With Project Based Learning and Genus Hour the new additions to the classroom routine, it's not surprising that using lapbooks and interactive notebooks continue to be highly effective teaching tools. I am not sure when I actually started using interactive notebooks and lapbooks with my students (probably five years ago), but I continue to love using them today.
Using Lapbooks to LearnKids of all ages enjoy hands on activities, and by using lapbooks, we can research, categorize information, expand thinking with creative writing, tap into our artistic talents, and use the finished projects for presenting and sharing with others. I love the polished look of a finished project, and the pride children feel with their work is worth the time used to create them. Plus, as students create projects, they are able to exchange information about the topic while they're working. Those little conversations clarify information for those who need help, and provide time for rereading and reviewing what's been taught, and the final project works well as a study guide for the unit test.
If you haven't created lapbooks with your students yet, you might check out this video tutorial from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Her post is dated 2013, so truly, these things have been around a while. Again...there is a reason for that. They are helpful to kids. So, check out Erica's video.
In my experience, colored file folders work well, but they are not essential if manilla folders or construction paper is more plentiful. What you choose as your "base" may depend upon how long you plan to keep/refer to them. I have also folded them different ways...book form/portrait, book form/landscape, and folding the "doors" into the middle. I loved this idea I saw on Pinterest from First Grade Parade for using unique materials, and although this is more of a book than lapbook, it made me think that you could use paperbags as your "base" for them, The bags can be cut on both ends to store handouts or manipulatives. I also love punching a hole on the "doors" to add a tie closure for a polished look. I am thinking you could also glue a page sized envelope to the back for storage too.
For my students, I typically use lapbooks as an alternative to a traditional book report, but their use goes far beyond that. I see the greatest application of them in the content areas and even with math. There is such a wide variety available now, and with the rigor in the content our students must know in science and social studies, it's nice to make them and be able to refer back to them later for review as I mentioned previously. Below, you will find the Pinterest board I've created with helpful blog posts, links to free lapbooks, and some very creative variations. I have added a few into my store to go with a few favorite books that extend the theme, and I've pinned these to the board as well.Follow Comprehension's board Lapbook Ideas on Pinterest.
Whether you are a teacher who loves hands on projects or not, I hope you'll bring the idea into your classroom from time to time. If time is short, then at least include parts of them into your interactive notebooks. Your students will really enjoy them, and when learning is fun, children remember it long after the project is complete.
Have a great weekend!
Have a great weekend!