Are you looking for a hands-on activity that will make learning more interactive? Learn all about lapbooks and how to use lapbooks in the classroom.
What Are Lapbooks?
Lapbooks are a collection of mini books and pictures mounted onto a manila folder. They often have three-dimensional elements, like pop-outs and flipbooks. It is a collection of what the student has learned about a certain subject or theme. It may include:
From the parts of a flower to a Venn diagram, a lapbook can feature any sort of chart or diagram. You can make the diagram for the student to fill in.
Perhaps the most popular item in a lapbook, a mini book could be a plot summary, fun facts, or a timeline of events.
Students can create their own mini brochures and you can tuck them in a library envelope mounted on the lapbook.
Turn a coloring page, photo, or map into a puzzle but cutting it into a few pieces. Store the pieces in an envelope mounted inside the lapbook.
Tiny Coloring Pages
You can shrink a regular coloring page down to size so it fits inside a lapbook.
Make flip-up questions and have the student write the answers inside.
Mount a one-page writing assignment to the back of the lapbook.
How to Make a Lapbook
You can make a lapbook in a few easy steps. Here is what you need:
- 8.5 x 11″ manila file folder (in any color)
- Glue stick
- Paper elements (a title page and whatever fills your lapbook)
There are two ways to make your lapbook. You can use the existing fold of the file folder for a card-like lapbook, or you can refold it so it has two flaps in front (like a set of double doors).
Have the student complete the paper elements. Color, cut, label, and write what’s needed for the content. Use a gluestick or tape to mount the paper elements to the lapbook.
Design a cover for the lapbook. This is where the title and student’s name will go.
Benefits of Using Lapbooks in the Classroom
Now that you know the answer to the question, “What are lapbooks?” let’s highlight the benefits of using them in your classroom.
You Can Use Them with Any Subject
Lapbooks are a flexible activity because you can make one on any subject. Here are some ideas of lapbooks you can print and assemble:
This is only the beginning. You can make lapbooks on math facts, literature books, and science and grammar concepts.
They Are Hands-On
Lapbooks involve creating: coloring, cutting, folding, and pasting. Students will love the hands-on nature of the activity.
They Are “Keepable”
Worksheets end up in the trash or crumpled at the bottom of a backpack. A lapbook is a clever, attractive keepsake of what the student has learned.
They Are the Perfect Review Tool
Lapbooks are a visual representation of what your students have learned. They are the perfect way to review a concept.
They Work Across Multiple Ages
Little children can color and paste simple drawings. Older students can label diagrams, design brochures, and write summaries. Lapbooks work well for students both young and old.
They Motivate Reluctant Writers
Creating a lapbook is much less intimidating than composing a traditional writing assignment. The creative nature of this whimsical assignment motivates even reluctant writers.
How to Use Lapbooks in the Classroom
What a lapbooks? They are a great learning tool and hands-on activity. But how do you use them in your classroom?
Highlight a Main Idea
Assemble a lapbook over many days, one element at a time. Each element can represent the main idea of your lesson. If you are covering the planets for earth science, you can create a paper element for each planet and put the lapbook together over a few weeks.
End of Unit Project
Ending a unit study with a project puts a bow on what your students have learned. Fashioning a lapbook on the topic is a perfect end-of-unit project.
Alternative to a Book Report
Are you tired of the same old book report? Lapbooks are a twist on the traditional book report. You can include a plot diagram, a list of main characters, a picture from the book (perhaps turned into a puzzle), and a favorite quotation.
Learning Center Activity
You can place all the paper elements in a file folder and make assembling a lapbook a learning center activity. You provide the glue sticks, colored pencils, and scissors at the center.
What Are Lapbooks and How to Use Them in the Classroom
Lapbooks have a very small learning curve. Once you walk through one lapbook with your students, they will be clamboring to do more. You can then start using lapbooks across all your subjects–and reap the benefits in your classroom!