Using Lapbooks to Teach Science

Using lapbooks to teach science {Elemental Blogging}Are you looking to enhance your science curriculum?

Or are you wanting to use something a bit different to teach science in your homeschool?

How about using lapbooks to teach science?

These incredible educational tools will help you to shake up your current educational plan. On top of that, lapbooks can inject some life and interest into the way your students record what they are learning in science!

What are lapbooks?

Lapbooks are educational scrapbooks that fit into the lap of a student. Typically they are a collection of related mini-books on a certain subject that have been glued into a file folder for easy viewing, but they can also include pictures or projects that the student has completed.

In the same way that notebooking does not require regurgitation of facts; lapbooking causes the student to interact with the materials instead of just responding to basic comprehension questions.

lapbook, notebooking, science lapbook

Lapbooks are extremely versatile because they can be used in conjunction with any subject the student is learning about.  They are excellent tools to use with elementary students for reinforcing what they are learning because this age group tends to prefer a more creative spin to their assignments.

The heartbeat of the lapbook is the mini-books that are placed inside.  Each of these booklets contains information on topics related to the main subject of the lapbook.  They can be in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the cover of each one should have a picture related to the subject as well as a title.

The interior of the booklet should contain several sentences detailing what the student has learned about the topic in his own words.  These mini-books will pertain to different sub-topics of the main topic, thus highlighting certain aspects of a broader subject.

Lapbooks to teach science

lapbooking through the solar system

A science lapbook will focus on one area from the scientific body of knowledge. So, for instance, if your main topic was matter, your related mini-books could be on the states of matter, changes in stage, solids, liquids, gases and more.

The purpose of these types of lapbooks is to give your student bite-sized glimpses into a more complex subject matter.

You can add science lapbooks into your homeschool time by:

  • Using a science lapbook to review a unit that you have just finished covering in your current curriculum;
  • Switching things up a bit through exchanging a science lapbook for your regular science notebook;
  • Basing an entire unit around a science lapbook.  The lapbook can serve as the guide, while you create a full science unit study around it with the addition of reading assignments, vocabulary and activities that relate to the subject.

Although I have highlighted the uses of science lapbooks, since that is my area of expertise, you can certainly apply these ideas to any of subject your student is studying.

However you choose to employ them in your homeschool, lapbooks can serve as beautiful scrapbooks that the student can continue to learn from for years to come. This quality makes lapbooks a beneficial addition to any student’s science education.

by Paige Hudson


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