Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Novel Lapbook Project

When I was a little girl, I loved it when my teachers would assign me a project.  It didn't matter what the subject as long as it had an element of creativity in it.  Education has certainly changed since the 70s, but my love of the project hasn't!  Although now I see it from a different perspective.

I teach in a Title I school in which 85% of our students are socioeconomically disadvantaged.  When it comes to projects, many do not have the at home support that I had growing up.  As an educator, it is important to keep in mind that many students are working alone on projects without an adult to guide them, or perhaps the support is there, but it is limited.  Projects need to be designed to be accessible for all students, no matter their backgrounds.

Beyond that, standards and expectations are different. My shoebox diorama in 1977 would depict a favorite scene from a book with a sentence or two about it.  I think if I had to make one now, it would have to include a well-written summary free of personal judgments or I would have to use evidence from the novel to describe the scene in depth.

I have seen lapbook projects all over Pinterest and TPT, and I knew I wanted to have my students try something like that as a culmination for books we had read. I had assigned my students a variety of what I called "Classic Books"--books that I remembered reading from my childhood.  My kids were all about the "latest, newest thing" this year and I wanted them to understand that "old" does not equal "bad."  So I gathered up some beloved books written before 1985 (30 years or older was my guide) and hooked them in with some book talks.  And, in spite of themselves, they really enjoyed reading them (and begrudgingly conceded my point.) I needed a book project that I could apply to any book and would meet my 6th grade standards.  I found a few great ones on TPT but none specifically designed for 6th grade--so I decided to create one myself.

I was pretty pleased with what most of them did.  Here are a few pictures of some of them (I forgot to take pictures and when I remembered only a few kids still had them at school.)  I would love to give this product away to the first five people who leave a comment below or email me at

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