What is a Lapbook?
A lapbook is an organized, creative inter-active way for students to show what they have learned about a particular subject. These are really popular in the homeschooling scene and are also amazing in the classroom.
I absolutely love teaching with lapbooks! When students use lapbooks they are more likely to retain the information they’ve learned. This is because Lapbooks can take an interactive, multi-sensory approach.
Lapbooks don’t create a multi-sensory all on their own but with a little teacher intervention, you can make it happen. An Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach his 3 main factors: Kinesthetic/ Tactile, Visual, and Auditory. These are three learning styles you will need to cover to use this approach. This approach is beneficial to all students but is especially beneficial to students with ADHD, ADD and Dyslexia. Using a lapbook to create this approach is super easy. You are probably already using the OG ( Orton-Gillingham) approach and don’t even know it!!
The Teachers’ Process
Black History month is approaching so I’ll use this Barack Obama lapbook as an example. This is a small section of a bigger Black History Lapbook study unit. This is how I cover all 3 multi-sensory approaches using this lapbook.
Auditory: We will begin by reading a book about Barack Obama, You could read Who is Barack Obama by Robert Edwards.
Visual: We will post the vocabulary words so students can see them.
Kinesthetic/tactile: Students will be writing down facts and information that they learn.
Here is where the magic happens! With your students, you have already done all 3 of the Multi-Sensory approaches with them as you have taught them about Barack Obama. Now THEY will do these 3 sensory approaches on their own and in several ways using this lapbook.
The best part about using lapbooks is the magic will happen naturally .For example, “Mrs. E. I don’t remember when Barack Obama was born?” No worries ” Grab Who is Barack Obama from the bookshelf and look for the date in his biography.” Watch this. The student will find the book and read until he finds the information he needs, if he reads the book out loud he will have covered the visual and the auditory sensories. Next, he will need to write down the information he found. This covers the tactile part. See, Magic! In one small part of this lapbook he as already used all 3 of the multi-sensories. The magic is he will do this over and over and over again! This ensures he will be more likely to retain the information he’s learned.
The Students’ Process
Students may need to seek out some additional information. They may need to go back to the books we have already read about him or find videos about him online. This covers auditory and visual. Creating the actual project becomes the Kinesthetic/ tactile part. Throughout this lapbook process, they will be creating, making and researching information to complete this lapbook. They are visually looking at books and videos, reading the information (auditory) and tacitly creating a finished project that visually represents what they learned. Here are some common examples of using the OG approach with a lapbook.
- Cutting out each part of their lap books
- folding their file folders to create the lapbook
- folding flaps, of pockets or mini books that fit inside the lapbook
- Listening to videos to find more information
- Listening to classmates as they collaborate about the project
- Rereading books and text aloud to gather facts
- looking at pictures to determine what he looks like
- looking at words vocabulary words that were used in this unit
- having their own set of vocabulary words for their lapbook, that they can look at
A few other things I love about lapbooks are that they are so diverse. They can be created in small bits or all in one afternoon. You can add things, or take them away. You can create them from scratch or buy them premade. Lapbooks could be created as a group project or an individual project. You can use them as a unit study for literally any subject.
What if you could cover several objects with one project? You can with lapbooks. This is why lapbooks are so beneficial. You can use them to cover several objectives and be ensured that the student have actually learned the objectives taught because when they finish their lapbook they will have proof of just that! And if you are still unsure, ask your students or better yet allow them to share with the class. They will be so excited to share what they’ve learned.
I have used lapbooks, for math, science, social studies, language arts and , grammar foundations. You could even create an All About Me lapbook as a back to school project. The options for using a lapbook are literally endless. Lapbook ideas can be found all over the internet or just check out teaherspayteachers.
The biggest benefit
Students love creating these. When they are done, they are proud of the work they’ve completed. Students are excited to share what they have learned with classmates, teachers, parents basically anyone who will listen. These make great displays and the littles love bringing everyone to see what they worked so hard on. Another amazing option is all the lapbooks don’t have to all look exactly the same you can diversify these for students who need more support or add something complex for students who need more of a challenge. This ensure everyone has success and a product they can be proud of.
My hope is that whether you are a classroom teacher, or a homeschool parent, that you would try lapbooks using the OG approach with your students, or children. You will be amazed at how much they learn and retain using this process.