the Notebook Construction series
Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom