Tag Archives: lapbook

Project: Lapbook – Sea Creatures

As part of C’s June holiday assignment from school, we had to do a project related to sea creatures. Projects such as making a paper mache model, or visiting the fish market were suggested. We decided to do a lapbook (yes, I chose something that could be easily transported and stored)

We started by doing a paper collage of C’s favourite sea creature – the dolphin. C looked for blue and pink shades in magazines and cut them into tiny pieces. She had fun creating the collage, and I really liked the way it turned out. This got the place of honour, on the cover of the lapbook.

Lapbook cover

Lapbook cover with paper collage dolphin

We read books on sea creatures that I borrowed from the library (unfortunately I forgot to take pictures), and added some fun fact flaps. C was amazed to learn about zooplankton, the smallest sea creatures, and she was intrigued to find out that the blue whale was as long as a MRT train cabin (I had to use real-life examples to illustrate how big/fast/small the sea creatures were).

Fun facts about sea creatures

Fun facts about sea creatures

We also learnt about the different classifications of sea creatures. She learnt about molluscs, crustaceans, mammals, reptiles and fish. We found this really interesting video on molluscs on youtube- C loved it!

Classifying sea creatures

Classifying sea creatures

We also took another trip to the SEA Aquarium. This was C’s second trip down, and this time round we were lucky to see the dolphins (a new exhibit).

C wrote a little booklet documenting her trip. She selected the photos that she wanted to put in the book, and typed out the captions (I resized the photos and adjusted the formatting, but she did the rest). It was excruciatingly slow watching her type l…e…t…t…e…r by l…e…t…t…e…r but the results were worth it. She was so proud of her work that she did a little presentation of it 🙂

C's account of her 2nd visit to SEA Aquarium

C’s account of her 2nd visit to SEA Aquarium

Here’s the completed lapbook. A simple project, but we had fun learning about sea creatures (they are amazing!), and C got to write her very first mini-book!

sea_creatures_lapbook1.jpg

completed lapbook

Did you know that there is a sea creature with three hearts?

p/s we did do a paper mache model of a dolphin too, but C didn’t like it enough to allow me to take a picture of it.

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Project: Lapbook – China

It’s been a while since my last lapbook. In the past term, C was learning about China in school, so I thought it would be interesting to start a lapbook on the same topic. It would also be a good chance to start a discussion with her on her Chinese heritage.

In the lapbook, we had the usual items – things found in China, its location on the world map, the China flag. I also included some interesting information about China – its capital, currency, population and leader. C already knew about Beijing, but wasn’t aware of the country’s other ancient capitals. She was also amazed at the birth rate in China (one baby born every 1.9sec!).

chinalapbook8.jpg

Capital, population, currency and leader

I had little cards with pictures of Chinese inventions – she had learnt about some of them in school, but was surprised when I told her that the toothbrush was a Chinese invention (“How did they brush their teeth before the toothbrush was invented?“). Paper making was a fascinating topic for her too (we will probably try doing this during the holidays).

Chinese inventions

Chinese inventions

I explained that prior to paper, the ancient Chinese used to write on scrolls made up of bamboo strips or silk. As a craft activity, we created a scroll out of popsicle sticks and twine (because popsicle sticks are much easier to find compared to bamboo strips!).

Tip: If you intend to make your own scrolls, line the sticks and mark the spot where you intend to tie the twine (about 1.5-2cm from the top). Then use a penknife to cut notches – it will help the twine stay in position.

Making the scroll

Making the scroll

On the completed scroll, C copied part of the Three Character Classic (三字经), one of the Chinese classic texts. We used a black marker for writing. I wrote some of the more difficult words in pencil so she could trace it. I was really proud that she managed to write so neatly! We did some revision on the recitation of the text too.

Completed scroll

Completed scroll with Three Character Classic

When learning the chinese language, C had complained that some of the characters were difficult to write, unlike the english alphabet (in her words: “there are so many strokes!“). I explained that the language evolved from pictograms (象型字), and that most of the words had interesting origins. We viewed an interesting video on youtube, and I included a matching game in the lapbook. She was much more willing to learn about the chinese characters after that. Note: The original pictogram from which the current form evolved is included at the corner of the picture card.

Match the picture to the word

Match the picture to the word

Besides the Three Character Classic, I also introduced another classic text called Hundred Family Surnames (百家姓). I explained that since China was so big, there were literally hundreds of different surnames (currently there are 504). I printed out a list and asked her to locate her surname, my surname, and her grandmother’s surname. I explained that there were some surnames that were very common, and there were a lot of people who had the same surnames although they did not come from the same family.

Hundred Family Surnames

Hundred Family Surnames

I took the opportunity to explain that some of the surnames originated from the same area in China. She had learnt that there were 56 ethnic groups in China, so I showed her the different regions of China where each ethnic group resided. I explained that her grandfather and ancestors came from China (and showed her on the map). She was amazed that her grandfather and ancestors actually came from China (we had not explained this to her prior to this discussion).

Different regions in China

Different regions in China

Here’s the completed lapbook! While this project has been completed, this was just the beginning of C’s journey to learn more about her Chinese heritage.

China lapbook

China lapbook

Download the lapbook here ==>Lap book-China

How do you teach your children about their heritage?

Lapbook – Blue’s Clues

Most of the posts so far have been on activities with C. Here’s something that I’ve done recently with G- a lapbook with his favourite character, Blue, the dog from the Nick Jr show Blue’s Clues. G loves watching the show ( I should upload a video of him dancing to the theme song, haha).

Here’s a description of the lapbook I did with him:

Counting
G loves flashcards, so I created a set of number cards with Blue. He has a lot of flashcards, but I’m happy to say that he loves this latest set – he kept pointing at each one and saying “Blue”. To improve the lifespan, I laminated the cards, else they would probably last for 5 minutes before being reduced to paper shreds.

Counting with Blue

Counting with Blue

Colouring
G loves scribbling and colouring. He got to choose the colour, and it was no surprise that he chose blue! He really enjoyed this part, adding his favourite colour to his favourite character with gusto.

G colouring Blue

G colouring Blue

Puzzle
A simple 4-piece puzzle. C showed G how to fit the pieces together, and he picked it up fairly quickly, most likely because he recognises Blue’s house (it appears at the beginning of every show).

Puzzle time

Puzzle time

Colours
Colours identification with multicoloured paw prints! Personally, I liked this part the most, it’s so colourful!. No prizes for guessing which paw print G kept flipping.

Learning colours

Learning colours

Comparisons
G is already familiar with the concepts of  “small” and “big”. Here I introduced the word “medium”. He got to paste the different sized pictures of Blue in the corresponding spaces.

Size comparison & Blue

Size comparison & Blue

Animal vs human prints! Blue’s paw print is a recurring theme in the show (for those not already familiar with the series, Blue leaves her paw print as a clue to guess a certain object). I ran out of blue paint so had to make do with orange. G loved squishing and feeling the paint on his hands – I ended up with a toddler with an orange-streaked face, haha.

Paw print vs handprint

Paw print vs handprint

Here’s the completed lapbook!

Completed lapbook

Completed lapbook

Lessons learnt
Basic skills were covered in this lapbook. G also got to work on his fine motor skills. He enjoyed applying the glue and pasting (refused to let go of the glue stick!), as well as colouring and printing.

Lapbooking can be fun even for young toddlers such as G 🙂

Lapbook – Dora

After completing our first lapbook on birds of prey using ready-made templates, I wanted to try doing one from scratch. C is a huge fan of Dora the explorer, from the Nick Jr. animated series, so I decided to use Dora as a theme for our very first DIY.

Dora the explorer – basic geography
Since Dora is an explorer, I included some basic geography and famous landmarks in the lapbook. I had already introduced the various landmarks to C, so it was a good recap of what she had learnt previously.

Famous landmarks and naming the continents

Famous landmarks and naming the continents

Learning Spanish with Dora
In the Dora cartoons, C is also exposed to the Spanish language. She has shown great interest in learning spanish, so part of the lapbook was also dedicated to the language: basic greetings, colours, numbers and common words used in the cartoon (all googled, haha). We do not speak the language, so I’m amazed that she is able to recognize the words, name the colours and count to ten in spanish (which goes to show how much the children absorb from a half an hour cartoon!)

Learning basic spanish with Dora

Learning basic spanish with Dora

There, our very first DIY lapbook! Not very impressive, but C loves it 🙂

Lessons learnt
Although the result looks simple, quite a bit of preparation work was involved. Starting from the topics, to how the contents were to be presented, I spent some time picking out the right format to be used.

The effort was worth it, as C takes it out everyday to go through the Spanish phrases. Me? I managed to learn how to count in Spanish!

What kind of lapbook are you working on now?

Lapbook – Birds of Prey

At the beginning of this year, I was first introduced to the term “lapbook” by a homeschooling friend, who uploaded a sample of a lapbook done together with her daughter. I loved the finished product! Intrigued by the name, I did some googling on the topic, and was struck by the simplicity and versatility of the concept. It was placed on my to-do list ( a looooong list, haha!) and I finally got down to doing one with C over the long weekend.

Since she was learning about birds in school, I decided to start with a ready-made template from the internet on the topic of birds of prey.

Starting lapbooking
Downloading the template was easy enough, but there was quite a bit of cutting and pasting to be done. The graphics were pretty, and C really liked the card pocket (she wanted to bring it to school for show and tell!) Unfortunately, none of the books recommended were available from the library, but we managed to find other books on the topic; the internet was also a valuable source of information!

We worked on the lapbook the whole afternoon, reading the books and articles to fill in the templates. I was really proud of her for being able to concentrate on the task for such a long time.

Here’s the completed lapbook!

Completed lapbook “Birds of Prey”

Lessons learnt
Besides learning more about birds of prey, it was also a good exercise on reading comprehension and writing practice! C really enjoyed doing the lapbook, and was really proud of the result. I enjoyed the process too, and am now working on a second lapbook, made from scratch this time. Stay tuned for my next lapbook project!