Tuesday 18 June 2013

"Branching" out into lapbooks {including freebie resources}

I have tried multiple times to do lapbooking with my children.  Tapestry of Grace actually has lapbooking templates that you can purchase to go alongside the curriculum.  I attempted them in years gone by, but with all the other resources to tap into, we never seemed to complete a whole one!

So, what IS a lapbook?  A lapbook is a way of displaying things that you have learnt about a particular subject, in a visual form.  It is created by making lots of "minibooks", filling them with pictures and information, and then putting them in your "lapbook".  In America, they use "file folders" to mount everything.  We can't seem to easily get them here, so we just used card stock to create ours. You can do them on any subject you like, and make them as simple or detailed as you so desire.  We used a mixture of information I printed, and they stuck into their books, some drawing, some printed pictures and some handwritten information.

When Heidi St John was with us last year, she did  a talk, with Savannah (her daughter), about lapbooks. There were some AMAZING ones, and if I can get some pictures of them I will add them to this post at a later date.

Last week, I decided to have a break from Tapestry of Grace. (Only because there are only 32 weeks per year of the curriculum, and we do more than 32 weeks in our school year...) I decided it would be nice to do a lapbook with ALL the school-aged children together.  We started off the week by going for a walk and looking for the different trees we have in our village.  We used the printable from the Woodland Trust, which is free. (It would not be much use to American's as it is British Trees! Sorry!) Then, we spent the next days learning about the different parts of trees, and what their function was.  I learnt a lot as well, as is often the case with home ed!

We used the terrific resources from Homeschool Share.  They have an amazing number of Lapbooking ideas and templates, filled with all the information you would need to complete them. They also have some excellent Unit Studies, based around some lovely literature.  (This week I will doing that with the girls, on the book "Just Like Mamma", by Beverly Lewis, one of my favourite authors!) It's worth having a look, and using the site as a spring-board for trying out lapbooking.

We used the one called "Tree Study and Lapbook".

The children chose different ways to put together their lapbooks.  We dug out the sticky backed tape, the leaf stamp, skills in leaf rubbing and utilised the wavy line setting on my guillotine! They all did it slightly differently, in their own ways.  All were pleased with the outcome, and as soon as Daddy stepped in the door, he got bombarded with children showing him their completed lapbooks!

Susie with her lapbook - she did some leaf rubbings for the cover.

Inside, we had to add an extra "layer" to fit in all her books. 

This is under the flaps. 

This is a cute, twirly one. You spin it around to read different facts... did you know the oldest recorded tree was 4,900 years old?!?

This is Bethany's.

...and Daniel's 

... and Josh's. 

This is inside Joshua's

This shows Josh's love of drawing pictures.  His eternal cry is "do I have to write anything, can I not just draw a picture??!" 

Nothing quite like school that inspires children to share what they have done with others.

This week, I am doing the one I mentioned, with the girls, and the boys have each chosen their own.  Josh is putting his together from scratch, using the blank templates on Homeschool Share, and Daniel is doing one about Grey Wolves.  His one comes with all the information you will need to be able to fill in the lapbook, as well as information you could do more as a Unit Study.

I will let you know how we get on with those other ones.  I am particularly looking forward to the one with the girl's and spending some time looking at Biblical truths that we learn from it.

So, there we have it.  Our first ever COMPLETED lapbook!  Hopefully there will be many more to come.  All in all, they seemed to get on well with them, but my 6yo, Susie, was the most enthusiastic, and loved EVERY moment.

Have a look at Homeschool Share, and see if there is one that captures your interest. 

1 comment :

  1. Wow! They look beautiful! And it is so fun to have something like that to show people!
    I'm off to look up the Beverly Lewis book now....
    Have a wonderful day!