How to Make Lapbooks: Enhance and Add to the Learning Experience


Making a lapbook is fun and easy. As students study a subject, they add material to their lapbook. This is used to demonstrate mastery of a particular subject. The creation of a lapbook involves many creative and educational resources. After the unit of study is completed, the lapbook is assembled. It can be kept for future reference and enjoyment.

How to Make a Lapbook

Lapbooks are easy to create. They are made from manila file folders. To start, take a manila folder and fold the two sides in half toward the center seam. There should be four sections. The two outside sections close in toward the center to make the cover. This can be decorated to show what the subject of the lapbook is. For example, a lapbook on ancient Egypt may have a sarcophagus on the cover. If cut down the center, each half would open to reveal the items inside.

Inside the folder place pictures, maps, written work, art projects and other items to show the concepts learned. Use the four columns to help organize the work.

Materials Required

All that is needed to create a lapbook is a manila file folder, a glue stick, hook and loop tape (Velcro), card stock and other items to place inside the folder.

A handy reference to find free lapbook materials is The Homeschool Helper Online. Although the website is designed for homeschool parents, teachers at traditional schools will find this a great resource for free lapbook templates.

Lapbooks for Everyone

Lapbooks are for all ages. Young elementary students can make simple lapbooks to show mastery in any subject. For example, a reading lapbook can be created to show all about one of the Magic Tree House books.

Older children can use lapbooks as a project. For example if the class is studying land formations, a student can create a lapbook on mountains. Perhaps this lapbook would contain information about the formation of the Himalayan Mountains. The cover could have a picture of Mount Everest. Inside the lapbook, there could be a diagram of how plate tectonics pushed the Himalayan Range upward. Middle school students could create a moving diagram using methods found in pop-up books. A reference and short report on Sir Edmund Hilary might be inside. Including a world map showing where the Himalayan Mountains are located is another option. Once everything is collected, the lapbook is organized and created.

Lapbooks for Special Situations

Some students have difficulties that make writing or public speaking a challenge. In lieu of a written or oral report, a lapbook can be created. For those with writing difficulties, creating the lapbook helps to strengthen the fine motor skills required for writing. Lapbooks use scissors, glue sticks, crayons and art medium. Students who have difficulty in communicating may be able to convey their ideas effectively using lapbooks.

Lapbooks in the Classroom

Lapbooks belong in every classroom. High school students can create biology or chemistry lapbooks reflecting the unit currently being studied. Middle school students could create a lapbook on careers, the Fertile Crescent, earth sciences, or algebra concepts. Elementary students can use lapbooks to demonstrate mastery of a subject.

Creating lapbooks in the classroom is another way for teachers to help students master a subject in an interesting and engaging way.

This post is part of the series: Lapbooking

If you are interesting in learning how to lapbook with your class then read on!
  1. The Fundamentals of Lapbooking
  2. Making Lapbooks to Enhance the Learning Experience