So far in our how-to-write-for-homeschoolers series on lapbooking, we’ve discussed, “What exactly is a lapbook,” lined paper and matchbook templates, and shutter flap books. Today I’d like to talk about two additional types of templates you can use when creating your lapbook, Venn diagrams and pockets.
If you’re new to Venn diagrams, the idea is straightforward. Draw two overlapping circles to represent two items you’d like to compare and contrast. In the outer area of each circle, write the facts that are unique to each item; in the overlapping section in the middle, write the facts that the two items have in common. For example:
You can make a Venn diagram as simple or complex as you like, which makes it a good fit for many ages. But how do you turn a Venn diagram into a lapbooking element? The version that I have seen that I like the best is centered on a rectangle:
The student fills in the diagram first, then cuts on the solid lines. The two end flaps fold over the diagram like shutters on a window. The back of the center section is then glued to the lapbook. In the lapbooks you create, you may choose to use the Venn diagram for an assignment such as, “Compare and contrast the story’s protagonist and antagonist,” or “compare and contrast the protagonist’s personality and situation at the beginning of the story with the end of the story.”
Pockets can be endless fun, both for the student and the designer. A pocket template requires two pieces, the pocket itself and the cards that will go inside the pocket. You could use this design for an assignment such as, “Name at least four events that led up to the American Revolution.”
Your pocket design can be a simple rectangle:
The longer piece of the template will form the back of the pocket. The shorter piece forms the front. Before attaching to the lapbook, fold the back behind the front and then fold the tabs over the edge. Glue the tabs to the back; glue the entire back to the lapbook. You could also illustrate (or invite the student to illustrate) the front of the pocket. You would also create square or rectangular cards that will fit inside the pocket for the student to record information on.
But with a little imagination, the pocket template can take on almost any shape! Instead of a simple rectangle, why not a doghouse, with bones for recording information on? Or a spaceship with smaller ships to place inside for safe keeping? The possibilities stretch as far as your imagination.
I hope these two template examples have sparked new ideas for you! Please leave me a comment or contact me any time to let me know how you are using lapbooks in your writing projects.