Create A Lapbook-A Few Steps

Create a Lapbook

The time has come. I have given you information on finding free lapbooks. I have given you information on lapbook templates. I have given you information on creating the base. It is now time to put all of this information together to create a lapbook of your own.

Don’t panic. It just takes a little planning. This post will be from the perspective of an elementary school teacher, since that is what I am. I am almost positive the homeschoolers use the same process. So, whether you are a school teacher or homeschool teacher, just follow the process.

Step 1

My first step in the process to create a lapbook is to see what my objectives are for my unit I am studying. These objectives are taken directly from my district curriculum. I open my teacher’s edition to the pages that the unit is presented. I usually make a Unit Plan in a document so I can make sure all the objectives are covered in the lapbook. (I also list the mini books I will be using, just in case.I will also list all materials that will be needed to create a lapbook.)I am working on a third grade unit called “Forces and Motion” where the 3 laws of motion will be examined, therefore, I will be using this as my sample.

Step 2

Now I will begin searching for appropriate worksheets that can be transformed into mini books, or the content or photos, will be useful. I also search for free premade lapbooks because there may be some usable content already made. My ongoing philosophy is, “Why reinvent the wheel.” If somebody already made one, why do I need to do the whole thing over. I am also for, “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” If I borrow or use something from someone else, I am willing and ready to share back.

Now, using the objectives that I need to meet in this unit, I can begin matching worksheets or ideas for mini books to them. I do read the textbooks with my children, so I will use the text to help guide me as well.

I usually do a vocabulary mini book of some kind. Using the correct vocabulary, in other words, academic vocabulary, is the first hurdle in children learning the content. I use the words and the definitions from the book, so there is no confusion about its usage. Here is the one I made for this unit. vocab flapbook motion This is a shutter fold mini book that I copied from a pdf and pasted in a word document. I then inserted text boxes in each square with the vocabulary word. To cut and fold, cut out around the whole book. Then fold on the middle line, and both side ones so you have a very skinny book. Next, open up the folds and cut on the lines separating the words. The children will then lift the flap to write the definition under the flap. Vocabulary Shutterfold Mini book for create a lapbookvocab shutterfold

Marzano academic vocab templateI have also used _vocab_1_frayer_model this template used by Marzano. The children need to know and use these words frequently for them to become a part of their every day language.

Much of learning about science, physics in particular, is allowing and providing hands on activities. What better way to learn about magnetic force than to allow the children to “play” with magnets. So once they have had time to play, I would them have them reflect on what they learned. I found two great mini books about magnets: one from, and another from

I found a wonderful resource about Newton’s Laws of Motion. This resource is a mini book called a window book that allows the children to illustrate the three laws of motion as they are learning about them. Here is the link:

Step 3

As soon as I have all of my objectives covered, I can then create a lapbook design of the base. You will  need to print out all of the mini books and make them. Then place them on the base until they all fit. Sometimes you will need to add extensions. Once it all fits, its time to try it out with the children.