FREE Shipping on all our products! Click to see details.


Your Cart is Empty

What Is Notebooking?

July 21, 2014 3 min read

what is notebooking

Hey, you all! It's the Sassafras twins back for another superiffic sassy-sci post!

Well, actually it is not really us - we are just here to introduce Paige's post because we are totally swamped right now.

We are super busy reading over the proofs of volume 3! We are checking them for accuracy and reliving the botany leg of our journey - which you guys are going to love!!

Tracey will be sharing more about the book next time, but for now, our author is coming back to the blog today to answer the question - what is notebooking?

Thanks, Blaine and Tracey for having me back to share more about one of my favorite subjects - notebooking! As you guys already know, we prefer to use notebooking over worksheets in our homeschool.

This is because in notebooking the students are not merely regurgitating facts.  They are thinking about what they have read or heard and responding with what they have found to be meaningful.

I have found notebooking to be an extremely effective tool that over time teaches students how to process and release information.

What is Notebooking?

Notebooking is a method of interacting with and recording the information that students are learning.

At its core, notebooking has two key components:

  1. Material Content
  2. Visual Content

Both are equally important since they each engage different parts of the students' brains.

The Material Component of Notebooking

The material component of notebooking contains the information the students have learned. It should contain:

  • A record of what the students find to be meaningful;
  • Or documentation of what you would like for the students to remember.

You can obtain this information from the students by asking open-ended questions like:

  • What did you find interesting about what we just read?
  • What do you remember from what we just studied?

These questions will help the students formulate a record of what they found to be meaningful.

If you want the students to document specific information, you can ask them leading questions. These answers will help them to plan out the desired response before they write it down on their notebooking page.

Essentially, the material component is a written record of the facts the students have studied.

The Visual Component of Notebooking

The visual component of notebooking displays a picture of the concept the students have studied.

The students can:

  • Print out an actual picture;
  • Make their own copy of a real-life photo;
  • Or draw their own version.

They can look at the internet or in encyclopedias for these images. The key is to have the students use an illustration that relates to the information they have written down.

At its core, the visual component is a visible representation of the information the students have learned.

How to use these two components

However, how you arrange the two components of notebooking is up to you and your students. The key elements can be displayed through:

  • Notebooking Pages
  • Lapbooks
  • Booklets
  • Posters

However you choose to utilize notebooking methods in your homeschooling, the material and visual components will help to solidify the information in the students' minds.

Psst...We love to answer questions from our Sassy-Sci (or soon-to-be Sassy-Sci) peeps! If you have a question email it our way or check out all the user questions posts to see if we have already covered it.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Elemental Science Blog

Should you use Classical Science or Sassafras Science in your homeschool next year?

January 20, 2020 4 min read

Should you use the Classical Science series or the Sassafras Science series from Elemental Science next year?

Classical Science or Sassafras Science - which science series from Elemental Science is better for your homeschool next year? Click "Read More" to see a comparison of these two programs.

5 Simple steps for writing an interesting biography report on a famous scientist

December 09, 2019 4 min read


We recommend that students start writing a simple scientist biography report beginning in the third or fourth grade. Click "Read More" to see how to write a biography report on a famous scientist in 5 easy steps.

4 Interesting ways you can Opt-4-Science-Fun from Black Friday through Cyber Monday

November 25, 2019 2 min read

Instead of shopping, choose to do one or more of these free and fun science activities to do together as a family on the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Click "Read More" to #opt4sciencefun.

Join Us