Today, I am sharing one of my favorite activities that I use in my 2nd grade classroom. They are called lapbooks and they offer many different benefits for you and for your students.

What is a lapbook?
A lapbook is typically a file folder project that fits in the student’s lap. It is a means of displaying information that covers a topic or unit of study.

What makes them interactive?
I have my students research a topic or read a short passage about a topic to transfer the information to the lapbook.

The students can also work together or with me, the teacher, when creating the lapbook to learn more about the topic.

What skills do lapbooks offer?
I love lapbooks for many reasons:

1. Students work on fine motor skills like cutting, gluing, and folding.
2. Lapbooks are portfolios of a student’s work.
3. Most of the teacher prep is done for you! All you need to do is copy the materials for student use.
4. They are easy to store!
5. Students can review information all in one place.
6. They are a great keepsake for students and families.
7. Lapbooks foster a sense of responsibilities for a child’s own learning.

How do lapbooks offer fine-motor skills practice? 
There are multiple fine-motor skills that lapbooks offer. Here are just a few examples.

 

With lapbooks, students can work on folding, cutting, gluing and coloring as seen above. With my lapbooks, students also work on writing and placement of the pieces.


I’ve recently worked on this Memorial Day lapbook with my class to study the holiday. Each of my lapbooks follow a similar format so the students are familiar with how to make them. I have found that with my 2nd graders, this is a great setup! 


The outside of my lapbooks always includes the name of the topic and a quote for the students to reflect on as they complete the cover.


The fast facts piece is where the students can show a quick and easy snapshot of the holiday or topic such as the holiday’s name and its date.


I love using flip up pieces because students practice folding, writing, and drawing. 
 
There is a flipbook inside of each of my lapbooks that asks four essential questions. These are key to a student’s presentation of the lapbook.
 
The creative writing piece allows students to use their imaginations or show something they have learned about the topic. It’s always fun to read what the students come up with and how they relate their own information to the topic.

 These word meanings show what the students know and clear up any misconceptions about key vocabulary that relates to the topic.

 
If you love vocabulary like I do, you’ll love the pouch inside of the lapbook that holds teacher-made words! The students use these words in their writing when completing the lapbook.
 
An upcoming lapbook that I can’t wait to work on with my class is a Father’s Day Lapbook because it will make such a great keepsake! 
 
It’s essential for a student’s confidence that they feel successful and proud of their work. I strongly believe that with lapbooks, students are provided just that. 
 
I have seen over and over again the huge smile on a child’s face at his or her completed lapbook. More of my students want to share information because they have a portfolio of work that they are eager to showcase. It’s been a great year watching the students make a variety of different lapbooks!
 
 

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The Husky Loving TeacherMelissa (The Husky Loving Teacher) is a 2nd grade teacher. She has been teaching for eight years and holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. Melissa has spread her love of her Siberian Husky, Shilah by including her dog in her classroom as the class mascot. Melissa loves creating new and exciting ways to engage her students! You can find Melissa’s educational resources in her TpT store, The Husky Loving Teacher. She is the author of the blog, The Husky Loving Teacher. Melissa loves to learn from as well as collaborate with other educators on social media. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for teaching ideas and tips!