No matter how many new ideas enter the educational world, one thing is for certain… New content is going to be introduced to students…obviously.
But learning new content is hard for many students, and for most, organizing it is even harder.
Using educational flipbooks while teaching new content is exactly what your students need as they conquer the new content in your classroom.
Engaging and Organizing Today’s Students with Flipbooks
Back in the day, our notes were taken diligently in formal outline formatting. You know what I mean. We were professionals at using roman numerals, numbers, and letters to organize the main ideas, details, and examples the teacher gave to us as she wrote diligently on her overhead projector. Then we would use our outlines to study for the weekly content quiz before the teacher would collect and assess our outlines.
Here’s the thing, letters and numbers don’t appeal to our 21st-century students who, by nature and social influence, are more visual learners.
Flipbooks help students use the same organizational structure that those outlines provided back in the day, but their bright colors and sleek, interactive design keep students engaged too!
When should you use a flipbook?
Flipbooks are tools for organization, pre-assessment, practice, reflection, and review.
Rather than just taking notes during direct instruction, flipbooks provide a structure or guide for students to organize their thoughts and notes on each main topic within the big idea of the lesson or new knowledge.
For example, in the Nonfiction Text Structures Flipbook, each page includes a definition, clue words, a sample, and an activity to interact with the sample.
Fun in 5th Grade Flipbooks are easy to implement both during in-person instruction and in virtual and/or hybrid learning models. Many of the flipbooks have been reimagined using Google Slides to be digital.
Use your flipbooks as a pre-assessment. Give students a little time to complete some of the notes before beginning instruction. Then do a quick formative assessment to gauge their prior knowledge and adjust accordingly.
For example, in the Candy-Themed Figurative Language Flipbook, encourage students to fill in the blanks for each figurative language type they already know and create examples in the spaces provided BEFORE you begin instructing. If you want a closer look at this Figurative Language flipbook and the other figurative language resources available from Fun in 5th Grade, take a look at this blog post: 40 Figurative Language Examples for Upper Elementary.
Add in a few opportunities for students to immediately practice implementing new content within the flipbooks.
For example, in the Prefix and Suffix Flipbook, students are encouraged to track the prefixes and suffixes they find examples of throughout the day and record them on the Prefix Tracker and Suffix Tracker on the final two pages of the flipbook.
Flipbooks can act as a journal or means of reflection.
In our free resource, School Break Writing Flipbook, students are encouraged to share and reflect on their school breaks. The writing can then be shared with classmates or with the teacher as a way of building a positive, supportive community within the classroom.
Use the flipbooks as a means of support during review games in the classroom.
For every unit we’ve designed flipbooks for, we also have a variety of games for review. Bookend your units with these resources, and encourage students to use the flipbooks as needed during the games or use them as a differentiation strategy in the class.
Here are some flipbooks and review game pairs to consider using in your classroom.
- Pair the Text Structures Flipbook with the Text Structures Game Show or Text Structure U-KNOW.
- Pair the Prefix and Suffix Flipbook with Prefix and Suffix U-KNOW or Digital Puzzle.
- Pair the Candy-Themed Figurative Language Flipbook with this Figurative Language Digital Game or these Figurative Language Task Cards.
How can Flipbooks be DIGITAL?
We design digital flipbooks at Fun in 5th Grade by using Google Slides, clickable links, and text boxes.
Using the same look and design of a flipbook, students can navigate between slides by clicking on the tabs found on the first page (just as they navigate a flipbook through the tabs on the first page. Students can edit and add to the flipbooks by filling in the spaces and examples on the other slides with notes, examples, reflections, and questions.
These digital flipbooks are fully editable, and teachers can add to the flipbook before assigning it to students.
Digital flipbooks also take away all the prep work typically associated with flipbooks, as they can be quickly assigned through Canvas, Google Classroom, or another Classroom Management System.
Each digital flipbook comes with a video tutorial to help you overcome any issues (technical or otherwise) as you lead your students through this activity!
Flipbooks are the tool-NOT the assessment
Flipbooks are the skeleton of the learning process. The creation and use of the flipbooks to learn new content provides the scaffolding and support students can use throughout the unit to internalize new content.
Encourage students to use their flipbooks to show their parents what they are learning, during review games, and during projects and assessments. Ask them to refer to them as much as possible. The more repetition, the better!
Despite their many uses, remember-flipbooks are not an assessment. By design, flipbooks are a means for gathering and organizing content, they don’t model how the content is used in real-world scenarios. Let’s go back to the skeleton thing as an example.
Flipbooks are the skeleton of the learning process, but a good teacher knows that to be true learning only happens when you put some meat on those bones.
A skeleton can’t move forward (walking, running, etc.) without muscle. To fit all the knowledge together and actually USE the information, students have to figure out how the pieces work together.
Assess the movement that is supported by the skeleton, not the skeleton itself.
Analogy aside: Don’t assess the tool! Assess the skill.
Consider the Bundle
If you are intrigued and see the value of these flipbooks (both digital and paper), then get an even greater value by getting your hands on the ELA Flipbook Bundle, which includes all of the flipbooks mentioned in this post at a discount!