Back-to-school is an exciting time in the primary classroom! With new classrooms, new faces, and brand new learning materials – what’s not to like?! As a kindergarten teacher, I know my new students are eager to join in but they are often a bit nervous also. For this reason, I like to make sure I plan activities during the first week that are fun, and engaging, and allow for plenty of hands-on learning! These back-to-school lapbooks fit the bill perfectly!
What is a Lapbook?
If you aren’t already familiar with lapbook activities (or flippy-flaps), you’re in for a real treat! Lapbooks are a fantastic interactive tool you will love using in the classroom.
Lapbooks are essentially interactive notebooks that have been made a bit smaller to fit nicely inside a manilla folder or folded piece of construction paper.
Students will add a variety of interactive pieces to the lapbooks and create their very own resource filled with fun info.
There are so many great reasons to use lapbooks! Once you start using them you will find that they are simple to prep, fun, and engaging for students. And best of all. . . can be used for ANY topic!
If you want a more detailed description of lapbooks and how to use them in the classroom, be sure to check out this post on 5 ways to use lapbooks in the primary classroom!
Benefits Of Using Lapbooks For Back-To-School Activities
During back-to-school, there are so many new things to cover! If you’re a teacher to early learners, you know this time of year means diving into procedures, rules, expectations, and more. Working with littles is made so much easier when children understand how things are expected to run and their role in the classroom. For this reason, I LOVE using lapbooks!
Lapbooks provide a simple way to package a variety of important information for my students. We cover school info, rules, behaviors, school supplies, and more in one handy lapbook. This is an incredible resource for young students who are eager to jump into learning but still unsure of their new environment.
Lapbooks make covering rules and behaviors fun while giving my students an easy reference point to look back on at any time! Plus, on top of all of these benefits, I find that making lapbooks promotes confidence and independence in my new students. They are SO proud to show off their beautiful back-to-school lapbooks to their parents and this just makes my teacher heart SO happy!
Prepping Back-To-School Lapbooks
Another nice thing about lapbooks is they don’t require a ton of prep ahead of time. Using back-to-school lapbooks in your classroom is as easy as regular worksheets, I promise! That being said, before your lesson you will want to gather a few items ahead of time to make the process go smoothly:
- manila file folders
- crayons and/or colored pencils
- print outs OR back-to-school lapbook activities
Simple materials, right? That’s another reason I love lapbooks – no crazy, long list of materials I need to prep or find beforehand. Once you grab all your materials you are ready to get started creating your very own back-to-school lapbooks. Let’s jump into those activities!
Making Back-To-School Lapbooks
I love starting the year with fun hands-on activities and lapbooks present so many options! Since I love lapbooks so much, I use them all year long and back-to-school time is a perfect way to introduce my students to this resource.
When choosing activities for back-to-school lapbooks, there are so many options and variations you can focus on. In my classroom, I love to include a variety of activities that will help make my students feel welcome, familiarize them with the classroom and start the year off right!
1. Back-To-School Introductions
First off, I love having my kiddos fill out a section for their back-to-school lapbooks that asks them to fill in some information about their school. This activity asks kiddos to draw or write their answers to the following questions:
- What is your school name?
- What grade are you in?
- Who is your teacher?
- Who is the principal at your school?
I love this activity because it’s totally customizable! Older students can write their answers while younger ones are free to illustrate. This is a great way to open up the conversation about the new school year and go over some important information. Students will cut and staple the pieces to their back-to-school lapbooks for a quick and easy reference.
2. Draw Your School
This next one is simple, but so much fun!
I like to provide a small picture frame piece for students to draw an illustration of their school.
You can adapt this to just be your classroom, the student’s favorite part of the school, or have them draw the whole building. And . . . it can be a good excuse to get outside for some fresh air. Simply have students grab a clipboard, their paper, and a pencil and go to the front of your building. Students can look at it while they draw – then return to class to color it in.
Whatever you decide, this is a great opportunity for some creativity to shine through and give kiddos a bit of a “brain break” as we ease into the new school year.
3. Discuss Classroom Rules
At the beginning of the year, it’s essential to discuss classroom rules.
Back-to-school lapbooks make this task so much more fun and interactive! I love including these in our back-to-school lapbooks as a way to help students understand the rules.
For this activity, I like to go over our rules as a class beforehand. This is a good thing to cover in your morning meeting or circle time part of the day.
Then, during small groups, I work with students to help them write each of our classroom rules down. After, students will cut the pieces and align them together in the lapbook for an easy visual of the rules right at their fingertips.
4. Teach School Behaviors
Young learners often don’t have experience going to school before my classroom. This means we will need to go over what kind of behaviors are expected at school and also what kind of behaviors aren’t appropriate. I love doing this activity as a whole group first by using a pocket chart and sorting behaviors into each category. Some of the behaviors we talk about include: walking, kicking, yelling, sharing, biting, and sitting.
You can adjust these behaviors to meet the needs of your students, but since I work with kindergarteners- this list fits the bill nicely!
I ask my kiddos to help me sort them out on the pocket chart and then they will get to color, cut, and sort pieces of their own. Then they will glue their pieces to their back-to-school lapbooks to form a pocket for “school behaviors” and “non-school behaviors”.
5. School Supply Labeling
This is a great activity to include to help familiarize students with new school supplies. For this one kiddos will color and cut out a backpack picture and glue it to their lapbook. Then they will cut out school supply labels and add them to their picture.
Older children should be able to read most of these words, but I like to do this activity in small groups with my kindergarteners to offer assistance. I use a pocket chart and word cards with pictures to help them find the words that match their list. It’s also a great way to work on letters and beginning sounds for a little phonics addition to the lesson. Identify the first letter in the word, name it and then give its sound. Follow up by saying the name of the tool and matching it to the picture.
6. Goals For The Year
Finally, I love asking students to think about some goals for the year to include in their back-to-school lapbooks.
This is a great activity to brainstorm as a group. Marking an anchor chart provides students with a support tool they can use to complete their cards.
Some good ideas to start with are:
- Learn to write my name
- Learn to read a book
- Learn to tie my shoes
- Learn to be a good friend to others
- Learn to make a pattern
- Learn to be a great kindergarten helper
Your students will likely come up with a few goals of their own in this process too! I love encouraging my kiddos to dream big and write down the goals that sound most exciting to them. Once they decide and write down their goals (or draw pictures), have them attach these pieces to their back-to-school lapbooks.
Finish Up Back-To-School Lapbooks
Once you have all of your activities complete, students can work on decorating their cover pieces and adding the final touches. I love allowing my kiddos some creativity with this portion and seeing the personality in each one.
Once we are all finished, I enjoy running through our back-to-school lapbooks as a group one more time. It’s a fun way to review those rules, expectations, and procedures one more time.
If you have a big class, you can always do this during small groups and allow 1 child to share their work for each activity.
This is a great way for students to express some pride in their workmanship, grow in social skills and make sure all those new concepts really sink in!
Enrich Back-To-School Lapbooks With Digital Learning
After my students have made their very own back-to-school lapbooks, I love diving into a digital review of these activities during the days following.
The digital lapbook can also be used before the paper lapbook in your lesson. Use the digital activities to introduce new topics and vocabulary and then complete the activities together as a class. This will give kiddos an overview of what they will be working on before they work on their own.
The digital lapbook activities are exactly like the physical activities except they can be displayed on google slides for students to see. Students can work on their own devices, as part of a technology center, or pull it up on your Smartboard.
Try Back-To-School Lapbooks In Your Classroom
Ready to dive into some hands-on learning in your classroom? Lapbooks are such a great way to teach new information during back-to-school time. I love knowing that my kiddos are learning valuable information all while engaging in active, hands-on learning.
I highly recommend working on lapbooks with your primary students! This is a great way to cover a variety of skills, teach new rules and vocabulary and welcome your new kiddos! There are so many great options out there for interactive notebooks and lapbooks, but if you’re interested in any of the activities discussed here, be sure to check out the bundle of Digital and Printable Back-To-School Lapbook Activities!
Save This Post For Later
Don’t forget to pin this post to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so that you will be ready to go when back-to-school time rolls around!