The ins and outs of lapbooks

The ins and outs of lapbooks

by Daad

Cut, fold, paste, repeat!

Lapbooks are "books" made by kids to present the information they have gathered for a topic.

They can be fiddly but they are an interactive way to complete a unit study or topic. If you have a child who doesn't like the workbook format of reading and answering questions, or you want to try different ways of compiling information they have researched, then lapbooks may be something to try to change things up every now and then.

What do you need for a lapbook?

Many like to use manila folders for their lapbook, or a piece of cardboard folded to look like a book. Often for older kids you many need more than one manila folder or piece of cardboard as there could be lots of subtopics in the topic you're learning about.

You will also need all the pieces of paper to make the pockets, flaps, and other little components you're putting together.

Lapbook templates can be found for free online and others can be purchased. If you have a subscription to things like Twinkl and Teachstarter you may be able to put together your own from the multitude of resources they have. Sometimes a ready made lapbook whether free or purchased may not have all the components you need and want so you can then add from other sources.

You'll also need glue, scissors, and colouring pencils/textas to put it altogether.

Pt1 - How do I assemble a lapbook?

If you've found a lapbook you like, it will often come with instructions which you can follow to assemble as is if you're happy with its structure. If you're using bits and pieces then you'll need to think about how you'll arrange all of them to fit all the components you'd like and in the order you wish to research the topic. I like to assemble our lapbooks as we move through the topic as it allows us the freedom to add information we sometimes didn't factor in but may have come up as an interest as we're completing the topic.

How can lapbooks be of benefit in our learning program?

Some kids like question and answer type workbooks, but they can be limited in the information they include. Lapbooks can be used to allow your child to follow their interests and extend their knowledge through research of their own. Rather than just reading, lapbooks encourage research and information gathering, an important skill as kids get older. For younger kids, who are not yet reading and writing, or who don't like to write too much, lapbooks can be a hands on way to study a topic through images, pictures and cut & paste activities the kids complete to show what has been covered in that topic, which we often do through discussion.

Children will enjoy putting together their own lapbook as it is a personalised way to show what they have learnt which they have had an input in putting together. They are also a nice way to look back on their achievements instead of a ready made workbook which we often throw away once registration is over . Unlike workbooks, they are not restrictive in how much you learn about the topic.

By using lapbooks for some of our topics we have moved away from having set workbooks for all subjects to being able to tailor our learning to what we have to cover but also include what we want to explore further.