How do you get a student who is a reluctant writer to write more about a topic? Consider creating a lapbook. "A lapbook? What's that?!" you ask.
A lapbook is a creative way of writing facts and ideas about a topic and using templates to display a student’s knowledge. The templates are cut out, written on,(colored if desired) and then attached to a file folder that has been divided into thirds. The folder can be rather large depending upon how much you have decided to include, and therefore is read on your lap, thus the name.
Assigning a writing project to your child will most likely come with moans and groans, eyes rolling, and even individuals falling out of their chairs when the words “research paper” are mentioned (it has happened at my house). On the other hand, if I say lapbook, there isn’t that kind of reaction. I think it is partly due to the fact that there are small bits of information or mini books (minit) that are written instead of a blank piece of notebook paper or a blank page on the computer screen. I think that is invaluable if you have a student who hates to write or becomes overwhelmed with information. Lapbooks are also terrific for summarizing and picking out details from passages that are read.
So, without further ado, here are some FREE resources for you to enjoy and help get you started:
If you are interested in seeing a step-by-step video of how to create your lapbook, click here.
www.homeschoolshare.com I love this website because they have a tremendous amount and variety of topics. They have lapbooks according to ages (toddler through middle school) and also some according to interest. When you click on the website,there is a box and you will find the heading called lapbooks to the extreme right. Here is one that uses Mr. Popper’s Penguins as its focus: http://www.homeschoolshare.com/poppers_penguins.php
Do you have a student that is interested in well-known artists? Here is one that is about Leonardo da Vinci. A guide is included and is geared for grades K-6, but I think junior high students would enjoy this as well.
Here are lapbooks for younger students called Preschool Packs.Preschoolers will have a ball with all of the fun topics that are here. I think I will have to invite some friends over who have preschool children so I can make them too!
Have you been inspired and you would like to make your own? Making Books With Children has free book projects that can either stand alone or be added to your lapbooks.
Lisa McAfee has graduated two boys in home education. She tutors and teaches in Cincinnati. She blogs at at Schoolmarm Ohio. She is also a dear friend. The opinions she has expressed are entirely her own.