Making a scrapbook
          Here’s a project that develops literacy skills along with artistic flair: a
scrapbook to chronicle your child’s summer adventures.

          Wherever she spends the summer and whatever she does, there’s almost
no end to the amount of mementoes that can be combined with photos and
diary-style writing to produce a volume that will be treasured for years to come.

          The first thing that comes to mind for most of us when we think of
scrapbooks is photographs. You’ll probably be taking lots of them this summer
anyway, as activities head out-of-doors for swimming, hiking, picnicking, and
other events. You’re in luck. Many film processors these days include a second
set of prints at no extra charge. Keep one for the family album (or, if you’re as
chronically behind as most people, that overstuffed shoebox in your closet or
drawer), and give the other set to your child for her scrapbook.

          Once you get into the habit of thinking about the scrapbook, it will be
easy to remember to save other odds and ends for inclusion: ticket stubs, flyers,
post cards, you-name-it. 

          The amount of writing done by your child will depend on her age and
writing skill. The very youngest of kids can dictate their stories. Older kids can and
should write more on their own to keep this skill fresh. If you want to replicate the
school approach to writing, help your child to understand the process of first
writing a rough draft, then editing and rewriting her words for the final product.

          The artistic side comes into play when all the components are laid out on
the pages. Kids can also add their own drawings, either mounted or written
directly on the pages.

          I end with a note about preserving this work. Just as you would do for your
other photo albums, make sure that you use only acid-free and lignin-free paper
for this album. Avoid the “magnetic” peel-off plastic sheets that destroy photos
over time. I use and recommend the line of Creative Memories products that
have been designed with creativity and longevity in mind. 

          This column has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children
Well: A Teacher’s  Advice for Parents.

All columns are copyright © Jay Davidson. Permission is hereby granted for individuals to download and copy them for individual use. There is a modest charge for printing these columns in any publication. To receive that permission, contact Jay Davidson