Last week we were discussing animal classification, and on Friday I had both Rylan and Cale choose an animal they wanted to do a project on. Rylan chose a Brittle Star and Cale chose a Hermit Crab. Sunday we cleared out the library on all the books on invertebrates, ocean life, crustaceans and echinoderms. They both wanted to do a lapbook, but we did it a little different than we have in the past, since this was supposed to be their projects. I read most of the books to them of course, and helped find internet pictures and resources, but as far as the lapbooks, I wanted the majority of the work to be theirs.
The first thing I did was make up a set of Animal Reasearch Questions, based on the information I wanted them to find and the questions we all came up with together during our brainstorming session. The questions are relatively simple, since my boys are young: animal type, habitat, parts, food, etc...You can find them here under What kind of animal is it? along with the files for the Animal Classification Box.
We read through the questions, then started to read in our books. My oldest used the index and table of contents himself. They dictated notes to me when we came across answers to some of the questions. Then I gave them a basket of premade mini-books. I basically just used all my scraps from previous lapbooks and folded them in half or triangles or whatnot. No templates or printing. So when they were ready to start they would pick a question, pick a book and answer. They each helped find a page full of pictures off the internet to glue in their books. My 5 yr old needed more prompts and spelling help. He dictated more. My 7 yr old did almost all the work himself. I think I wrote 1 question for him.
Cale finished his yesterday and is vry proud- it is completely him- right down to the backwards and upside down cover (which is on the back). Rylan finished his up this morning. And he "presented" it to me when he finished. He used the book to help him but most of the facts he recalled; he was really interested in the basket star. Cale "presented" his to Paul this morning too. He needed a little more prompting for answers, but recalled most of the info too.