Lapbooks are a great way to do unit studies with hands-on, creative approaches for researching and recording information, creating study tools, and summarizing or illustrating what a student has learned. A lapbook might cover either a broad or narrow topic or anything in between. Lapbooks target audiences from early childhood up through ninth grade.
In the Hands of a Child has created a huge line of more than 200 Lapbooks, available in either digital or print formats. Among them, you will find lapbooks on topics from history, geography, economics, science, Bible, holidays, literature/book studies, biographies, sports, preschool, and language arts. Some of these lapbooks have Christian content while others are secular. Examples of just a few titles are The Human Body, Trains, and The Middle Ages.
Hands of a Child lapbooks are constructed from colored file folders that are refolded to open in the center, but they can also be expanded by connecting additional file folders. Then, smaller "booklets" are created and attached within the file folder(s). The booklets are done in creative shapes, with unusual folds, inserts, closures, and other features that make each one unique.
There are also optional kit packs with the base file folders and the creative shapes and foldables already printed on colored paper. Even with the kit pack, you need to procure supplies such as glue, brads, and scissors.
Each lapbook includes instructions for creating the lapbook foundation with the file folder as well as the questions or assignments for students to use as they create the smaller booklets. They also include background information on the topic, recommended resources list (primarily books and websites), and templates for the booklets.
For older students or those who don't want to cut and paste, Hands of a Child offers Note Pack versions of these same lapbooks. These include all of the teaching information, and they have themed pages for recording answers rather than the components for creating a lapbook. Completed pages will be put into your own binder. (Another option, the Project Pack Plus, bundles all of the components for both the lapbook and Note Pack for one title. This would be useful if you are teaching children of different ages, or with different learning styles.)
"Type It In" is an optional feature for digital lapbooks or note packs. For an extra charge, you can purchase the digital file with this feature that allows students to type their own information directly onto the foldables or themed pages before printing them out. This should be very appealing to those who prefer the keyboard to handwriting.
For those who want to design or customize lapbooks, there are generic lapbooks with templates for you to enter whatever information or illustrations you choose. Some of these generic titles are Study a President, Explore an Explorer, and Animal Investigations.