How to Use This Course
The monthly lapbooking units on SchoolhouseTeachers.com are brought to you by Kimm Bellotto of In the Hands of a Child. Each month, Kimm explores subjects ranging from the human eye to pandas to classic literature. More than two dozen titles for various ages are currently available, and a new unit is posted each month. Simply choose the subjects that look interesting to your student and dive in! Lapbooks are a perfect way to enrich almost any topic of study. Suggested grade levels are given beside each title; however, most are widely adaptable. For specific help in creating a lapbook and adapting it to meet your child’s needs, see the Course Introduction on the Course Details tab above.
Before you get started with this lapbook-based study, please get all of the templates cut out in advance. That way they will be ready to use and there is one less thing to have worry about. Some children, even older ones, may want you to lend a hand getting the cutting done, and that’s okay! Not every child enjoys cutting things out.
Once all of the templates are cut out, they are really easy to store. Simply grab a zip-top baggie, snip off a small bit of a corner, and drop the templates inside. Now the baggie will store flat and you won’t have to fight with it to get the air out! Store the baggies in a drawer or the pocket of a binder. Make a bag for each child doing this study and write their names on them in permanent marker.
Get your supplies ready.
Things you will need are:
- File folders
- Colored printer paper
- A stapler
- An adhesive such as glue or double-stick tape
- Coloring tools (crayons, colored pencils, markers)
- Pen or pencil
Please keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to put a lapbook together. One child may want to put it together as you go along. Another child may want to wait until the study is complete and then put the lapbook together at the end. Either way is perfectly fine!
Layout of the templates in the lapbook should be left up to your child. Not only is this a part of the creative process, but it also encourages your child to use critical thinking skills!
One question I hear often is, “How can I adapt a lapbook when working with children of varying ages and skill levels?” Adapting a lapbook for different levels and abilities is key to ensuring that you provide the best lesson for your student. At first glance, some might just skip over an activity because they feel it is too easy or too difficult for their student. We want you to use all of the activities we provide . . . they are easily adaptable!
For example, if you have a PK-3 student, the vocabulary activities might be difficult for him or her to complete. Here are some tips to help you adapt the activities that require your student to write:
- Have your student dictate vocabulary words and their meanings as you write them.
- Have your child draw a picture instead of writing.
- You write the word or sentence first so your student can see how it is written.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. In the car, on a walk, in the shopping cart! Practice saying the vocabulary words and what they mean. Before you know it, your preschooler will be telling others what those words mean!
On the other hand, some of the activities may seem too easy for your student. Do them anyway; just change things up a bit to suit your student’s grade level and skills. Here are some tips to help you adapt the activities to make them more challenging:
- In addition to writing down vocabulary words and their meanings, ask your student to use the word in a sentence, either verbally or written.
- Give your student one hour (or any reasonable time frame) to research the topic on his or her own, either online or at the library.
- Give your student a set of questions and see what he or she can find without your guidance.
- Encourage your student to expand on the topic or choose a related subject to learn about.
These are just a few ways you can adapt a lapbook to meet the needs of your student. Let your student be the judge if something is too easy or too difficult . . . you just might be surprised!
If you’ve never tried creating a lapbook before, print these instructions for creating a lapbook base.
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If you need any help as you go through this study, please send me an email at Info@HandsofaChild.com and put TOS-KIMM in the subject line.
Monthly lapbooks include a key text with printable templates and instructions for constructing a lapbook.
Age/Grade: Preschool-middle school (occasional high school texts are featured)