Friday, March 27, 2020

Learning About History with a Fun, Hands-On Lapbook from Home School in the Woods {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We again had the opportunity to supplement our history lessons with a great resource from Home School in the Woods. We have been learning about colonial times in America, working out way up to the American Revolution, so when we had the chance to use the Benjamin Franklin K-2 Lap-Pak, I was quite excited. It sounded like a fun way to learn more about one of our founding fathers.

I'm always amazed at the perfect timing of these reviews for Home School in the Woods resources. When we were learning about Ancient Egypt, we were able to review the Ancient Egypt Timeline and the Tomb Dash File Folder game.  And then, several months later, when we were focused on Ancient Greece, we had a chance to put together the Ancient Greece Timeline. A year later, we were given the opportunity to review people and events that we had learned about, plus learned new information from the same time periods, with the Timeline Collection. Home School in the Woods has such awesome products, and I was so thrilled that we were able to try something a bit different this time, one of their Lap-Paks, which we used to make an awesome lapbook all about Benjamin Franklin.

What did we receive?

We received a digital download of this Lap-Pak. Once I downloaded it to my computer, I just needed to open the files and get started. There is an Images file, an MP3 file, and a collection of PDF files. Of course, in order to use the Lap-Pak, I needed to print out the files, so a printer and printer ink is needed. I am so glad that everything is able to be printed out with black ink. In order to add color, some of the files get printed out on colored paper or card stock. And of course, there are plenty of pictures that the children can color. In addition to normal school supplies, you may also want to purchase a 6"x9" manila envelope, double-sided sticky tape, Velcro, and ribbon. We actually got by by using glue in place of the sticky tape, yarn in place of the ribbon, and chose to print out the binder-sized story instead of the booklet, so we didn't need the manila envelope. A gallon-sized zippy bag is great for storing the different projects in until they are all complete and the lapbook is ready to be assembled. The one thing you won't be able to get by without is the file folder, if you plan to make an actual lapbook project.

The main portion of the download is the collection of PDF files. These are broken into three sections: Introduction, Lapbook Projects, and Reading Text.

In the Introduction you will find:

  • Booklet Directions (for putting together the Ben Franklin story in booklet form)
  • Ben Franklin Introduction and Directions
  • Ben Franklin Lapbook Assembly
  • Ben Franklin Project Directions
You could choose to print out the directions, though I prefer to keep the directions up on the computer screen to save ink. 

The Lapbook Projects file contains the bulk of the Lap-Pak. There are 12 projects:
  • The Franklin Family
  • Leather Apron Trades
  • Ben Franklin, the Printer
  • Printer's Type 
  • Ben, the Good Citizen
  • Poor Richard's Almanack
  • Franklin's Inventions
  • Benjamin Flies a Kite
  • Documents
  • Vocabulary 
  • Pocket of Virtues
  • A Timeline of Ben Franklin's Life
Also included in the Projects file is the Lapbook cover, which is a picture of Benjamin Franklin.

The Reading Text file contains the Benjamin Franklin story is three formats, allowing you to print it in the way that works best for you. 
  • Individual files of each page so you can print them off one at a time
  • Full booklet text file for those with the ability to print duplex
  • Full-size text file for printing on normal sized paper and placing in a folder or binder
I chose to print it out on normal sized paper, because knowing me, I would have messed up the booklet printing, printing pages upside down or something and would have had to start again. Yes, been there done that. 

So, how did we use the Ben Franklin Lap-Pak?

I chose to use this resource with both Hannah and Harold, even though it states it is for children in K-2nd grade. Personally, I think it is very much appropriate for children up to 4th grade. Children in the lower end of the grade range will still need a parent to read most, if not all, of the text. Older children, like Harold and Hannah, are able to read the information for themselves. All children in this age range should be able to work on the projects independently, as long as they can cut, glue, and color. 

I started out by printing the story pages and the first project, The Franklin Family. The children colored the family picture while I read, and then we worked on filling in the blanks on the informational sheet.

The remainder of the projects were given to the children to work on independently throughout the review period.

I would usually print out one or two projects at a time and explain what needed to be done. They colored, cut, and/or glued to finish the individual projects, then we stored them in a zippy bag to keep everything together.

There was a lot of information for the children to read, and sometimes we read it together. There were some projects where I had a choice whether to have them write the information themselves or print out the pre-printed information. Families with younger children could definitely benefit from being able to use the pre-printed pages, but at 8 and 10 years old, I figured Harold and Hannah were definitely capable of writing the information themselves. As an added benefit, they got to work on their penmanship. Plus, the process of physically writing does help get that information into the brain. 

They were able to write the vocabulary words and are working on writing some of Benjamin Franklin's saying in the Poor Richard's Almanack booklet.

There was so much information to learn, both about Benjamin Franklin and colonial times. 

We learned about different trades:

We learned about Benjamin Franklin's job as a printer and a bit about how printing worked.

We learned about his inventions and his work in the community.

And of course, who hasn't heard of Ben's experiment with the key, the kite, and lightning?

We put together a Pocket of Virtues. There was a short explanation of each virtue and the children had to write the virtue and draw a picture to represent each one.

And, of course, Ben Franklin played important rolls in political endeavors, leading to the drafting of important documents in the founding of our country.

Then they read through the Timeline of Ben Franklin's Life and added in the pictures for certain events.

Once all the projects were complete, it was time to assemble the lapbook:

Hannah says the lapbook was fun and a fun way for people to learn about Benjamin Franklin. She loved that there were pop-ups (Benjamin Flies a Kite and Ben Franklin, the Printer).

I really appreciated this lapbook and how much information about Benjamin Franklin is provided. There is so much I didn't know, and I was learning right alongside the children. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. I love that written directions were provided as well as pictures of the projects and completed parts of the lapbook, showing us exactly how to put it together. 

If you are learning about colonial America or the time of the American Revolution, this would be a great supplement to enhance your child's knowledge of an important figure in our country's history. Of course, I've always been a fan of hands-on learning, and this lapbook didn't disappoint.

You can find Home School in the Woods on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

They even have a blog! As we are focusing on American History, maybe you would be interested in reading about Using Time Travelers to Teach American History. Not exactly sure what a "Time Traveler" is? You could check out their What is a Time Traveler post. There are seven different Time Travelers available for American history. Starting with New World Explorers and extending through World War II.

Being an election year, you may even want to check out the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak.

These Time Travelers are some of the products we could have chosen to review, as are Project Passport studies and other Lap-Paks and Activity Paks. You can read reviews for all of these different products by clicking on the link below.

Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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