In teacher school, I recently took a class where we learned about “foldables” or “interactive notebooks.” These are basically semi-complicated ways of making notebooks more fun and showing students new ways to organize material. If you want to see how absolutely bananas these things can get, I highly suggest searching both of those terms on Pinterest. I have to admit, I’m fairly glad I didn’t do these in my own primary and secondary school days. I was so OCD, I never would have used my notes for fear of ruining the artwork!
The simple foldables, however, I think are brilliant, both as teacher and student. One organizer I really enjoyed was the flipbook. I thought this particular one would be very handy for discrete notes, like parts of speech or comma rules, or even summary notes for reading a novel (a page for setting, rising action events, climax, new vocabulary, etc.) But as I made my sample flipbook in class, it struck me that this would be brilliant for use in Wiccan ritual.
Follow me here. How many of us have printed off a ritual script, brought it into circle, and then stumbled to find the different sections? I know I certainly have. And then you flip back and forth through different pages, convince yourself they’re in the wrong order, and basically go nuts trying to find your flow. It doesn’t matter how big the font is–you constantly lose your place.
With a flipbook like this, though, you basically create labelled tabs for each ritual part, and the tabs let you quickly turn to the right area of your “script”. If one page isn’t enough, you can always stack two or three and create a mini booklet for a section. I’ve been using one for a couple weeks now to help me learn a new Outer Court script, and it’s been genius.
To make the booklet like you see in the first page, just count out the number of steps in your ritual, then take half that many pages. You may wish to do as I did and add another page as a “cover”. Fan stack the pages in an even row so that they are offset from each other by a quarter inch or so. Then fold the stack over upon itself so that the top half of the middle page fans over the bottom half of itself. Staple the folded edge to hold everything together. Write the name of each step on the exposed flap of a page, then fill in the rest of the page with your script for that step. With the booklet closed, you’ll just see the names of the steps and can easily go to any with just a page turn. And all it takes to make this booklet is paper, a stapler, and a pen. Easy as pie.
There is one downside to the paper flipbook, though. The amount of space you have on any particular page changes. It’s hardly noticeable if you have four or five pages, but if you have 12, you’re really short on writing space for that first step. The outer court script I’m trying to memorize has 24 stages. It’s impossible to get workable writing space using the construction method I described above, so what I actually did for this “ritual flipbook” was to return to my high school calculus days where I taped a series of notecards to a backer board to organize my notes. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was creating a flipbook.
These notecard flipbooks are also dead easy, though they require more supplies. You basically take a piece of cardstock and a few pieces of note cards (4×6 unruled ones here), decide on a spacing you like (if you use ruled notecards, just space each on the last line), and then paste the cards into place with Scotch tape. A nice bonus here is that you can change your printing settings to print to a 3×5 or 4×6 card, and thus save yourself some writer’s cramp. You can even laminate the cards if you want to. Whatever you do, I definitely recommend writing out all your note cards before taping them into place, as you won’t be able to write or print over the tape.
My calculus flipbook survived my year of high school calculus and my semester of college calculus. It also survived both of my brothers’ high school years. My current students are actually referring to it to help them pass their own calculus classes, so clearly a well-constructed notecard flipbook can take a beating. I think the cards and tape can just go on forever, and it is fairly easy to replace one if it gets too beaten up. However, the cardstock will fall apart pretty easily in a binder. The weight of all those cards and gravity is just more than the hole punches can take. I actually stuck my calculus cards to plastic full-page sheet lifters for binders. I also made sure that my tape went all the way across the top edge of a card, and overlapped the card on top of it. They were really strongly affixed that way, and I never lost one. If you’re creating a flipbook like this for a ritual you’ll be doing more than once, I really recommend finding the plastic lifters. They can be hard to find, but definitely worth it.