Perspectives on Notebooking—One Favorite Template

March 17, 2016 Posted by Bob Stremme, DZ Trainer of Trainers

It is very difficult to pick a top favorite out of all my favorite NBC templates, but North and South (pg 43), from U.S. History Pre-history to Reconstruction, ranks way up there. I use it in many of my workshops as well with my university Elementary Social Studies class.

This template has so many diverse uses. It can be used to show how a concept cut can be important to the theme. This cut is not straight, but follows the surveying line of Mr. Mason and Mr. Dixon. One simple line marked the country into two directions. Although the title of the template mentions people and economy, the concept can be greatly expanded into culture, weather, speech, etc. It fits nicely on notebook paper.

 Construction Note: It is difficult, especially for young students, to cut once the template is glued on the paper. The two almost right angles tend to tear apart. I cut it first, and then glue one side down. When I place the other side I leave enough space so that the line can really be seen. While this goes against the Fold/Glue/Cut process, the students do not get as frustrated while making it.

Useful for many levels

As a resident of Pennsylvania, I have seen the sign indicating the Mason-Dixon Line, and this makes the Foldable® even more significant. I have used this template with 5th graders as well as university students. Many of the older students were not aware that the line was so close to them and even how it was formed. The information that the teacher asks students to record underneath the tab will change according to the level of instruction that is needed and given. For example, students might be asked to list states to the north and south of the line underneath the tabs; more advanced students might be asked to explore the economies of north and south and the impact of the Mason-Dixon line on interstate trade.

Many tasks, same template

Other writing tasks might include:

  1.  Write about why this is called the Mason-Dixon line. Give a short bio about Mr. Mason under one tab and about Mr. Dixon under the other tab.
  2.  List the names of well-known people who, at the time, lived below or above this line geographically.
  3.  Think about the current time, list differences between the people living above and below this line. (Use a Venn diagram Foldable® to compare and contrast.)
  4.  Thinking about the Civil War, list the battles that were fought under the tab of its location.

What is written under these two tabs is directly related to the topic being studied at the time. This purposeful cut Foldable® is used in lessons about geography, history, current events, culture, famous people, the Civil War, and more. It lends itself to so many topics and can certainly be used more than once in the instruction. This template brings one of those “light bulb” moments when the students suddenly understand how a line on map can mean so many things. The Foldable really makes the history being taught to come alive!

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