I had the great privilege of checking out a Lapbook or Project Pack from In The Hands of a Child. In the Hands of a Child has many lapbooks available in a variety of subjects.
In the Hands of a Child began in 2002 with two homeschooling moms. They are now an internationally recognized company with three ladies, Kimm Bellotto, Niki McNeil and Katie Kubesh partnering "to provide quality lapbooking materials for all educators while serving homeschooling families and classroom teachers looking for an easier way to put laughter and learning together in the hands of their children."
The girls and I were finishing up another lapbook on Letters, Numbers and Shapes, and I saw a great opportunity to expand the older girls knowledge of Shapes. The Shapes: Simple and Solid Project Pack is appropriate for children in grades K-3.
This Ready-to-assemble, hands-on unit has several different sections to help facilitate the learning of the subject.
Our Project Pack begins with an explanation of what a "project pack" is:
"A Project Pack contains both the activities and the lesson plans or research guide needed to complete the activities." They also share some tips they have found to be of help to customers. And they share ways to adapt the project pack for different aged children. Not only will you find the reproducible pages needed to complete the lapbook, there is a research guide with the information needed on the subject to read to your child, activities to complete and books to read.
After the Table of Contents there was a Planning Guide
The planning guide allows 5 Day for this study. As the girls are young (Tabitha is at the low end of the grade range and Amelia is below that) I decided to take it even slower. This seemed to work well, as there were a few topics that were a bit confusing to them and they just needed a break, plus there was a lot of cutting for them (even though I did quite a bit of it for them).
Next I found a list of Related Reading, Instructions for the Activities/Mini Books and How to Create a Lapbook Base.
They share some pictures of a sample completed lapbook for reference, though they do recommend that a child take a part in arranging their lapbook so they will have a connection to it, making it more personal and helping to reinforce the lesson.
The Research Guide follows. This section is the information that is to be read to the child before they do the hands-on activities. The Planning Guide (pictured above) tells you which section to read and what activities to complete, including the vocabulary words.
We started our lessons with the Simple Shapes, defining what a simple shape is and hunting for shapes in our living room. For the vocabulary words, I cut out the definition while they cut out their own word card that the definition would be glued on to. Then we worked on the other hands-on activities.
I decided to put the lapbook together when we were finished with all the activities, so I stored their cut outs in an envelope and their unfinished pages in the folder that would eventually be used as their lapbook.
The girls learned the difference between a simple shape and a solid shape. They also learned the terms two-dimensional and three-dimensional. One of the mini-books they made shows the definition of 4 common simple shapes (circle, square, triangle and rectangle). The girls traced the definition and drew the shapes in the appropriate spaces. Then they learned a little more about these simple shapes, such as what a polygon is, what a parallelogram is, the different kinds of triangles and different aspects of circles. We ended our short study of simple shapes with some tangram play.
(Unfortunately this frustrated Tabitha because she was trying to make the house pictured on the pocket and she couldn't get it correct. I had already told her it was just for having fun and she could make whatever she wanted.)
The day we were learning about circles we happened to get a pizza for dinner and Amelia spent some time showing me the diameter, radius, center and circumference.
We then moved on to Solid Shapes. The girls had a blast finding solid shapes around the house to match up to their cards.
Here are there completed lapbooks.
(Folder 1 with mini books opened)
(Folder 2 with mini books open and cards out)
They have come away from this study knowing more about shapes and having a larger vocabulary, which is exactly what I had hoped for.
I really appreciated all the work that had gone into the creation of this Project Pack. It was great to have basic information to read to the girls. As I had downloaded this pack I was able to print out the day's reproducible pages so as to not have to worry about losing them (we are good at misplacing things in our house).
I did struggle a bit with trying to find the right color combinations of paper for the mini-books. That however, was me over-thinking things. The authors recommend colored cardstock, but I used construction paper. I feel it worked just fine.
I loved that they included both traceable and printed words for some of the activities that the children needed to write information. Tabitha opted to write some things out on her own, though she did use the tracing words for some of the longer passages. Being able to chose between having the children print their own, trace or just glue on the information has truly made this project pack usable for multiple ages.
There were a couple of instructions that I wasn't quite clear about. For most activities I used the instructions and the picture to figure out what I had to do. But in a couple of instances the picture looked different from the instructions. The "Graph of Simple Shapes" seems to be described as a Shutter Book in the Activity Instructions. However, in the sample picture is appears to be glued flat into the lapbook. I chose to make it look like the picture.
Additionally, the instructions for the Circle and Frame seem to say that the white circles should be glued onto the frame where the shadowed area is. However, the sample shows them glued above the pink frame. Once again, I followed the picture and found the layout worked really well that way.
I did wish the Tangram pocket had a full back like the Solid Shape Mini Pockets. It just felt funny to me with no back.
All in all, the girls enjoyed creating this lapbook for their math time. I enjoyed the ease of use, though all the printing does make this something we won't be able to do all the time. Though I am intrigued by quite a few of their project packs and feel we would have fun with them.
You can purchase Shapes: Simple and Solid for $6.00 currently,though the regular price is $8.00. I was thrilled to see that they allow homeschoolers to use these packs in a co-op setting without any additional charge if the group has 10 or less students. Additionally, classroom teachers can use them for their class.
In the Hands of a Child has graciously allowed me to offer a giveaway for my readers. Please stay tuned for the giveaway post if you would like to win your very own Shapes: Simple & Solid Project Pack. This will be open worldwide! In the meantime, I invite you to head on over to their site to see the wonderful selection they offer.
Edited to add: You can now enter the giveaway for this Project Pack here!
They also have a Super Membership Subscription service. "Each month Super Members receive two free Project Packs that are downloadable right from their customer account. Super Member Units are released on the 15th of each month (or the next business day) directly into Super Member's customer accounts where they remain available for download. Each Lapbook and Note Pack unit includes a Planning Guide, Hands-On Activities, Research Guide, and Answer Key (where applicable) and is a brand new title. All units available for Super Members are written from a neutral/objective standpoint and can be used by those teaching from a secular worldview and those teaching from a religious worldview. " You can find additional details here.
Disclosure: I received a download of Shapes: Simple & Solid Project Pack from In the Hands of a Child in exchange for my honest review. I received no further compensation. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.