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U.S. Government Lapbook, K-2nd Grade Review by April Elsrom

Cyndi Kinney
Knowledge Box Central
155 Clements Rd
Plain Dealing, LA 71064

Cyndi Kinney of Knowledge Box Central has created three different versions of her United States Government Lapbook one for kindergarten to 2nd grade, one for 3rd to 6th grade, and one for 7th to 12th grade. Each level expands upon the information covered in the earlier level, with more information and details for the older students. An entire family can learn about the United States government together, and each age group will have a lapbook to create, share with others, and review.

These lapbooks are available in several different formats, but the item I received to review was an e-book. The United States Government Lapbook, K - 2nd Grade e-book is a 51-page PDF document. Once you have downloaded this e-book to your computer, you will need Adobe Reader to open and print it. You can print it as many times as you need for your own family's use.

This lapbook provides a basic introduction to the three branches of the U.S. government and many of our national symbols. The assembly instructions are clear and easily understood, and teaching pages are included to provide the information your children will need to complete the lapbook. In addition to my kindergartener, I included my son who is entering 3rd grade and my daughter who is entering 5th grade in this lapbook study. It was a fun review of the United States government, which we studied last year. Like many curricula, this study can be stretched to cover several grade levels. We chose to cover the material in a one-week period, dividing the booklets evenly between the days. However, the lapbook could be extended for a month-long study.

Items you will need to complete your lapbook:

  • printer
  • paper or card stock
  • three file folders
  • scissors
  • glue or clear tape to place booklets in files
  • stapler and staples or brass paper fasteners
  • pencil or pen

Optional items your child may enjoy using:

  • colored pencils or crayons
  • clear packing tape to reinforce file folders glued together
  • ribbon
  • patriotic stickers to decorate the cover
  • additional picture books on the United States Government or our national symbols

This basic lapbook is easily assembled, but most kindergarten and 1st grade students will need help completing it. I did all the cutting and booklet preparation for my younger children, although my 3rd grader could have handled most of it with direction. Unless you are including older students, be prepared to fill out the booklets yourself, transcribing what they dictate to you. I printed the booklets on plain white printer paper, and my children enjoyed coloring the booklets once they were completed.

I did have a small technical issue with this e-book. I was unable to print page 44, although I attempted to do so several times. It was a non-essential page and didn't affect our use of the lapbook, but I wanted to mention it. I had to reprint pages 45-51, after the computer canceled the print job at page 44.

As a homeschool Mom who loves literature-based learning, I wish this lapbook had included suggestions for picture books to accompany the lessons. In the future, I would like to take more time putting the lapbook together and also include appropriate picture books to supplement the study. I think it would make the study even more enjoyable and meaningful. My children and I enjoyed creating our U.S. government lapbook, but good books improve every lesson!

If you have wanted to try lapbooking with your children, this e-book would be a perfect introduction. It's simple, straightforward, and easily assembled--perfect for young children!

Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2009