WHAT IS a Lapbook ?

G8 Apples

Apples Lapbook

A lapbook is an inexpensive portfolio
or collection of mini-books, flaps, and folded display material,
that provides interactive space
for drawings, stories,
graphs, graphics, timelines, diagrams,
and written work,
from any topic, unit study, book you choose,
gathered, glued, and creatively displayed
in a coloured standard sized cardboard folder,
often folded in a “shutter-fold”  (though our family doesn’t),
that fits in your lap. <Johanna Whittaker (c) 2008>

A lapbook is a project book or file folder, laid out in a creative manner, that fits in the child’s lap.

Using creative means to display unit studies, topics, or projects
– by computer or by hand – for most ages.
* Fold a card folder into a shutter;
* Use mini-books and various folds
to ‘package’ the information and visuals
(photos, graphics, pictures)
Interactive, hands-on, addictive!

Lapbooks are a wonderful hands-on homeschooling tool – a kind of ‘scrapbooking meets homeschooling’ – though more than home educators use them.

Each lapbook is an original creation, will be different according to topic and creator, and will be a treasure for years to come. There is no right or wrong way to lapbook.

Lapbooking is a great vehicle to teach CONTENT and PROCESS.
The CONTENT comes from topics that interest the students [delight-driven] – this brings about more internal-based motivation and therefore greater learning from and ownership of the work.
The PROCESS is what will help the children through life – research, planning, creativity, presentation, evaluation.

The term “Lap Book” was first coined by Tammy Duby, a homeschool mother and writer from Virginia, USA. She named it that because the whole project could fit into a “book” that fits in the child’s lap.

* When you make your own – it’s cheaper, more creative and unique. You learn a lot by doing the research and more thought is put into them. There’s an unlimited number of subjects, since you are not depending on what others have already come up with.
* To use pre-made lapbooks – you can save time and it’s easier to complete a lapbook. It is an easy start especially when you’re new to lapbooking and may be intimidated by the choice. A pre-made provides a ready guide for the children so they don’t get overwhelmed. Of course, you can always alter a pre-made and make it your own!

“Lapbooking is a compact way
to keep and display learned concepts
within a unit of study
that can be shared and reviewed indefinitely.”  – Beth

Click to Stumble it!

> > Visit the lapbook blogs (long page) and ctrl+f to find your chosen keyword/s on the page/s.

Also, read the § Recent Posts (click on RH sidebar)
If you feel like a loong scroll, use: https://lapbooking.wordpress.com/?s=

Visual people

especially will need to raid the websites and get a look at examples. Check out http://www.google.com and look in IMAGES for something like lapbook OR lapbooks OR lapbooking. Right click OPEN in new tab/window for pictures you want to see bigger. Also click on the flickr badge on sidebar.

Sign up and check out the FILES and message archives of:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lapbooking101/ – a lapbooking starter independent webgroup that’s not selling you anything. Ask questions, show pics.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lapbooking – over 4000 members, photos, ideas! Search archives.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lapbooking7up/  – for lapbooking with 12 yos + – extending lapbooking ideas for lapbooks, popularly called “presentation folders” for teen age group

The best advice I can give you for lapbooking is “Just Do It”!
No one will be grading you.
Get out your supplies, put on your thinking caps and have fun!
You will be amazed what you and your family can come up with together.

Have fun lapbooking!
in Hamilton, New Zealand

23 Responses to “WHAT IS a Lapbook ?”

  1. Jimmie Says:

    Wow! You’ve created a great resource here! 🙂

  2. Web Quest Says:

    Web Quest

    This site is web quest in its own right

  3. Janette Blackwell Says:

    Your site is now one of my 1000 BEST SITES FOR FAMILIES AND SENIORS. To see the writeup, go to
    Scroll down the 1000 BEST in the left column, click on EDUCATION, HOMESCHOOL. Click on Material For Teens And Tweens. I WOULD WELCOME YOUR ADVICE AS TO USEFUL THINGS I COULD ADD TO THIS HOMESCHOOLING SECTION. And, if you like it, would you bring it to the attention of other homeschoolers?
    And thanks for creating such a great site.

  4. Deb Says:

    What a great site to learn about lapbooking. So many homeschool sites forget that there are an estimated 300,000 NEW homeschoolers each year, and even many seasoned homeschool veterans haven’t discovered lapbooks! Thanks!
    I’m putting you in my ‘great websites for busy moms’ section!

  5. Lapbooking… What? « Haws Academy Says:

    […] Lapbooking 101 (a great ‘how-to’ with Lapbook topics) at https://lapbooking.wordpress.com/lapbook/ […]

  6. On the School Bus Again « From Me To You in a Cup or Two … █D Says:

    […] on Tuesdays. Today we were off to Russia and the kids started doing research in order to make lapbooks.  A homeschooling friend of mine first told me about lapbooks and last year the kids enjoyed […]

  7. Johanna H Says:

    Thank you SO much for a simplified answer to a long-time question…think we’re going to give lapbooking a whirl while studying some Early Explorers!
    BTW, LOVE your name 🙂

  8. Julienne Sztein Says:

    What a great site to learn about lapbooking. So many homeschool sites forget that there are an estimated 300,000 NEW homeschoolers each year, and even many seasoned homeschool veterans haven’t discovered lapbooks! Thanks!I’m putting you in my ‘great websites for busy moms’ section!

  9. Yely Says:

    What a great site full of information and great ideas.

  10. Tot Learning Lesson Plan (26th Sept to 16th Oct 2010) – Part 1 | Once In A LifeTime Says:

    […] pre-writing skill.) I have removed the Alphabet Activity Theme and was replaced by two lapbooks. (What is lapbooking?) I am using Thematic approach to teach Yvette this round. I also want to focus on  Pre-writing […]

  11. Valentine’s Day Party & February Lesson Planning « Triangle Homeschoolers Says:

    […] – President Obama  Lapbook  (not familiar with lapbooking? Click here: Lapbooking 101 – What is a Lapbook?) Black History […]

  12. Els lapbooks arriben a casa nostra « Al nostre ritme Says:

    […] lapbook és un llibret sobre un tema que conté informació disposada de manera creativa/divertida: amb […]

  13. Doll Craft Make a Dolls To-Go Lapbook — Doll Diaries Says:

    […] inexpensive book made from a file folder portfolio. (*For more information on lap books see https://lapbooking.wordpress.com/lapbook/)The flap book I made to share with you today has an inside pocket to hold our dolls, and a felt […]

  14. Meeting Expectations | Breathing In Moments Says:

    […] our pollution to the water table. We also did a unit on The Lorax by Dr. Seuss where we made a lap book and reviewed all the ways The Onceler damaged the animals environments and how that relates to what […]

  15. Adventures in Homeschooling: K5 | Elizabeth Byler Younts Says:

    […] book with beautiful phrases that she can learn from…age appropriate notebooking…lapbooking…combination worksheet & hands-on […]

  16. Why Homeschool is like a Jigsaw Puzzle! Part 2 Says:

    […] is a great resourceful website to check out if you are interested in Lapbooks. I recommend you click on the Visual Examples {left […]

  17. اخت ابراھیم Says:

    I want to ask how can I display a lapbook on a wall?

  18. Lapbook – Edukacyjne historie Says:

    […] Lapbook to rodzaj portfolio, notesu, teczki z interaktywnymi elementami. Nazwa wywodzi się z języka angielskiego, a idea rozpowszechniła się w USA dzięki edukacji domowej, skąd przywędrowała do szkolnych ławek. W internecie można znaleźć wiele informacji na ten temat, od siebie polecam niesamowitą stronę z wieloma przydatnymi adresami: https://lapbooking.wordpress.com/lapbook/ […]

  19. Travel School: Washington DC | the crazy daisies Says:

    […] for the kids.  They seemed enthralled with reading the books together each day and they made lapbooks to show the information they learned.  Side note: they had to present their lapbooks to Dad and […]

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