Lapbook Review

A Review / Opinion of In the Hands of a Child Renaissance "Project Pack"
from In the Hands of a Child

January, 2012

My rating:

my rating

Otter's rating:

Otter's rating

 

Renaissance lapbook

This 72 page, affordable lapbook project pack from In the Hands of a Child has everything you need for a 7 day unit study on the Renaissance! It's designed for grades 6-12, although I think it could easily be adapted down to 4th grade.

I've always liked lapbooks. They offer a hands-on, interactive way of learning a subject. Lapbooks are crafty, they break up writing into manageable chunks and they look GREAT as a finished project.

In the Hands of a Child contacted me and asked me if I was interested in reviewing one of their lapbooks. I jumped at the chance. Our history study was heading into the Renaissance and this offer came along at the right time! Over the years we've finished lots of lapbook projects. Some have been absolute hits (like this one I made for nutrition) and others have been disastrous flops! Here are my impressions of this particular lapbook project pack.

My project pack came as a PDF. Instead of printing out the entire thing I only printed out the items/elements I wanted to use and read the instructions from my computer.

Graphics / Illustrations:

  • All of the graphics and illustrations are in black and white or grayscale.

    Pros Cons
    Printing only in black helps save expensive color ink. Some may find black and white graphics boring.
    A creative child may enjoy coloring things in. A kid who doesn't like coloring might think it's busywork to decorate his lapbook.

The sample lapbook displayed inside shows most of the lapbook elements printed on colored paper, which kind of jazzes things up a bit more (note: the picture below only shows part of the lapbook). I think the sample actually looks quite nice:

Renaissance lapbook

Everything appears to be clip art-based with different fonts for variety. This is not a beautifully "hand" illustrated lapbook like the ones featured at Homeschool in the Woods. However, the graphics are mostly crisp, clean and print well.

Content:

  • This lapbook covers a wide variety of topics from the Renaissance. All of the research for each lapbook element has been done for you and put together in an easy-to-read format sprinkled with pictures and clip art. Culture, art & artists, religion, architecture, music, literature, government, and exploration are all explored.

activities

Because the lapbook is intended to cover only a 7 day period, nothing is covered in great depth. However, you get a good overview of the main topics and what the Renaissance was all about. I think this lapbook would be a good addition to just about any history curriculum and it could stand alone as well if you didn't want to linger in this particular time period too long.

Lapbook Elements:

  • There are quite a few different lapbook elements to create (20 in all). A few of the items you can make are:

    • Booklet for vocabulary words
    • Flip flap book about Renaissance facts
    • Venn book comparing the Middle Ages to the Renaissance period
    • Shape book about Gutenberg

  • All of the lapbook elements come with written instructions on how to construct each one. I thought it was a little inconvenient that the instructions were separate from the actual lapbook element pages (all instructions are together in the beginning of the lapbook guide), but you could easily print the instructions out for reference. Perhaps it was designed this way so that they aren't cluttering up each project page.

  • Answers for each lapbook element are contained at the end of the guidebook. Most of the answers are suggestions showing what your child could write on each project piece.

  • Reluctant writers may like how each element breaks down the task of writing into a smaller chunk. Instead of writing papers, information is displayed on each lapbook element.

Fun Factor:

Crafty kids who love to cut, paste and color will most likely enjoy completing this lapbook. Kids who like their schoolwork to be cut-and-dry will probably groan their way through it. If you already know your children like lapbooks, then I think this particular one will probably go over pretty well. It's one of the better ones I've seen for this topic. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the worst and 10 being the most awesome activity we've ever done in our entire school career) I'd give this lapbook about a 6 1/2. Otter rated it as a 2. When I asked him why, he said there was too much writing and he didn't think it was varied enough (with drawing or cut/paste activities, etc.). He also disliked the lack of color.

Overall Impression:

I think the In the Hands of a Child Renaissance Project Pack Lapbook is a solid choice if you are a fan of lapbooks or want to give one a try to add some variety to your studies. I think this particular project pack is a great overview of the Renaissance with plenty of activities at an affordable price. This is definitely something I would have considered purchasing to supplement our history lessons and add in a hands-on element. It's well put together and saves a LOT of time! Unfortunately though, Otter doesn't like it at all and while I like the content, I'm not in love with the graphics. I think it's a professional product but not as polished as I personally would like it to be.

Check out the free sample at the In the Hands of a Child website and see for yourself whether it would work for you and yours!

*Note: All our reviews reflect only our personal opinion(s) of materials. We aren't experts! We're just a homeschooling family with 3 kids and ideas of our own about what works and what doesn't for US. smile

 

 

 

 

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