Lapbooking can be done by any learner-- from preschoolers to adults. With this educational method, you make mini-books covering details that you've studied. After making a variety of mini-books about a larger topic, all the books are put together in a large folder. The finished product is called a lapbook because it's large and covers your lap.
The completed lapbook will serve as a review tool as your children refer to it over and over again. And if you have to keep a homeschool portfolio to document learning each year, lapbooks can be a very impressive addition.
Here are a few sample of lapbooking you can use in the classroom.
Making the Mini-books
the heart of lapbooking
A lapbook is simply a collection of minibooks affixed on a base.
As you are studying your chosen homeschool topic, whether it be Colonial America or Penguins, use the mini-books to reinforce or narrate what was studied. In this way you can make a mini-book every day or so. Once your unit study is over, you will have a nice collection of mini-books to mount into a lapbook.
If your child is very young, you can write or type the text for him. Many children enjoy typing the text for mini-books on the computer.
If your child is artistic, have him draw the graphics. But if drawing gives your child fits, then find some nice clipart for him to paste into the mini-books. Search the Internet for images related to your topic, or use some of the great links below.
What kind of mini-book should you use? In the beginning, start small. Make some basic books with easy folds, and add your information into them. As you gain experience, you can venture out into some of the more complicated mini-books. See the links below for online directions for many types of mini-books.
For you highly visual learners, I've created a Minibook Gallery with photo examples of many styles of mini-books.
An Easy Way to Start
Tackle a mini-book rather than an entire lapbook.
So, you're interested in lapbooking but really have no idea where to start. What to do? Well, you could buy one of the kits from a retailer, or you can start small - one mini-book.
Choose one of the "easiest mini-books" below and make a few blank books. Then give them to your children to add text and images. It can be something you've studied in science or history, or it could simply be a creative story.
Once you and you children see how easy one mini-book is, the creating will go on and on. Once you have several mini-books about one topic, affix them into a file folder or large pieces of cardstock folded into a book shape.
The Easiest Mini-books
baby steps toward lapbooking
These links are simple directions with diagrams for easy to make mini-books.
- One Page Book
- The easiest book there is! You will be amazed that you can make a book with just one sheet of paper and a pair of scissors! Experiment with different sizes of paper or different colors.
- Layered Book (or Graduated Book)
- Another easy book made with paper folded and stapled together. Easy but impressive. Try different colors of paper to make a rainbow book!
- Accordion Book
- This site calls this book an unfolding book. But most people call it an accordion book. It can open it up, down, to the left or to the right. You can decide! This book is especially good for timelines, steps in a process, or a series of events.
- Flip Flap Book
- A good mini-book standby. Vary your paper size and number of "doors" to fit your topic.