Two lap book kits for American History from Inquisikids, American History I Lap Book Kit and American History II Lap Book Kit, are the most complete lap book kits I’ve seen. The first kit covers from the period of exploration up through 1850. The second kit continues up through modern history. These are ideal for students in grades three through five.
Each kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box and includes almost everything you need except colored pencils, stapler, clear tape, permanent markers, a hole punch, and scissors. You will also need to supply a few odd items such as a spoonful of dirt and some spices such as ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves for the first kit and ground pepper for the second kit.
Along with the precut file folder sections on which you will build the lap book, you get a large stack of pre-printed pages, including some on colored card stock. Packaged in the box along with these basic components are supplies such as double sided tape, all-purpose glue, glue sticks, toothpicks, and glittery gems--depending on the kit.
In American History I Lap Book Kit, a 39-page book presents full-color, illustrated directions for the 25 sections that will go into the lap book. The American History II Lap Book Kit has 45 activities! Many of these activities involve constructing lap book components with clever cut-and-fold techniques, so you will want to follow the instructions carefully.
I'll concentrate on just the American History I Lap Book Kit. Sections in the lap book will cover key people and events in American History such as the early explorers, Native American tribes, slavery in America, George Washington, King George III, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the War of 1812. A few pages at the end of the instruction book have suggested answers for the sections where students need to research and fill in information. And don’t miss the very important tips at the beginning of the book that might save you some grief if you know about them in advance.
These lap books do not try to cover every person and event. They are necessarily selective so that they can be completed within a reasonable amount of time. To keep things manageable, the kits have a lot of text on some of the printed pages so students need not invest a great deal of time writing. Even so, completing one of these lap books requires a significant amount of time--one to two hours to complete each activity. While the lap book activities are great, they are not the spine of your curriculum. You will want to make sure that students are connecting lap book activities to what they are learning in whatever U.S. History course you are using.
For many children, the hands-on activity provided by lap book kits stimulates their interest and attention in ways textbooks and computer-delivered courses cannot. These two lap book kits provide some of the most extensive coverage of American History while making it as easy-as possible for parents and students to create fantastic lap books.