At first glance, lap booking may seem like another homeschool craft project. That is, students make mini-folded books, use colored paper, scissors, and glue. sounds pretty crafty to me! However, when used correctly, lap books not only provide an organizational and creative way for students to learn, handmade books are also an excellent assessment tool. As with many projects, it’s easy to focus on having our child complete assignments and then check them off a list. Don’t miss this opportunity to find out what your child has really learned.
One note: I used note booking with my children through high school. Don’t think of this tool as an elementary project. My daughter made a beautiful Victorian reading book for literature in high school.
One of my favorite aspects of lap booking relates to the variety of skills that can be evaluated with the creative endeavors. Consider these:
Lap booking requires students to break a main concept into smaller parts (think book report with literary elements, vocabulary, book review, etc.), address each of the parts, and then put them back together in a coherent way. As your child moves through this process, observing how he or she thinks through the steps allows you to assess how well your child thinks organizationally. It is important to be sure to work through a lap book with your child, modeling the process, before expecting him or her to do it independently.
One of the purposes of the lap book calls on children to demonstrate understanding of specific concepts. Whether derived from science, literature, history, or any other subject, children should know ahead of time (as with all assessments) what concepts they are expected to show with their lap books. Then, the lap book can be assessed for evidence of knowledge of those concepts. I had my children present their lap books, explaining the information and concepts, to better assess whether they clearly understood what they were sharing.
Ideal for reluctant writers, since written expression is broken down into smaller parts with a lap book, you can still assess specific writing skills. From technical aspects (capitalization, punctuation, etc.) to meaningful content, lap books provide an ideal opportunity to assess those skills in action.
Definitely a subjective area of assessment and obviously not an academic skill, creative expression often relates to higher-level thinking skills. When assessing creativity, be sure to compare your child to his or her previous efforts rather than comparing them to the creative levels of other children.
If you give your child specific instructions while creating a lap book, be sure to use this time to assess how well the instructions are followed. We instruct our children in so many ways every day that we sometimes forget that this vital skill should be evaluated regularly and if improvements need to be made, we should be purposeful in doing so.
While your children may view lap booking as a fun craft project, it also allows you to assess their academic progress in a number of ways. While they enjoy learning, you can enjoy assessing without the pressure of taking tests or more formal assessment methods.
Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)
How do you make a lap book?
A lap book’s foundation is a file folder folded to open like shutters. It folds back up to fit in the lap of a child for simple holding and manipulation.
Step 2: Make your mini-books and assemble them. Because there are so many various methods to build lap books, it’s a terrific opportunity to include some creative, delight-directed learning into your days.
Step 3: Cut a piece of strong construction paper or card stock and glue it to the lap book’s interior back wall. This not only supports and strengthens the rear wall, but it also gives the project some color.
Step 4: Add interactive notes, titles, research, and other elements to your lap book as desired.
What is the purpose of a lap book?
Lap booking is an excellent hands-on method for kids to do research and learn all there is to know about a given subject! It’s just a file folder full of entertaining tiny “mini-books” that provide intriguing information regarding the overall theme of your lap book – they’re useful and make any subject a bit more interesting! Lap books are also an excellent method to reduce trash. All of that spare paper, folders, and material, for example, might be put to good use when embellishing and constructing your lap book. You might also collect them as a neater means of documenting your child’s learning as well as a way to look back on their greatest work in one convenient location.
Lap books are important in the classroom because they help students recall and review knowledge more quickly, as well as customize instruction. According to studies, when kids are given hands-on activities to learn while studying, they retain more knowledge. Finally, lap books enable parents to see what their children are learning and to engage in a discussion about what occurred at school that day. Parents may also contribute to the lap book by asking questions regarding the items shown, allowing kids and parents to connect, study, and deepen the subjects at hand.
How should I present my lap book?
After you’ve finished the design phase, you should begin to incorporate the work for your lap book. We recommend that you start by putting a title and other embellishments on the front. These might be drawings or stickers, for example. On the front, you could even add a coloring page. Lap books are excellent instruments for difference since they are individually developed and manufactured. Lap books, when used in conjunction with or in addition to scientific notebooks, allow students with a variety of reading, writing, and drawing abilities to mix text, drawings, and illustrations to demonstrate what they know.