My kids love geography. It’s actually something they beg for each day. This year we have been studying the United States, one state per week. We have almost finished each of the individual states and my kids will soon be picking a few states for an in depth report and presentation. One way I am considering doing these reports is through a more hands on approach with lap booking.
Lap booking is a great interactive way to place the facts about a topic into a contained report. Home School in the Woods is a great resource for many different lap book projects, and we were lucky enough to review their Make-a-State Activity which is part of their Activity-Paks series.
While this is not a stand alone curriculum, it works well with any United States study or library books and the internet. Once you’ve done the research you have a beautiful lap book that contains all the pieces of your project and is a size that is easy to store and reference at any time.
My intention for this pack was to use it with the kids on their first reports, however, our days got a bit jumbled up to this point and so we were not quite as far along as I had hoped. So instead of working on a state each, we all worked together to complete our home state of Missouri.
When I first began looking at the pack and all of the information, printables and extra items included I was a bit overwhelmed. However, they’ve included wonderful instructions and examples to help you work through the lap book as a whole and the individual items to include.
The download center was easy to navigate. There are many options for your lap book and I liked that they were separated out by the items, however, I think a single download for each state would have been beneficial for saving some time. I felt like I spent a lot of time, downloading, opening and printing each part of the lap book. That being said, it was time well spent because I love the final result!
The lap book is comprehensive and beautiful. My kids had a blast doing each piece of the book. They loved the research, as well as the time it took to compile the pieces, color and fill in the information and then finally set them nicely in their place.
When we were finished, they were extremely excited to show it off and tell all about the work they had done.
Because it is summer and we are not doing schoolwork as regimented as we were the rest of the year, the Make-a-State Activity took us a bit more time to finish. I do believe, if we had been in our normal school day routine, we would have easily finished the book in a week. Which is exactly what I plan to do for the kids reports on individual states.
I think doing the first state together will prove to be helpful in making the reports on their own run smoothly. They now know what to expect and how to gather the information which will lead to more individualized projects.
I loved that the Make-a-State Activity was very hands on and interactive for the kids. The pieces were simple and to the point, but fun for the kids to do as well. I like that most of the pieces will be the same (with different information) for each of the states. This makes the project run smooth and when we have finished all the states, we will easily be able to access all the information we need and know what we are looking for within each packet.
I also like that we could cater to our families needs. It was not required to use each piece, but they were available and ready for us to use if we wished. The instructions were easy to follow and left a lot of free choice in where pieces were placed and how they were finished (colors, photos, etc.).
In the future packs, I will have more things printed out for them to use. The state seal, for example, was very difficult for my elementary kiddos to draw on their own and I think it would be more beneficial later for them to have cut it out and placed it in the spot instead.
Overall, we loved the Make-a-State Activity and will be using it 50 more times in the next months!
If you love history and geography and want to incorporate a more hands-on approach to your student’s education, check out Home School in the Woods. They have a great collection of lap books, timelines, and history studies to get your children remembering and loving history in no time!
Just this month Home School in the Woods began their A la Carte projects. Now you can just purchase the one you need instead of the whole pack. Just one more way they are making history more accessible and fun for everyone!
If you’d like to see what the new offering is all about, you can enter code alacarte at checkout and try the Erie Canal lap book for free!