September 11 lapbook review

I’m sure we’re all aware that Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the attack on our country.  I felt like my 3 oldest kids were old enough this year to study about September 11.  We decided to do the Hands of a Child lapbook (which is only $1 if you buy it before September 11!

I received this lapbook for free in order to do this review.

This particular project pack was written for grades 2nd through 8th.  The kids I had working on it were 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades.

We started by reading the research guide over two days.  It was so comprehensive that I didn’t add anything else to it.  (The only thing that I might still add is some information about Todd Beamer, a Christian passenger on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania.  There is information in the project pack about each of the flights, the buildings that were attacked, a timeline of events, Osama bin Laden, Islamic extremists and terrorism, the rescue heroes, long-term impact, and memorials.  There are 21 lapbook activities ranging from interviewing someone, writing a letter, designing a memorial, and playing a game.  One activity that I felt was really neat was the Hero Qualities Game.  I’m always trying to help my children grow in character, and it’s wonderful to focus on something great that came out of this tragedy–the heroes who did wonderful things to help and save others.

In view of the little time we had to spend on this subject (it wasn’t originally in my plans), I decided that the kids would do one lapbook with 7 activities each.  We were able to finish all of it in one day (plus the 2 days of reading).

I do recommend this lapbook to anyone who would like to study September 11.  Lapbooks are always a fun way to learn a subject, even a very difficult subject such as this.

Pictures of our September 11 lapbook:


Notice that he drew an octagon in the first picture, then changed it to a pentagon in the next!










A review of Katy’s Big Snow Day lapbook

Below is a review of the Hands of a Child project pack “Katy’s Big Snow Day.”  It is a literature lapbook unit based on the book “Katy and the Big Snow” by Virginia Lee Burton.  It can be purchased at CurrClick.


I did the Katy’s Big Snow Day lapbook with 3 of my kids, ages 3, 4, and 6.  We had a lot of fun with it.  I definitely recommend it for the preschool set. The book is old and sweet.  It had some interesting words in it, so my kids learned some new things.  The lapbook activities were enjoyable for them, too.   The project pack says it was written for up to 3rd grade; I’m sure there are some kids older than 6 years who would like it, but not my older boys (2nd and 3rd grade).  The book was too childish for them.

Included in the project guide were lots of questions to ask the kids while we were reading.  There were 20 lapbook activities.  It took me about an hour to cut it all out, but my 6 year-old daughter was able to help a little.  We were able to adapt many activities for my younger set by cutting and pasting the answers, drawing them, or dictating while I wrote, instead of having the kids write so much.   Much of this was included by the authors.  My 4 year-old was able to trace the answers for some of the minit-books; it was nice that they were included in the project pack, too.

I loved how the book was a jumping off point for studying directions (north, south, east, west) and compasses.  We also studied about blizzards.  Both compasses and blizzards had quite a few lapbook activities included.  I found a few more things to explore which weren’t included in the project guide:  measurement (they talk about how deep the snow fell), big construction trucks (by 3 year-old boy loved this), street signs, and counting by 5 (the first page counts by 5s up to 55 to show that Katy is 55 horsepower).  We also added in another activity of drawing a map of our own town, and compared it to the map of Geoppolis.  A verse I thought fitted in well was Proverbs 31:17 which says “She sets about her work vigorously;  her arms are strong for her tasks.”  That was a good description of Katy! 

Now, here is the cutest thing.  These 3 kids were running about chasing each other yesterday and kept saying, “I’ll be Katy now.  You’re Katy.  It’s my turn to be Katy.  Etc.”  Finally, I asked them what they were doing.  I could tell that “Katy” was the leader , so I said, “Why don’t you just say you’ll be the leader?”  Then, I realized they were acting out the book!  When someone asks for help, Katy always says, “Follow me.” And then she plows out the street while they all follow her!  It just confirms for me again how kids learn so much on their own if you gently guide them and then give them the freedom (and time) to explore!

So, try out this lapbook with your preschooler(s).  It’s great for the winter-time!

Here are some pictures.  I still can’t figure out how to turn these.  Sorry!

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Cowboy lapbook and unit study

Last month we did a fun study on cowboys.
Here are the books we read:
A biography of Will Rogers
Armadillo Rodeo (Brett),
C is for Cowboy: A Wyoming Alphabet (Gagliano),
Cowboys (Penner),
Cowboys and Cowgirls: Yippee Yay! (Gibbons),
I Want to be a Cowboy (Liebman),
Why Cowboys Sleep With Their Boots On (Knowlton),
Riding the Range: Western Activities for Kids (Drinkard),
Little Sure-Shot: The story of Annie Oakley (Spinner),
Justin Morgan Had a Horse (Henry, on CD),
B is for Buckaroo:  A Cowboy Alphabet (Gleaves),
Bronco Busters (Herzig),
Rodeo (Bellville)
Kickin’ up some cowboy fun : 130 activities for cowboys and cowgirls (Cook)And movies we watched:
Annie Get Your Gun (movie),
All About the Circus & All About Rodeos (movie),
All About Dinosaurs & All About Horses (movie)

Music CD:
All about cowboys for kids  (CD)

As usual, the kids spent a lot of time acting like cowboys (and cowgirls) and pretending to be in rodeo events.  We had a couple of ropes which they had made at a farm festival last year.  I know they are really understanding what we’re learning in books when they actually act it out!

Here are the cowboy lapbook pictures.  Most of this was from Hands of a Child “Cowboys.”
Find this and lots of other great studies and lapbooks at CurrClick:

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American Indian unit study and lapbook

My daughter with her cradle board:

Pictures of our lapbook (materials from Hands of a Child and Dover):

The boys put together the Pueblo Village you see in the lapbook above.
Here are the books we read:

American Indian Books:

Tapenum’s day : a Wampanoag Indian boy in Pilgrim times Waters, Kate.

One little, two little, three little pilgrims Hennessy, B. G. (Barbara G.)

Giving thanks : the 1621 harvest feast Waters, Kate.

Native Americans   (Hirschfelder, Arlene B.)

The Ojibwa  (Lomberg, Michelle).

American Indian foods  (Miller, Jay)

Traditional crafts from native North America

More than moccasins : a kid’s activity guide to traditional North American Indian life  
  (Carlson, Laurie M)

Rainforest Unit Study and Lapbook

The above graphics for the lapbook are fromHands of a Child Rainforest Habitats and Jena the Jaguar, Squidoo, and Homeschool Share.  See some great pictures of Jimmie’s lapbook here.

Rainforest Books that we read

The Jungle Book (Kipling, Rudyard)

Afternoon on the Amazon (Osborne, Mary Pope)

The great kapok tree : a tale of the Amazon rainforest     (Cherry, Lynne)

 Rainforest birds (Kalman, Bobbie)

Tropical rain forest (Silver, Donald M.)

Over in the jungle : a rainforest rhyme (Berkes, Marianne Collins)

Rainforest colors (Canizares, Susan)

Rain forests : tropical treasures

Draw! rainforest animals (DuBosque, D. C.)

Rainforests : an activity guide for ages 6-9 (Castaldo, Nancy F.)

Rain, rain, rain forest (Guiberson, Brenda Z.)

Rain forests  (Osborne, Will)

Crafts for kids who are wild about rainforests (Ross, Kathy)

The umbrella (Brett, Jan)

A walk in the rainforest (Pratt-Serafini, Kristin Joy)

One day in the tropical rain forest (George, Jean Craighead)

More or less : a rain forest counting book (Davis, Rebecca Fjelland)

Polar Regions study and lapbook

We have finished our study of the Polar Regions and had a great time with it!  My kids made snow goggles and soapstone carvings (out of soap!).  We ate some  “Eskimo” food. 

We’re reading a neat book about Arctic missionaries called Mik-Shrok (Repp)  Here are the other books we readReindeer Trail (Hadar)

The Emperor’s Egg (Jenkins)

Explore Antarctic (Kalman)

Living in the Tundra (Loughran)

North Pole, South Pole (Levinson)

Polar Bear, Arctic Hare (Spinelli)

Arctic and Antarctic (DK)

Keiko’s Story: A Killer Whale Goes Home (Kurth)

Into the Ice: The Story of Arctic Exploration (Curlee)

Alaska ABC Book (Kreeger)

The Bravest Dog Ever:  The True Story of Balto (Standiford)

The Arctic (Lynch)

Dog Sledder: Racing Across the Snow in Alaska (Brode)

Welcome to the Ice House (Regan)

Cultures of the World: Iceland (Wilcox)

The March of the Penguins (the book) (Jacquet)

Snow Bear (Harper)

We also watched some documentaries:

March of the Penguins

The Free Willy Story: Keiko’s Journey Home

And a non-fiction book on dog sledding

The activities we included in the lapbook are:  maps of Arctic and Antarctica, graph of glaciers, polar explorers, animals of Arctic vs. Antarctic, food chain, info on polar bears, lots of info on penguins, info on dog sledding, clothes of the Eskimo, vocabulary words, info on snow, poems about snowmen, pocket reports on Keiko the Killer Whale (star of Free Willy movies) and Balto the sled dog, and they colored flags of the Arctic countries.  Here are some pictures.

Some of the lapbook templates were from 2 different Hands of a Child project packs:  Snow and Sled Dogs.  You can download these at CurrClick.


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