Genki English “Lapbooks” – Great Idea for Homework!

Betty in Germany has just sent in this fantastic video showing the “lapbooks” she has been doing with her kids.  I’d never heard of lapbooks before, but it looks pretty amazing with all the different types of materials:

This is just my sample folder so the kids get an idea of what we are doing….

The original the children make is colored and crafted by them….it grows with each lesson. It speaks for itself, that it is not complete right away. Each lesson something is added to the folder, I even like adding new pages by glueing them in….and all you need is a file folder and Genki material (cards, worksheet, storybooks etc.)

Thanks Richard- I´m happy to be contributing something after all these years

I think they look great, do let us know what you think of Betty’s idea in the comments!

Be genki,



Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!

7 Responses to “Genki English “Lapbooks” – Great Idea for Homework!”

  1. Margit

    This is beautiful. A really nice idea, and something kids must love and be proud of.

    However, I wonder, when are you doing this?
    In class time?
    If yes, how many lessons a week do the kids have?

    I think, if I’d have 2, 3 hours per week (or in a row sometimes) this would be something I’d love to work on, but with one lesson a week it’s tough.

    It might be a great HW project over holidays or so.
    Would be happy to hear what everyone thinks here.

  2. Betty

    Hello Margit,

    it really is alot of fun, the kids AND the parents are very proud!! Like mentioned- this lapbook is not COMPLETE right away- it takes 8-12 weeks before the children can take it home. We have lessons once a week.
    The last 10 minutes are used for the lapbook, its just a matter of cutting out the mini cards, stapeling them together and glueing it in. The same goes for the Genki story books etc. Its not that time consuming. While the children are cutting out we repeat the vocabulary- and even if they have to color something, we repeat the words etc. its a matter of learning with all senses- basicly it just a workbook with things to explore and much more exciting for the children with little tabs to open and pages to flip!
    If you are using worksheets anyway(which I assume) its no big effort glueing them into a lapbook. It “grows” with each lesson! Hope this motivates 🙂
    because the children sure love it.

    If you have questions I´ll be happy to answer .
    (as you can tell, I love lapbooks myself, ha, ha)

    Best wishes, Betty

  3. Marcus

    YES – these are great!
    I’ve been using a similar idea for years with my kids classes.
    Outside of class I construct the basic book with pockets, clips, and layout the areas we want to add material to. Everything can easily be attached or taken off. We’ll use the same book but change the material as we progress. The students have separate filers for past material. They are free to decorate their books any way they want – and they often do.
    I agree with Margit’s concern of spending too much time making these in class. The way I do it we spend usually less than a minute or two changing the material around in the books when needed.
    When I was a kid my friends and I loved our Trapper Keepers. They were an important part of school life and social identity (not sure if this is an American thing only). The idea for my classes was influenced from the “Swiss-knife” multipurpose Trapper Keeper. Later I learned that many home schoolers in America use a similar idea and call them “Lapbooks.”
    I’m in the process of starting my own school now and have been brainstorming other ways to use this idea. Funny it came up here as I only recently purchased Genki English!

  4. Janice Ninomiya

    Lapbooks are time consuming, but, as long as you choose simpler designs and have the kids do most of the work, that effort can pay off IMO. (Depends on the age of the kids, of course; you don’t want to be the one doing all of the work.) You can find lots of fancy templates online, but you can have the kids make simple ones. For instance, have them take a piece of origami paper and fold each corner in to touch the opposite corner in the center of the paper. Have them glue it into the notebook and write four words that they are learning that day onto each of the triangles. Then have them illustrate the word on the back side where they will have a larger square space for each of the four words. Or opposites could be written on either side of the triangle. Or homophones. Depends on what you are studying. Or have them take a piece of paper and fold it accordion-style and glue one side into their notebook. They can write words on each of the long rectangles that are formed by the folds. Use bigger folds if you want them to illustrate and smaller ones if they will just write the word. By writing the word and possibly illustrating it, they are reinforcing it in their memory. Then, when they go home and show their creation to family and friends, they are reinforcing their learning again. If the kids are old enough and you have plenty of scissors in your classroom, you can have them cut shapes, but you don’t have to do that, instead think of origami to come up with shapes that will be fun and easy but don’t need to be cut. Use colorful paper to make the lapbook more fun; just be sure not to use colors that are too dark to write on. All you will need is file folders, glue, origami or other paper, and crayons. I think that, after the original session, it won’t take so much time. They just add a little more to their lapbook each class. One possible problem is that, if they take their lapbooks home after each class, you may find that some kids forget to bring them sometimes. If YOU keep the lapbooks until they are “finished,” they don’t have them to show off to reinforce what you taught them that session.

  5. Melinda

    I also love this idea,thanks Betty for sharing it with us. I think the greatest strength of this project work is that the PARENTS at home are always “informed” with what’s going on in the English
    lessons. If children just say “we played great games” or “we sang songs” at home after the English lessons some parents might have the impression that no serious learning was taking place. But if such a folder is produced that clearly shows where the students are parents will be impressed.
    It is also great fun for the kids themselves- this lapbook is different from their ordinary exercise books or coursebooks.

  6. Julie Hayes-Braun

    That’s a brillant idea Betty, thank you so much!

    I will be making lapbooks with my class in my easter workshop next week…. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  7. Betty Ann

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments!

    Julie- let me know how it turns out! I´ll be waiting to hear from you 🙂

    Have fun and Happy Easter everyone-

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