Lapbooking – Africa

Calvin has the most diverse range of interests when it comes to picking subjects for his lapbook or ‘project’ as he calls them. That’s not surprising since he is practically a blank slate and I’m very glad that he is so eager to learn.

One of the biggest obstacles to our lapbooking is the fact that he can’t really read or write yet. In our earlier lapbooks, I used some templates I found online but many of them require the kids to write in them. I ended up doing most of the writing of course but I wonder if that kinda defeats the purpose of having a lapbook that is supposed to be created by him. I tried looking for lapbooks that are geared towards preschoolers like him who can’t write but most of those I find too simplistic and does not go into any depth. They are usually just things that focus on counting ‘Lets count how many butterflies/ cars/ snowmen there are’ or letter recognition.

It’s difficult to find a balance where there is enough detail that he can learn something new about the subject and it is more hands on and requires little writing. I ended up customizing many of his lapbooks myself and it was at that time that I thought it would have been more worthwhile if I was teaching more than one kid.

Take for example this lapbook on Africa. I can’t remember what triggered him to want to learn about the continent, but the scope was so large I sat on it for weeks wondering about it. I read quite a few books by myself and then decided I shouldn’t think too hard on this. In the end, I settled for introducing him to the different terrains and animals that live in Africa and a map of Africa. We had a book that opens out to scenes on the desert, rainforest and savannah and lots of cut out animals that can prance around in them. He was quite amused by the desert animal we read about like the jerboa and the ant lion. We played ant lion a couple of times recently where one of us pretends to be the ant lion eating up the other person with our mandible. The original idea was that he could color the animals/ scenery or both but obviously not much of the coloring was done. This boy is too busy for coloring. In fact, he oftens colors about half of it and tells me that he left some ‘cracks for you to fill in, mama’

Africa Lapbook

We also read quite a few books on the Masai tribe and how they live though we didn’t put any of the details in our lapbook. I figured if he was interested, we could always start another project on a subset of the topic. To be honest, his interests are fleeting and getting a general feel of the topic is probably more important to him so he can move on to the next interesting topic. As it is we have



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