What are lapbooks?

Come see what a lapbook really is and how you can use one in your homeschool!We had never heard of lapbooks before we met Paige. But now that Blaine and I do know about them, we have a whole bookshelf dedicated to our creations!

So in honor of the release of a third lapbook here at Sassafras Science, I thought it was about time to have Paige come share about lapbooks and how you can use these puppies.

And that, my friends, is exactly what we are doing today!

What are lapbooks?

Hi-ya Sassy-sci folks! Tracey asked me to come by today and share with you all a bit more about lapbooks. We love mixing things up a bit in our homeschool and throwing a lapbook or two into the mix.

But before I share about how you can use lapbooks, let’s chat about what lapbooks are. Here is my definition:

Lapbooks are educational scrapbooks that fit into the lap of a student.

Typically, lapbooks are a collection of related mini-books on a certain subject that have been glued into a file folder for easy viewing, but they can also include pictures or projects that the students have completed.

In the same way that notebooking does not require regurgitation of facts, lapbooking causes the students to interact with the materials instead of just responding to comprehension questions.

Lapbooks are extremely versatile because they can be used in conjunction with any subject the students are learning about.  They are excellent tools to use with elementary students as a way of reinforcing what they are learning because this age group tends to prefer a more creative format of notebooking.

The Mini-book

The heartbeat of the lapbook is the mini-books that are placed inside.

  • Mini-books contain information on topics related to the main subject of the lapbook.
  • Mini-books can be a variety of shapes and sizes, but the cover should have a picture related to the subject as well as a title.
  • The interior of each mini-book should contain several sentences detailing what the students have learned about the topic in their own words.
  • The mini-books each pertain to different sub-topics of the main lapbook topic.

So for instance, for a lapbook could have the main topic of “plants”. The related mini-books could then be on the types of leaves, the kinds of flowers, the parts of a seed, and more.

How can you use lapbooks?

Now that we know a bit more about lapbooks, let’s look at three different ways you can use them in your homeschool:

  1. You can use lapbooks to review a unit that you have just finished covering in your current curriculum.
  2. You can use lapbooks to switch things up a bit by swapping a lapbook in for your regular notebook, logbook, or journal.
  3. You can use a lapbook with your younger students, while your older students create a full notebook, logbook, or journal.

However you choose to use lapbooks in your homeschool, your students will benefit from these educational scrapbooks!

by Paige Hudson

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