Putting The Fun Into Learning

Benefits of using Create A Mini-Book in the classroom:

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I also decided that it would be a practical idea to re-introduce the CD package design as well, offering it to adults to create their very own custom digital storage container ( a 21st century version of a mixed tape custom case, if you will ) therefore, ultimately creating a community building, family building activity that both parents and school-age children alike could participate in and have fun. My idea to breathe new life into the project turned out to be a civic-minded experiment that bridges the gap between education and entertainment, bringing together my past and my future to shape and form my present.


Now hopefully I can pay back my student loans! 



  • It provides a great visual Representation of Knowledge.
  • Presents what is essential.
  • Visual graphics used in program help one to remember key information.
  • Engaging through thinking, creating and writing.
  • Perfect avenue for writing dialogue.
  • Incites students with low interest in writing.
  • Helps organization through storytelling and storyboarding.
  • Using visual images conveys meaning to a story or topic.
  • Develops creative and higher level thought processes.
  • Develops composition techniques through visual-verbal connections.
  • Enriches reading, writing, and thinking.
  • Serves as an assessment and evaluation tool.
  • Sequencing promotes understanding​

The Birth Of the MiniBook

The mini-book has an unusual story of how it came into existence. Back in 1999, I decided to release my own music for the first time in my career and I wanted to have special packaging to house it in. I couldn’t afford the “digi-pak” design (cardstock with plastic tray to hold the CD in place) so I combed the city I was in at the time, Buffalo (my hometown) and found a way to create my very own “jewel case”. I often met with resistance to the idea of using cardboard with opponents stating that it had no “give” to it, and that it wasn’t a very “nice” material. However, I stayed my course and soldiered on. The end design worked out wonderfully and enjoyed relative success as an eco-friendly CD jewelcase.

​The band and label shut down after a few short years  and things were put on hold with the music and its packaging. There was one other artist ( Annette Peacock ) who released a limited edition of some of her work in Europe with the design I came up and that was about it.
 
Fast forward 5 years and I found myself going back to school for music and education in a quest to re-invent myself for an ever-changing world and marketplace. I never thought that I would be, re-visiting the idea and re-inventing  (rather re-appropriating ) my CD design into an educational program that integrates literature with craft as well! The idea woke me out of a sound sleep one winter night in 2014 and I started looking into what I could possibly do to offer it to all ages as an educational building block of sorts, and I came upon the idea of offering “create a mini-book “workshops  to help encourage students to become passionate again about reading and writing. I thought, if I add an element of fun to reward them with, then surely they’ll get to work on the literacy part.  It worked!


I reached out to a librarian friend of mine and asked if she would be interested in the idea and she put me in touch with some other librarian friends who were receptive to the idea and I decided I would take the show on the road to local libraries in surrounding communities and offer  a workshop where all ages could build and create their very own mini-books.