Lapbooking is a fun way to learn. It adds a hands-on aspect to their homeschool day. With it being an election year, I was excited to get a review copy of HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections, available from Home School in the Woods to use with my 3rd and 5th graders.
U.S. Elections Hands-on History Lap-Pak
This Lap-Pak is designed for students in grades 3-8 and is available either on CD-Rom or as an instant download. I received the download, and it came as a large zip file. I simply followed the instructions listed, and I was ready to get everything set up for my students within a few minutes!
As with the last Homeschool in the Woods product I reviewed, there is a lot of printing and prep work involved. However, the time spent to do it is worth it, because your children will be able to really dig in and learn. Once they have completed the 21 projects, with information ranging from defining election to the Electoral College to suffrage and more, they will assemble all of the projects into one main Lap Book.
Here is a little peek into what it looks like once you download it.
There are pages to print and explicit instructions on how to do so, including some different options and variations. Some things need to be printed on cardstock, others on colored paper, and many can be done on plain white printer paper. Still, on some of them, it doesn’t really matter, and you’re told that in the instructions.
Within the program, you are given access to not only the printed pages with the lesson text, but also the audio version of it. My children liked listening to their lessons and my 5th grade daughter liked to color on or doodle a bit on the lap book pieces (projects) that we would be working on that day.
Each of the green lines you see above represent a different project. The Definition of “Election” project is the first one. You can see that there is one worksheet that needs to be printed, linked below it. The audio is available to the right, including the specific run times for the sections pertaining to this project. There’s also a little photo button. This feature was awesome for us, because by clicking on it, you can see what the finished project is supposed to look like. My kids liked double checking to make sure they were on the right track.
Here’s what their example looked like for that first project:
Here is what ours ended up looking like:
What did we think?
We have been working through this Lap-Pak rather slowly. We have only been doing 2-3 projects per week, so we are not done with our lap book yet. We’ve saved our pieces we’ve been doing over the past few weeks so that at the end, we can assemble it into a big lapbook to be proud of.
Something I love about having a final project like that is that students are able to review the information again when we assemble it, and can refer back to it later on through the semester, school year, or even beyond.
So far, my kids have liked learning about all of it, but the lesson on suffrage really interested them the most. It never occurred to them that there have been restrictions on the right to vote.
My daughter was excited to learn about the movement to allow women to vote. We did more research on this topic for her after the brief lesson in this Lap-Pak, and she was introduced to some pioneering women from our country’s history!
In the future, I might assign some reading on this topic, specifically, for her since it really grabbed her attention. How fun, especially since she wouldn’t have learned about women’s suffrage otherwise this year since her current history program for 5th grade doesn’t teach United States history.
I see this as a wonderful resource and supplement to a well-rounded history or government program.
Older students could probably work on this fairly quickly and independently. It would be a nice overview of how United States elections work and would make a wonderful addition to any government studies your kids might be doing.
Younger students might need a little more help understanding some of the concepts. Home School in the Woods has a resource list within the download that has additional books and websites for further study. We went through some of these together, and it helped them to get a better grip on the information.
One of the best parts of this program is that once you buy it, you can use it with all of your students. I’m sure in another four years, we will use this Lap-Pak again! My 3rd grader will be in 7th then, and I will also have a 4th grader. How nice, and for such a reasonable, one-time cost.
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