Lesson Plan - Circle Journals- High School

Circle Journals

Submitted by: Melissa Fortenberry, Hillcrest School District in Strawberry Arkansas
Unit: Mixed Media - Visual Journals
Grade Level: 9 - 12 (adaptable to middle school)



Students will use the art journal format to share their thoughts and feeling through a combination of art and text. Each will chose the subject of their own book, thus each students will be working on a variety of topics throughout the semester.



All the words associate with parts of a book such as end pages, sign in page, tip-ins, etc.; words associated with the type of artwork they will be creating, such as collage, montage, text block, etc.



Students will chose a book or make a book to use for their journal at the beginning of the semester and do the beginning pages. These include decorating the cover, doing the end pages, a title page, a sign in pages, and at least 2 to 4 pages where they explore the topic of their book. The book will be passed on to other students throughout the semester, who are responsible for adding 2 to 4 pages to whichever book they happen to be working in at the time. This will be a regular Friday activity and also something the students can work on when they have spare time because they finished other projects early.


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Inside Cover


Books, a variety of papers, adhesives, AquaMarkers., paint (Tempera Paint., Acrylic Paint. or Watercolor Paint.), Brushes., computer (for making text or images for collage), old magazines, leftovers from teacher’s scrapbook supplies, rubber stamps, ink pads, 12" x 12" (30 x 30 cm) Drawing Paper. or Bristol Board., etc.


Lesson Design:

This will be the first lesson of the semester. Students will spend the first full week getting their books together and beginning the opening pages. Then it will be a Friday activity, as well as a project they use to fill any down time they have between other assignments.


The following pages are scans of my book that I made ahead of time so that I can spend more time guiding & assisting during the beginning of this lesson. My book can also be my teaching example.


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First page of my 1st spread

Close up of Tag


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Second page of my 1st spread, and close-up of what’s inside the envelope


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This is my second spread. The 1st is "Searching for the Man with the Key to my Heart and the 2nd Is "My Dream Man" - Melissa is E-Zine Director - ScrapTherapy Designs, Inc. (Apparently no longer in business)



See Laurie Gatlin's Composition Book Journal | See how to add a spinner to your journal (Archive)

Illumination: Visual Journals
http://www.kporterfield.com/journal/Illuminations.html (Archive)
Language of Imagery: Keeping a Visual Journal:
http://www.kporterfield.com/journal/Visual_Journal.html (Archive)

Wayne Jiang Sketchbooks:

1000 Journals - The site documents a project that consists of 1000 physical, paper and print journals that have been traveling at random throughout the world since August of 2000

International Society of Altered Book Artists- a group of artists, hobbyists, professional artists, teachers, librarians, and students, all coming together to form an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Book Altering as an art form. See their gallery of altered books. (Archive)



Scrapbooking for Dummies. - Discover how to choose a theme or occasion, design attractive page layouts, crop and mount photographs, accessorize with stickers, stamps, and enhance your albums through journaling

What About the Words? Creative Journaling for Scrapbookers. - Many scrapbookers approach journaling with trepidation for fear their words will not sparkle with as much artistic flair as their visual elements. This book will provide the advice, examples and inspiration scrapbookers need to help them record and remember in the most engaging and expressive way possible.


Optional Materials



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