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How to learn to study better with lapbooks

How to learn to study better with lapbooks


What is a lapbook

A lapbook is a dynamic, creative collection of content. It is made out of folders, which can be of various sizes, according to intended use and necessity. It contains minibooks or templates which hold essential and specific information regarding a chosen topic.

The ultimate aim is to create a three-dimensional, interactive map of what you have studied and learnt, through a practical and personalised project.

My first lapbook

This book doesn’t offer ready-made lapbooks but is a collection of all the tools needed for thinking up, designing and creating original and personal lapbooks.
When we work with pupils in class, lapbook design is a fundamental step: pupils must reflect on what is important and what they need to record in the limited space of each folder and thus learn to skim off information and to select key notions.

Watch the authors’ presentation video

Learning with lapbooks – Mathematics and Science

This book, the practical accompaniment to the suggestions contained in My first lapbook, is devoted specifically to learning several classic topics from the maths and science curriculum for primary year three.

It contains all the instructions and materials needed for children to independently create 3/4 different kinds of lapbooks on the main topics of the maths curriculum.

Learning with lapbooks – Italian, History and Geography

This book, the practical accompaniment to the suggestions contained in My first lapbook, is devoted specifically to learning several classic topics from the Italian language, history and geography for primary year three.

It contains all the instructions and materials needed for children to independently create 3/4 different kinds of lapbooks on the main topics of the specific subject curriculum.

Lapbooks are dynamic, engaging tools, which can be considered three-dimensional conceptual maps to be made as you tackle topics during lessons or as tools for summarising a topic once it has been completed.

Lapbooks become notebooks (for storing notes), text books (for in-depth analysis and information) and assessment tools, with which a wide range of skills can be assessed: research, planning, summarising, graphics etc.

It is important that teachers teach pupils how to create lapbooks instead of simply providing them with pre-designed cut and stick models: giving pupils a ready-made tool reduces its value.

The programme introducing the use of the lapbook must be extensive and contain, after an initial approach, a phase in which pupils learn to analyse what they know and what they need to study more in depth, to plan, to choose templates, to summarise contents independently and in their own words and to choose pictures, colours and fonts.

Lapbook design worksheets

In order to create a lapbook we have provided a design worksheet, which helps the person involved in this phase (the teacher, student or parent) to follow the steps in the right order.

The lapbook design worksheet allows you to plan activities without skipping any steps, helping you to focus your attention on the essential parts of the project.

Let’s look at how the lapbook design worksheet is set out and how to use it.

Worksheet A has a space at the top where you can write the lapbook’s title, topic and author and a table at the bottom where you can note the type of folders chosen and all the information needed for the first three minibooks. You can stick pictures of the type of template you plan to use as a reminder in the column on the right (cutting out the picture from worksheet C) and note down the reference of the page containing the template you are going to copy or photocopy.

Worksheet B has a space a the top where you can write the title of the lapbook and author’s name and four spaces where you can make a note of the topics and templates of the other minibooks you are going to make. Should you need more templates, simply print more copies of this worksheet.

Worksheet C contains multiple copies of the template icons used in the book. You’ll need to photocopy this page so you can then cut out the icons and stick them in the third column of worksheets A and B, in order to have a illustrated reminder of what you are going to make.

Why make lapbooks at school?

Making lapbooks in class has several advantages, which can be grouped into three main areas:

  • motivation, emotional and affective aspects: pupils feel more motivated to study when they are involved in the learning process
  • scholastic learning and development of study skills: students who are accompanied in the critical use of the lapbook are students who will learn to build their own study method
  • cooperation and inclusion: lapbooks are well-suited to cooperative group teaching, because pupils develop the critical abilities needed to make lapbooks more easily through dialogues with their peers.