This past school year I started incorporating mini flip books into my instruction, and I absolutely love how they have transformed the way I teach and review content with my students.
Middle school and high school students are still kids, and every once in a while they need some “down” time in the classroom. That is why mini flip books are so great. As the students assemble to books, they get several minutes to themselves. As they cut out and assemble the pages, I allow them to listen to music, chat with friends, or keep quietly to themselves. My only request is that my students have their books assembled by the time the timer goes off. Side note: when my students assemble the books, I display a timer on my projector and give them 15 minutes to color, cut out, and staple their books.
On assembly day, I display all of the paper on a table. I make sure that I place them in order from the first page to the last page, and I also set out a class set of scissors. I then dismiss students by rows or groups to gather all of the supplies needed and then return to their seats. Usually, my students have about 15 minutes to assemble their books. With a couple minutes to go, I go around the room and instruct students to put their supplies away, throw away any scraps of paper, and I pass around the staplers.
When I gave my seniors their first mini book, I was somewhat worried that my seventeen and eighteen-year-old students would find the books too childish, but I was completely wrong. They thought they were nifty, and they even enjoyed color-coding the tabs. Students are used to receiving content through direct instruction via lecture and presentations, and whenever a lesson deviates from traditional education, they are hooked. Mini flip books are fun.
One mini flip books I assigned to my seniors was the MLA Format Mini Flip Book. Even months after they completed the book, I still see them using it as a reference when they are writing essays. Another mini flip book I assigned my seniors was the Introduction to William Shakespeare Mini Flip Book. Before we read Macbeth, I wanted to introduce William Shakespeare and Elizabethan language in a fun and accessible way. I also wanted my students to have a reference to use as they read the play.
2. They work great inside interactive notebooksOne major benefit of using mini flip books is that they can easily be stored and integrated into interactive notebooks. If you have a classroom that utilizes an interactive notebook, once your students have assembled the books and completed the activities inside them, have your students to glue the back cover of the book into their interactive notebooks. Then your students can come back to the books throughout the year as a reference.
3. They are hands-on
Many students are kinesthetic learners, and they learn best by doing, assembling, and creating. Introducing or reviewing content with mini flip books gives students the opportunity to create. With many of my mini flip books, I try to include activities within the books so that students can maximize their learning!
4. They are great for test prep
As much as we might dislike test prep, teaching content that is frequently found on high-stakes tests is part of what we must do. Many questions on these tests, especially in fifth, eighth, and eleventh grade, deal with grammar and usage. Starting in the spring semester, I like to review this content with my students so they can brush up on their skills and also so that they are prepared for the test. Even though we might not like “teaching to the test”, doing so helps yield higher test results. Many of the mini flip books I’ve created are great for test prep, and they are much more fun than traditional test prep strategies!
Test Prep Mini Flip Books: