If you saw my giveaway last week for a Composers Activity Pak, then you’ve seen a lapbook. Similar to notebooking, lapbooking offers a way of compiling the information a student has learned in an attractive way that can be reviewed and enjoyed for years to come. One of the comments on my giveaway was from an up-and-coming young pianist who had come up with a super creative lapbooking activity to do in group class and posted it on her blog. So, I asked her to write about it here! Welcome, Heidi!
Hello Readers! My name is Heidi. I live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I’ve been homeschooled all my life (just one year left to graduation!). I’ve always loved music. My Mom taught me how to play Klavarskribo when I was about 11. Klavarskribo is the Dutch way of writing music. I picked up on it quickly, and started playing in my church. I soon grew frustrated at my limited sheet music. Then two years ago my parents agreed to get me piano lessons. I am now in Grade 5 RCM, and really enjoying it! I hope to get my ARCT in five years, if possible. My teacher and her husband encouraged me to start teaching piano to beginners last year. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, so this is a fit for me! This past school year I taught three of my cousins. What a great experience! I learned so much along the way. Especially from all those wonderful piano teacher blogs! And now I’m asked to write for one!
As you know, my Mom is a homeschool mom. A few months ago she heard about lapbooking, a unique way of learning about one subject. This is how it works: the students learn about a subject. Along the way, they make mini books, which you can make in different ways. Each mini book is on a sub-topic. Then you take all those mini books and glue them into the main lapbook. The lapbook is made out of file folders that you fold in a certain way. All this I learned online. Here are the websites that really helped me out.
(Laura sez: be sure to click on the pictures to see all of Heidi’s good information up close!) I was looking for ideas for my next group lesson when I heard about this. I thought it would be a great way for my students to learn more about the piano. So I started researching online. The Squidoo site was a great find, as it totally explains how to lapbook, both planning and creating. Once I understood how to do it I started looking for things to put in it. I took books out of the library on the piano, history and such. I also found info online, as well as pictures. For the information I thought would be useful and fun I found a mini book template at Homeschool Share that would match it. Here are the topics my mini books were on.
1. a timeline of the history of the piano (accordion book)
2. a picture of an exploded view of a grand piano, the student had to fill in the names of the parts
3. the three types of pianos (layer book)
4. a puzzle of a piano (in a pocket)
5. The King of Instruments (fan book)
I put them all into a lapbook which I covered with a picture of a piano that I colored. Then I made enough copies of the book parts, pictures, and coloring pages for each of my students. I had two of my other cousins over also. We made the lapbooks in two group lessons, each two hours long. I started each mini book by explaining what the contents were, then telling them how we were going to make the mini book. After all the mini books were complete we put together the lapbooks and attached the mini books inside.
It was a wonderful learning experience! Everyone enjoyed making something they could take home with them. In my recent student surveys I learned that this was their highlight of the year! Wow! I think I’ll do it again. Next year our theme will be Beethoven, so we’ll probably be making a lapbook on him throughout the year. That should be interesting!
If you’re interested in making lapbooks with your students, take a look at the sites I mentioned above for detailed information, and have fun!
Laura adds: there’s a whole slew of resources for creating a classical music lapbook here.