Lapbooks for Science
In the hunt to find information about interactive notebooks, I also came upon the idea of lapbooks. Lapbooks are a creative way to present (mount) a series of small foldables that are linked thematically. They are usually made using one or more file folders, but can also be made out of construction paper or posterboard. They can range from relatively simple to extremely complex. Here is an example of one of those extremely complex ones on cells, but don't be intimidated.
Many of the ideas for the foldables come from the world of card-making. I found two really great sites on the web for foldables: Homeschool Share and Mirkwood Designs. And, of course, there is always lots of videos on You Tube about making clever foldables and Dinah Zike's amazing series of books.
Although some lapbooks appear to be a place to store information (more like a portable learning center) and use a lot of pre-printed work, I was interested in how I could turn a lapbook into a culminating project for a unit. I am also on a quest this year to avoid wasting my time slaving over a hot copier, so I wanted to use very few printed materials.
I would love to do some of the super complex lapbooks, but I have twenty students to monitor and purchase supplies for. My lapbook for the culminating project for a Science unit on Weather is one of those simple ones. If the process goes smoothly for this one, I will do others.
If you would like to make lapbooks with your class, I would highly recommend that you make a "mock-up" before you make an assignment to the class. By making the foldables yourself, you will better understand how to model the process for the students, what tricks and tips to give them, and get an idea about how long it will take to make. Here is my "mock-up" for a fifth grade unit on Weather. I have purposely not done any drawing or coloring, since the students will be graded on the information the provide and their color-coding. The purpose of my mock-up is to show my students placement of the foldables. I don't want them copying information from me. From the time this one took, I am going to allow two, forty-five class periods, one for the outside and inside center pages, and one for the four foldables on the two inside "leaves".
In addition, I am going to do a couple of the foldables separately during earlier lessons in the unit so all they have to do that day is glue them in. Any work that still needs to be done will be homework. I made a rubric to go along with this project, too.
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