Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Benjamin Franklin Lapbooks

Warning: If you don't homeschool, this post will probably bore you. If you homeschool but don't lapbook, this post will probably bore you!

I've been very neglectful lately of my hands-on learner. Chalk it up to busyness. Or laziness. Whatever...I just haven't planned very many extra-fun activities for our academics as of late. So, needless to say, I needed a little spark to avoid the staleness that can strangle a home school about this time of year. I decided to turn back to lapbooking, which I haven't visited since Alex was in Kindergarten. Our first Benjamin Franklin lapbook project was a complete success--especially for my hands-on learner; he was so proud of his project, he slept with it under his pillow! (Hopefully, this did not give him nightmares of his previous Toothfairy Troubles!)

It was admittedly a lot of work for me, especially with 3 participating in the project this time instead of the 1 I had last time I approached lapbooking. I designed this one myself which contributed to the amount of work in cutting out templates and making sure everything fit. From now on, despite the extra cost, we're going to go with pre-fab kits and templates. In fact, Michael was so eager to do another lapbook, we've already started a Presidents' Day book using a kit a purchased from Hands of a Child. Much easier!!

And now, for the particulars of our Benjamin Franklin Lapbook (these details are for my virtual lapbooking friends):

For the cover, we colored a picture from Enchanted Learning (and, no, I don't know why this particular rendition of BF is sporting bright red lipstick!). We stamped the letters, causing mass chaos with my already mismanaged scrapbooking materials.

The middle inserted flap gives a brief bio on BF, details the kids remembered from Eve Merriam's The Story of Ben Franklin. The left flap is a place value math activity. The 100s envelope contains numbers 100-900, the 90s envelope contains numbers 10-90, and of course the 1s envelope contains numbers 1-9. The object is to visually see that 200+30+7 = 237. A photocopy of a 100 dollar bill was the springboard for this. The top right flap contains a narration of static electricity as well as the details of our static electricity experiment. The bottom right flap contains 9 mini books pertaining to BF's jobs, contributions, and inventions.

Underneath the main center flap which contains the biographical info, there are two books. The first gives examples of Ben Franklin's famous sayings along with space to choose a favorite and explain what it means. The other book is a timeline of BF's life.

Finally, on the back of the lapbook is a pocket, camouflaged in with the rest of the book. Discovering this extra hiding place was delightful for the boys. The pocket contains a photocopy of the Declaration of Independence as well as a handwriting page on which each of the kids practiced writing those famous lines of the document: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." We're working on memorizing these lines, but with words like "self-evident", "endowed", and "unalienable", it may be slow-going!

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