Notebooking (verb): the act of organizing ideas or facts in written or pictorial form usually within a notebook or journal.
I'll admit, upon my first introduction to the very idea of notebooking, I baulked at the thought of forcing my VERY kinesthetic/artistic boy to sit for extended periods of writing. My writer-girl would love it...I knew. But after exploring the core goals of notebooking, I realized that notebooking DIDN'T HAVE TO BE lengthy compositions...it could be whatever we WANTED it to be.
To make a fact fanA fact fan is typically made from sturdy card stock...although we've made them out of fun, funky paper at times too!
- Cut a sheet of card stock into strips that are the exact same width.
- Determine how long you want the cover page to be and cut one of your strips to that length.
- Cut all other strips so that they are each 1/2 inch to 3/4 of an inch longer than the last.
- Fasten the strips together with a metal brad so that they can "fan" out.
How you organize your fact fan is up to you.
Recently, while doing a unit on animal migration, Sweetie Pea (4th) and Super Boy (1st), each made a fact fan. After brainstorming how they should each organize their thoughts within these little notebooks, they decided to use a scientific approach. They assigned questions to each fan page and used that page to report upon the answers as they learned them during our unit.
Obviously, the answers were not learned in the order that the questions were originally written. After our daily reading, they each determined which question (or questions) were best answered THAT DAY. They found that particular page, jotted down a few simple sentences, and drew a picture.
Why I like fact fans?The short answer?? because THEY ARE SHORT. Fact fans...or other simple notebooking methods...are very quick, easy tools to detail ONLY the most important facts. For a child who gets quite overwhelmed by a blank page with endless empty lines to fill, these little fans provide a clear finish line...When the small card is filled, YOU ARE DONE. There will be more space and time to add the "rest of the story" tomorrow.
In addition, all my kids looooove to do special school "projects." In truth, a fact fan is really just a oddly shaped notebook. But that ODD shape somehow adds just enough jazz to make them seem like a project. (Even though I am fully aware that they aren't....but that's just between you and me! Mum's the word.)
Although...as you can see...it makes for some "questionable" handwriting, a BLANK, un-lined page affords the non-writer plenty of space to include an illustration. And let's face it, a picture can REALLY be worth a 1,000 words. I can look at my son's illustrations and KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that he GETS IT!
What can you detail with a fact fan?Although I concede that you can notebook ANY subject, we prefer to save our notebooking endeavors for content-rich subjects like history, science, and Bible.
We've used fact fans for MANY different topics. My personal favorite was during an extended study of the solar system. My daughter made a card for each planet and used the space to list all the major facts of each planet and to draw a picture of every one. She actually used color...IN THE PICTURES!