Archive for November, 2008

This lapbook was made by a friend’s son. It is based on a story writing activity.


In the course of general literacy work you often come across “finish the story”, or “what happened next” tasks. This lapbook was made by extending just such a task. In this case there was a series of pictures, showing the story so far, and the task was to write an ending.

central section


The flaps in the central section above show the pictures the story began with. The flaps on either side have titles such as “author”, “illustrated by”, “editor”, “theme”. These were used to encourage the child who made the lapbook to think of himself as a book author. His task was not only to complete a story, but to write a book. This is great for motivation, and gives an otherwise routine piece of written work much more interest.

the written work

This is the piece of writing, the centre piece of the lapbook. As the mum whose son made this said, without the lapbook that piece of lined paper would just get filed away unnoticed somewhere! Yes, this is true of work written by my sons!

The illustrations

On the other side of the extension for the writing, we have the illustrations.

A great way to encourage creative writing.

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table manners poster

What a good reminder! This poster hangs in a family kitchen.

Manners listed include

eat with the right hand, don’t spill food, don’t waste food, say duas before and after food, wash hands, don’t eat too much.


 A simple but clever idea.

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This is a literature study,on “Tamburlaine’s Elephants” by Geraldine McCaughrean, put together in the form of a lapbook. I did this project with my nine year olds.

lapbook covers

Quite a lot of this project was done on the computer, in order to give practice in word processing, inserting images etc. You will see that they enjoyed playing around with fonts!

The novel is a historical fiction, so we looked at some of the historical background as well as the story elements.

history bit

The historical background section was divided into two parts, biography of Timur I Lang and brief section on the historical use of elephants in warfare. For these sections the boys read online, made notes and wrote up their paragraphs.

I found the following links useful:

Wikipedia Timur

Timur,Silk road

Timur, World Heritage

War elephants, wikipedia

Battle of al-Qadisiyyah   (Where the Muslim army, led by Sa’d bin Abi Waqas (ra), defeated a Persian (Sassanid) army which included an elephant corps.)

book report


Next we included a book report. I based this piece of writing around the guidelines found here.

themes bit

We wrote sections on

Questions of identity

The importance of Chess (Timur had “his own” version of chess, learn more here, try it here)

Comparing the main characters, Rusti and Kavi

We also made a table to compare the historical details in the book with those we found in the history. This was to both distinguish between the history and the fiction and to show how the two can be interwoven.


history in fiction table


mini booklets for handwritten work

senses list

On the back are lists of sights, sounds, tastes, textures and smells described in various parts of the story. Of course we couldn’t list everything mentioned in such a descriptive book, but the lists offer a snapshot.

For more details on what we wrote about in this project I have added some brief study notes below.


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Insect lifecycles

A bugs life cover

I really like the cover on this lapbook, made by a friend with her 6 year old daughter. “A Bugs Life”. Instead of filling the whole space with folds someof the inside of the lapbook has been decorated on the theme.

inside view


Inside are several folds on the lifecycles of spiders, butterflies, ladybirds and bees. The spider fold is in the shape of a spider body, with pipe cleaner legs. It opens out as an accordian book.the ladybird fold is in the shape of a ladybird, and each wing opens out. The bees fold is in the shape of an envelope, with the sides and bottom flap opening out. It is decorated as a hive. The butterfly fold is a circle, folded into quarters, like a pizza book.

ladybird fold


Making your own folds makes a lapbook more personal and fun, but sometimes we need to save time! Enchanted Learning has some small printable shape books on lifecycles, which could be used in a lapbook like this one.

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A friend made this journal with her daughter during  a trip.

Basically it is an accordian style book, with one folded page for each day of the trip. Making a souvenir like this can be a good way to encourage early writers.

Here is another interesting way of presenting a journal, this time a daily one. In this spiral book, (made from quarter circles taped together), the day of the week is written on one side of each section, and a few words about that day are written on the other. This style might be particularly useful with reluctant writers, who only want to put a few words. Of course you could make the sections much bigger too!

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