Monday, May 21, 2012

Lapbooking Ideas

By: Tabitha Carro

Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront: Flapjack Educational Resources  

Have you given lapbooks a try in your classroom yet? A lapbook is a file folder with mini-books pasted inside it. Lapbooks are great to use with students to help organize information, to review skills/vocabularies, as culminating activities, as research projects, etc. 

Lapbooking with whole classes takes more organization and planning than if completed with individual students, but, if done effectively, the project will successfully engage students in creative, hands-on, learning activities. Click  Lapbooks in the Classroom to see more details on lapbooking and how to incorporate them in classrooms. One practiced tip is to encourage parents or school staff members to donate used file folders instead of purchasing new ones. By the time the file folders are covered in mini-books and construction paper, students will not be able to tell whether they are new or used.  

As a Spanish, partial-immersion teacher, the focus is on three subjects: math, science, and Spanish. Here are some lapbooks students have been completed from each of those subjects:  


After several months of covering math concepts and skills, such as graphing, division, multiplication, and multi-digit subtraction and addition, students made monster-themed mathematics lapbooks. The lapbooks were graded for accuracy and understanding of skills. The templates made with design programs, created by the author, are optional. A simple Google search of lapbooking templates provides plenty of options for creating subject-specific mini-books. Click the link for free templates to get started with lapbooks. 


As a culminating activity for an organisms unit, students chose organisms and presented research on their subjects using various mini-books inside lapbooks. Although some of the required mini-books were provided by the teacher, there was plenty of room for students to create their own, which resulted in unique, individualized lapbooks. The lapbooks were graded using a rubric then posted on the school's hallways for all to see. The lapbooks made a great display!  


Games can be included inside lapbooks and can be used in centers as interactive tools. To practice Spanish vocabulary of the seasons, add Bingo cards and a Concentration game to students' lapbooks. Shape books, with petals that opened and closed, allowed students to quiz one another on specific vocabularies. After students completed their lapbooks, they were given sufficient time to practice Spanish vocabulary words in groups. Then, they played "Around the World" and competed for mastery of their vocabulary words. Although these lapbooks were not graded, an upcoming, whole group competition motivated students to give 100% when creating their lapbooks and studying accompanying vocabulary. A "mystery judge", who was the teacher's husband, chose the top three lapbooks according to most creative and most organized. The three winners of the lapbooks competition received dollars to use in their classroom stores.
How have you used lapbooks in your classroom? Please, share!

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