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Lap Book Lesson Guide

How Do I Make a Lap Book from Scratch?

Lap Book Lesson Guide

(step-by-step checklist for planning your very first lap book)

(While lap books can be made from whole book series, science study, history study, religion study, or anything else you can think of; this guide is meant to assist you and your child in a study of a single book.)

(1) Week Before

_____ Discuss with your child what book or topic he wants to study

_____ Take a trip to the library to select books

(2) (Over the Weekend) Mothers Prep Work

_____ Make sure you have a manilla folder (regular or legal size) on hand

_____ Make sure you have supplies on hand (see"Lap Book Supply List")

_____ Look through main book being used and make study plans ahead of time by asking yourself questions for each of the main subjects *

_____ * (Math---Is there anything we can use as manipulatives for math? Example: In the book Blueberries for Sal I cut out blueberries from construction paper to use for adding/subtracting/patterns/sorting)

_____ * (Reading---write a list of comprehensive questions you want your child to be able to answer)

_____ * (Science---what nature study is found in the book?)

_____ * (Language Art---plan to have your child rewrite the ending of the book/ have him narrate what he learns to you--type it on the computer--let him draw and color a picture under the narration to insert at the end of the lessonhave him do copywork from the book.)

(3) (Day One): Getting Started

_____ Cuddle time---sit on sofa and read book together

_____ Take a trip to the craft/hobby store to let child select stickers related to the book/topic

_____ Have child open a manilla folder and fold it so that the two tabs meet in the center like a puzzle (the book will have a "shutter" window effect)

Mothers Prep Work

_____ Make a photocopy of the book cover for childs use

_____ Make a list of vocabulary/reading words (you will discover these while reading the book with your child---what words did he stumble over/what words did he not understand?)

_____ Put the main topic at the top of a sheet of paper for note taking

_____ Depending on the age of your child, you may want to go ahead and make some paper folds. Dinah Zikes Big Book of Books and Big Book of Projects comes in handy for this project. If you do not have either book then just make simple little miniature books by folding a sheet of paper in half and then again in half or fan folds that you made in school or fold a sheet of paper in half and cut the top sheet in sections so it will lift into different categories to reveal something underneath...many paper folds can be found on the Internet...this site offers lots of links to help you get started:

Go to for a free sample sheet of paper folds to help you get started.

_____ Plan a book-related craft/art project for your child to do...and dont forget to take a picture of it

(4) (Day Two): Enjoying the Process

_____ Read the book again with your child

_____ Find out what interests him the most in the book...make plans according to what interests him

_____ Make a shaped-book for him (if the book is about planets...make a circular planet book and let him color the cover...staple circular pages behind it...these pages are for him to draw on, write on, color and decorate anyway he


_____ Give him a few vocabulary words to define and write on slips of folded paper instead of a worksheet

_____ Have your child begin deciding on the cover artwork

(5) (Day Three):Let the Child Lead

_____ Take notes as you discuss the subject matter in the book

_____ Continue having your child do a few vocabulary words daily

_____ Keep in mind anything that can be used in teaching science, math, health, etc.

_____ Write down any sentence structure or lines that the child finds amusing, that he questions, or repeats after you...have him do these for copywork.

_____ Remember to place all these notes and slips of information into a large plastic sandwich bag until you are ready to put your lap book together.

(6) (Day Four): Start Piecing Together

_____ Start having your child decide what information he wants to place on the different paper folds

_____ If your child is older, assist him in making the paper folds...children usually love constructing with paper...make this a fun project.

_____ Have your child write a brief description of the main characters

_____ Have your child start on cover artwork

_____ Have your child decide where he wants to place his information inside the lap book

(7) (Rest of Week): Invite your Child

_____ Invite your child to finish his lap open to his ideas and implement anything he wants into it

_____ Turn your child into an author...have him narrate, write, or type a summary of the story

Moms Self-Check

_____ Are you encouraging or discouraging your childs interests?

_____ Are you remembering that this is "his" book...not yours?

_____ Do you have something in the book for:

_____ Science? _____ Math? _____ Language Arts? _____ Reading?

_____ Have you planned for your child to do a book-related craft or art project...did you take a picture of him with his project to insert into the lap book?

_____ Have you developed your film?

_____ Remember that this is your childs first lap not rush the process...assist with the paper folds and help as needed until he gets into the swing of things and understands whats expected

_____ Have you offered your advice and insight kindly, then stepped back and allowed your child to decide on his own?

_____ Have you given your child the information and supplies he needs to complete the project?

(8) End of Project: The Grand Finale

_____ Have your child copy the information onto paper folds and glue them inside the lap book folder

_____ Have your child decorate his lap book with rubber stamps, stickers, cut-outs, and anything else he wants to add...and finish the cover artwork

_____ Have your child finish all his vocabulary words

_____ Have your child illustrate the written or typed summary of the book to go inside his lap book

(9) In Closing: A Sense of Accomplishment

_____ Can your child answer and comprehend the questions you wanted him to learn from the book?

_____ Is your child comfortable enough with his subject and material to give a lap book presentation to the family?

_____ Is your child proud of his lap book?

_____ Did you compliment his work?


You and your child have successfully finished your first lap book! This short lesson guide was meant to help you get started, stay focused, and bring the work to completion.

Be proud of yourself and your child for any work accomplished. With each new lap book, you gain more self-confidence and creativity. And, as with everything in life, you learn more with each new book, each new lap book, and each new adventure it takes you on.

~ Enjoy! ~

What we enjoyed the most about making our lap book




What We enjoyed the Least about Making our Lap Book




Things Mom Needs to Remember for the Next Lap Book Project




copyright 2003 (C) cay a. gibson

Literature Alive!



For more lap book information and supplies, go to Tobin's Lab