Have you ever heard of lapbooks? Lapbooks are my favorite way to teach new units to my students, and they’re super easy to do! You can use a file folder or a large sheet of construction paper, scissors, and glue. We use interactive notebook pieces to take notes and record our learning. There are many reasons why lapbooks are helpful for our students, but today I’m going to share the three reasons why I love using lapbooks in my class!
Reason #1 Lapbooks are Engaging!
My students love creating lapbooks because it’s like note-taking in a crafty way. Each new thing we learn has a dedicated spot in their lapbook. Now, we don’t necessarily assemble the whole thing at once, and this is an ongoing way to keep notes. So, we add one piece each day. It allows students to see how much they’ve learned, and it gives them an idea of how much more they will be learning throughout the unit.
I think these are engaging because students desire to fill up their lapbook and make them “complete.” Each time we add a new note, they reward their desire. I can honestly say that all my students enjoy creating these!
Reason #2 Everything is Organized!
Have you ever tried to find a set of batteries from your junk drawer?
You have to pick through highlighters, random wires, and objects that belong to something another that you probably threw away four years ago. Even when you find the batteries, you’re unsure that they’re even good anymore because you have no clue how long they’ve been sitting in there!
Let’s face it. Students’ desks and notebooks are just like our junk drawers! They take notes on random pages of their journals that get shoved into the back of their desks. Those notes are lost forever in the abysmal black hole scientists have yet to uncover in student desks.
With lapbooks, students have their notes in one place about the same topic. They don’t have to flip through pages of a journal to reference something. It’s all in one place right there!
Having it all in one place saves you and your students so much time (and a headache)!
Reason #3 Lapbooks Improve Classroom Skills
There are lots of skills involved when creating lapbooks. Things like following directions, note-taking, cutting, gluing, and spatial recognition are all a part of creating lapbooks. Students may take a little longer to make their lapbooks the first few times, but with more practice, you’ll notice they get faster!
If you teach primary students, this is a great time to practice cutting and gluing. Be explicit by showing them how to (and how not to) use scissors and glue. Verbally praise students when you see them using their materials correctly.
Students could even work in groups to create their lapbooks to encourage collaboration. For tips on how to get students working successfully in groups, check out my post here!
They’re also a great indicator of which students follow directions and need more support with directions. Interestingly enough, I find that the students who have trouble following directions struggle with math.
Overall, lapbooks have played a considerable part in our curriculum. Students find them very engaging, and it helps them keep organized. I love that they give my students practice in using classroom skills too. I encourage you to try using a lapbook for your classroom! They are so much fun and helpful.
Try out an adorable ladybug life cycle spinner for FREE. We use interactive pieces like this in our lapbooks.
I hope that your students love doing lapbooks as much as my students have in the past! Have fun!! Let me know how they go in the comments below.