Archive for the ‘younger learners’ Category

reflection coverI did a practical project on reflection with my daughters, and gathered together whatever could be done on paper into a lapbook. The following pictures are from my 6 year old’s lapbook.

The hama bead butterfly sticks down easily using ordinary PVA glue.


These are the activities I could include in the lapbook:

worksheets from Enchanted Learning on completing a symmetrical drawing, and identifying symmetrical flags, another sheet on completing shapes

colouring a butterfly

making a hama bead butterfly

cutting out shapes from folded squares of paper and marking the “mirror line”

making fold over reflection paintings

These are activities we also did as part of the project but which could not be included in the lapbook:

Using a mirror to examine pictures and things to see how reflection works

Building models from bricks to create balanced and unbalanced shapes.

Using a pegboard to make reflections. (Put an elastic band around the middle of the board, make a design on one side, then reflect it on the other.)

cut out shapes

“These shapes have a mirror line”. We drew a line down the fold to make it stand out.


To arrange the paintings I stuck the one underneath completely to the folder. The others I layered over each other, only sticking them by a strip at the top.

worksheet on backcover

Two of the worksheets I folded and stuck inside the lapbook, the third one I just stuck on the back cover.

This is a really easy and relaxing lapbook to try!

Read Full Post »

This lapbook is based around one very simple concept, that we have so many gifts from Allah that it is impossible to list them all, and that we need to be grateful to Allah (swt) for all the blessings we have.

On the lapbook cover “And if you try to list Allah’s favors, you will never be able to count them all.” Quran 14:34


There are many, many ideas that could be included in this lapbook. We did mini books to illustrate a few ideas and then decorated the lapbook to illustrate others. Once you start to discuss and think about all the gifts that Allah (swt) bestows on us, the children themselves will come up with lots of suggestions, inshAllah.

To illustrate and strengthen understanding of blessings from Allah I used some old lesson plans, written some years ago by another friend.

For example, whenthinking about our hands as a blessing from Allah I began the session by putting thick mittens on the girls’ hands, then asking them to perform tasks such as picking upsmall objects, putting on and fastening their coats and shoes, etc. Of course they found this impossible, and they could then begin to realise how important agift our hands are to us, and then be thankful forthem.

when thinking about our tongues, I asked them to try to say certain words and sentences withoutmoving their tongues at all. I asked them to say words such as “little” without letting their tongues touch their teeth. Through these activities they came to realise the importance of the tongue for speech.

similarly when learning about the eyes, I blindfolded the girls and asked them to perform certain tasks, such as reading, and recognising a person without touching or hearing them. These kinds of activities can be extended to include any other parts of the body you wouldlike to study, legs, lungs, ears etc.

Each time I got the girls to think of a list of things theywould not be able to do without their hands, eyes etc.

hands, tongue, eyes

The tongue shape lifts up!


I did not only want to focus on parts of the body however. We chose to also domini books about water, and the seasons. When learning about water we thought about all the uses for water that we have, and how much we need it every day, indeed , how all living things need water to live. The study of water could be a whole otherproject, so we could only cover it briefly here.

water droplet

We wrote about wateron the back of a droplet shape.

My daughter also wanted to draw about the seasons. She especially wanted to draw about ice creams, to represent the summer!


We also made lists of gifts from Allah to stick into the lapbook. Some of the gifts from Allah are not easy to illustrate!

Our list: my body, my health, my family, my friends, the Muslim Ummah, my Islamic belief, fresh air, sunlight, food, night and day.

For each of these we were able to discuss what these meant to us.


When my friend wrote lesson plans around this topic she extended it to cover some of the amazing attributes that Allah (swt) has given to His creation in the animal kingdom, for example the ability of some ants to always find their way back home, the long distance flights of the albatross, and the ability of the camel to go for days in the desert without water. I felt that this was too much for this lapbook, indeed the topic deserves a lapbook of its own. Maybe I’ll make one, inshAllah!

Read Full Post »

This lapbook was devised from a series of lesson plans written several years ago by a friend. I have included the plans more or less as they were written, as they form a good discussion base. They are written with a group of children in mind, but are easily adapted for use with one child. When role plays are called for, the parent can take a role, and even soft toys can be used to play the parts of other people!

Following the plan for our project, we began by thinking about the real necessities for our lives, how money is required, and how zakat is used to help the poorest in society meet their basic needs.


Part 1

Aim: To establish that there are basic essentials in life that we all need.

Lesson 1

Aim: To establish that we need food to prevent hunger.


Begin by asking the children what they had for breakfast. Did anyone have nothing for breakfast? How would you feel now if you had had nothing for breakfast?

Look in your lunchboxes. Talk about what you have. Use one child’s lunchbox as an example. Take out one small item, such as a grape. Close the box and ask the children to imagine that today that is all they would get for lunch. Talk about this. How do they feel when they are hungry?

  1. Draw stick men pictures and label them to show how we feel when we are hungry. (tummy ache, tired, cross, sick, headache, dizzy) 
  2.  Ask them if it is nice or good to feel hungry. Ask them what they need to do when they feel hungry. Get out a small snack. What do we say before we eat? We remember Allah because Allah provides us with food. Give each child a snack and say bismillah together. Say alhamdulillah together after eating the snack.

 3. Show the children a selection of pictures of foods. Ask each child to select what he would like to have and why. Then show the children half a crust of plain bread and say that that you have not got any of the foods in the picture, you only have the crust. Discuss their response.


4. Ask them if we need food. Why? How would it be if you had no food?

Explain that some people have very little food.

 Ask where our food comes from. It is given to us by Allah.


5. Display various pictures of foods. The children make pictures of foods they like by drawing or collage. Write “Alhamdulillah”.




Lesson 2

Aim : Establish that we need homes to protect us.


Begin by reminding the children about the last lesson. Elicit that we need food. Say that today we will talk about something else that we need. Ask the children where they live and ask them to describe their home. What do they like about their home?

When it is rainy/ cold/ windy/ snowy outside how does it feel inside your home? If you had no home and had to sleep outside what would happen to you?

Show the children pictures of homes around the world. Discuss how those homes suit their climate. Ask who provides us with our homes. Elicit that Allah provides us with everything, including our homes.


  1. The children draw pictures of their homes with a weather background showing a wet or cold day or night. Write “Al hamdulillah”. When each child has finished he can display his work and explain that Allah has provided him with his home to protect him from the weather, (and any other reasons that the child may have thought of). Weather reasons are focused on here in order not to cause the children to worry about dangers outside the home. These things can be discussed if the children mention them first.
  2. Explain that some people do not have homes. Why? People usually have to pay rent or pay to buy a home and some people do not have the money for that. This may be a difficult concept to put across as the children may find it hard to imagine that a home has to be paid for as they will not have witnessed a cash transaction being made for it. They may have lived in their home for as long as they can remember and just feel it to be naturally theirs. It may be especially shocking for them to realize that their home actually belongs to someone else; the landlord.
  3. Using Lego or other building materials ask the children to build little houses. Give the houses to one child and explain that he owns all the houses but he would like other people to pay him and live there as he does not need them all himself.
  4. Say that each house costs  100 per month. Give each child a piece of paper with a number on it to show how much they can pay each month. Some have enough, others do not. The children role  play asking to live in a house and being accepted or refused. Those who are accepted are given a model house.
  5. Discuss the outcome of the role play. Encourage the children to think about the problem of not being able to afford a home. Again thank Allah for the homes we have.


Lesson 3

Aim: Establish that we need clothes to protect and cover us.


Begin by reminding the children about the last lessons. Elicit that we need food and housing. Explain that today we will talk about something else that we need.

Remark on the weather today. How does it feel? Discuss the clothes that the children are wearing or would need to wear if they were going outside. Relate the clothing worn to the weather.

Show the children a picture of  hot places and cold places. Using a few items of clothing ask them which clothing they would need for each place. You could use a winter coat, a jubba, a sun hat etc. Discuss the possible outcomes of wearing the wrong clothes.

  1. Draw pictures of clothing worn on hot or cold days and label.
  2. Ask the children to imagine only having canvas shoes to wear on a wet day, or only having short sleeved clothes in winter. Talk about how this would feel.

Establish that we need clothes to protect us.


Then move on to the concept of clothes covering us.



The last part of Ummahmoud’s lesson plan involved a role play. This can’t appear in a lapbook of course, but it is still part of the project.

Begin by discussing briefly what zakat is, who gives it and that the poor have a right to part of the wealth of the rich.

Then discuss the essentials required for living (food, housing, clothes). The children need to be reminded of these.

  1. Each child is  given some money and is asked to allocate some of it for spending on food, some for housing and some for clothes. The rest they put aside as saving. From the saving they then role play giving some money to someone assigned as the poor person.
  2. Divide the class into two groups. Half are to role play rich people, and are given some money. The others are to role play poor people. One poor person is without food, another without a home and another without adequate clothing. The children role play, the rich person approaching the poor and discussing his needs with him and then giving him some money.

At this stage the children are being introduced to the act of giving and do not need to know that zakat should be organized by the state. They are also not old enough to understand the calculation for zakat.


For other parts of the lapbook I cut out bits of other resources I had. Unfortunately I do not know where some of these originally came from. If you recognise anything here, let me know in the comments, so that I can acknowledge the producers.

The resources consist of simple drawings and text, which can easily be hand replicated.

some have more than others

The booklet at the bottom of the picture has three pages, with text reading “Allah has given some of us a lot of wealth”, “He has given some of us less” and “Some of us have very little”.

While making this booklet you can discuss with your child how wealth is a responsibility and a test, and that Allah wants us to share whatever we have with those less fortunate.

Zakat is the 3rd pillar

The booklet above illustrates zakat as the 3rd pillar of Islam. The other flaps fold down on top of each other.


Above is a simple cloze exercise, explaining zakat, and then a further explanation written under a label of Zakat written in Arabic.



Above, overview of the lapbook.

Below, the front cover.

front cover







Read Full Post »

A lapbook does not have to be a long project. A lapbook can be assembled in a day or two, as a mini project. In this example a friend of mine wanted to introduce symmetry to her daughter, mainly through the use of drawings. Early study of symmetry usually involves lots of artwork, for example mirror painting (where a picture is painted on one side of the paper, then the paper is folded to print on the other half), or paper cut outs (where shapes are cut from a  folded paper , then the paper is opened out again). These activities are great fun to do, but at the end you have a collection of papers which can easily get lost or jumbled up. A lapbook is a good way to pull all these examples together, and store them so that they can retain their meaning. 


The word “symmetry” is not symmetrical, as illustrated above!

full view

This lapbook comprises several sections.

Examples of symmetrical shapes with the line of symmetry marked.

Examples of non-symmetrical shapes, with lines drawn as suggested “mirror lines” where the child was asked to place a mirror to check for symmetry.

Mini fold with symmetry information.

Symmetrical pattern made from cut outs.

Cut out shapes, some folded, with symmetry lines marked where approriate.

closer look

The colouring on the top left shape is clearly not symmetrical (someone got carried away with the felt tips) – but you get the idea!

mini fold

The writing says “If you put a mirror in the middle of the shapes you will see if the shapes look the same on both sides or if  they look different.”

Read Full Post »

Just something short and simple this week! A simple poster to decorate your wall with. This was the idea of a friend of mine. The poster uses a visual reminder of “opening” to remind young children of the meaning of the name of the first Surah of the Quran. These posters were made by my sons several years ago when they were learning about the Five Pillars of Islam, and more particularly, about salaah.


The writing at the top says “Suratul Fatihah means the Opening. It is the first surah in the Quran.”


Because of the stage of writing the children were at  the inside was kept very simple. If your children are able to they can write out the surah in Arabic, or the English meaning, or both, behind the doors.

Read Full Post »

This is a short, simple lapbook designed to encourage early writing. My daughter is at the beginning of learning to write sentences independently and in this project I asked her to write without copying. She wrote out a draft version first, so the final version you see here has been corrected and rewritten.

about me cover

open view

flip flap sentences

The first section we made was this flip flap book, containing one simple sentence under each flap. My daughter had to think up the sentences she would write about herself.

Things I like

Inside this heart shape I asked my daughter to write about things she likes. Simple as that! She wrote, “I like rabbits, I like to play in the snow and I like pink.”

I am a Muslim fold

For this “I am a Muslim” section I used cut outs from an Islamic studies workbook. I wanted to include information which relates to a young child’s understanding of what it means to be a Muslim.

my house

Continuing with the same simple idea we made simple greetings card style folds and my daughter wrote a few sentences to describe her home and then her bedroom.

layer book on "my numbers"

For this layer style book we did some measuring and weighing! Practising writing numbers and units of measure such as cm and kg.

We also made a section on “My Family”, using a family tree style diagram. To avoid drawing pictures of family members I asked my daughter to draw pictures of things to represent each person, for example she drew footballs and cricket bats to represent her brothers and a pile of books to represent her little sister.

For more ideas on how to make various booklets for a lapbook, including the layer style book, enter “lapbook lessons” in the You Tube search box, which leads you to lots of tutorials on how to fold different books.

Read Full Post »


This lapbook was made by a friend and her six year old daughter. I’m calling it a lapbook, although the format of the presentation is not the usual lapbook style, instead sheets of card have been threaded together,accordian style, as illustrated in the picture below.


accordian style

This lapbook was made around the time of Eid-Ul-Adha, inside there are links made between the life of Ibraheen (as) and the Hajj.

overview of contents

The photo above shows an overview of the lapbook contents when the book is opened and laid flat. The full story of Ibraheen (as) is very long and detailed, this project looks at a few key aspects, suitable for a younger learner.

first page

The first page (above) features sections on the Ibraheem (as) asking “Who is my Lord?”, the breaking of the idols, and the fire into which Ibraheen (as) was thrown.

the fire that cooled

Who is my Lord? foldstory of Zam Zam

In the blue inset is a booklet about the story of Hajar, the wife of Ibraheen (as), and the spring of Zam Zam. The cut out is shaped as the hills of Safa and Marwa.

Underneath this section, on the orange card is a picture of the three jamaraat, and some writing relating to why they are there.

first page

the jamaraat

On the final page (red card), at the top there is a cotton wool sheep with some writing about the sacrifice of Ismail (as), and below that there is a pop up fold about Eid-ul-Adha, linking the two.

Eid pop up

This project was made around the time of Eid-ul-Adha, as a background to understanding that festival. For an older child this project could be further developed by including more incidents from the life of Ibraheem (as), such as the building of the Kabah and the birth of his son Ishaaq (as). Also the links between the story and the rituals of Hajj could be gone into in more depth.

Read Full Post »

This lapbook is an excellent example of how flexible a lapbook project can be. It can start with an interest in one area, and branch out to include lots of related information, but still form one coherent project when complete.

This lapbook project was done by a friend’s five year old son, because he wanted to do something about tigers. On the way he found out lots of other things too.

tiger in a jungle

First the tiger information. The colouring page was taken from Enchanted Learning.

The questions are printed on card, with answers underneath.

facts and pic

tiger puzzles

With younger learners especially the lapbook project can include plenty of fun elements, like these puzzles.

 On the right of the book there is a section on animals and their babies, using thumbnail images with labels for the adult and young of various animals.

tiger fact flaps

In the section above flaps with headings such as “classification”, “diets”, “habitats” can be lifted to reveal more tiger information.

classification pockets

For the final section of this project cut outs of different types of animals have been collected into pockets, so that “omnivores”, “solitary animals”and so on are collected together. The sister whose son worked on this project can’t remember where the images she used came from, but I would suggest that a similar effect could be achieved by using animal pictures collected from clipart sites, colouring pages etc, sorting them and labelling the actual pockets with “animals with stripes”, “herd animals” and so on. A few facts could be written on the back of the pictures. These links could be useful for this:

Animal Classification project

Classifying and sorting fun

back cover

Does the back cover of a lapbook sometimes seem to get wasted? Here good use has been made of the back cover! Tiger stripes have been coloured onto the orange paper, which has then been attached to card and stapled to make a strong pocket. Inside there is a printed out and coloured in early reading book from www.readinga-z.com, with a tiger theme of course!


The following links could be useful for making a project similar to this one:

World Wild Life – Tigers

Kids for Tigers (name suggests site is aimed at tigers, to educate them about kids, but the reverse is true, it has some good activities)

Kids National Geographic

Animal printables

More animal pictures

Animal Classes

Just collect a varity of cut-outs and printouts from these sources, copy down the facts that are most interesting, stick it all together, and you have made a fun lapbook!

Read Full Post »

This is an example of a simple introduction to the five pillars of Islam, suitable as a project for younger learners. This lapbook was made by a friend’s five year old son.

cover, 5 Pillars lapbook

This project was made during Ramadan, that is why the cover refers to fasting. For colouring pages for a lapbook cover, try Islamic Lapbooking.

inside view

inside salaah and fasting minibooks

I think the pictures explain the content of this lapbook. The flip flap book on the Virtues of Ramadan opens to show bits of information in little “windows”. The layered book on salaah illustrates both the order of the prayers and their timings. Notice that the shade of the papers used illustrates the day, night, dawn and dusk skies.

Altogether this is a very visual lapbook, with use of colour and illustration to highlight the key facts. Great for younger learners.

Read Full Post »

This is a very simple preschool Islamic Studies lapbook that I made last summer with my daughter. At the time we were also studying the name of Allah, Al-Khaliq, the Creator. We made a poster to display the name at that time. Looking back  I think it would be good to make “Al-Khaliq” the centrepiece of the front cover of the lapbook.



Inside the lapbook I made simple shape folds on the following themes:

Allah made trees (tree shape)

Allah made everything (wave shaped). This may seem like an unnecessary category, but I wanted to include the sun, stars, fire, mountains and so on, and needed a simple way to group them. I did not want to make a long list!

Allah made fruit (orange shaped)

Allah made animals (turtle shell shaped)

Allah made insects (woodlouse shaped)

Allah made birds (nest shaped)

Allah made vegetables (onion shaped)

Inside each fold we stuck example pictures. Some of these were cut out from leaflets I had, most of the others were taken from colouring books. To add more colour we stuck cut outs from a flower catalogue in the gaps.

This is a very simple project to do. It practises sorting skills and how to categorise, teaches vocabulary (names of the vegetables etc), and teaches a basic Islamic concept. Not to mention cutting, sticking and colouring skills.

trees, everything, fruit, animals




animals and fruit


insects, birds and vegetables

These are the folds I chose. There are so many more you could add; Allah made me/ my family, using photos; Allah made flowers, planets, reptiles…etc. Much of the learning for this project takes place as your child chooses what categories to include, so be sure to include the child in the planning and design!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »