Thursday, September 18, 2008

I think I'm hooked

Let me just start this post off by saying that if you're not a homeschooling mom, a member of my family, or a really close friend, you'll probably find this post incredibly boring. Aw, heck, who am I kidding? Even if you are a homeschooling mom, a member of my family, or a really close friend, there's still a really good chance that this post will bore you to tears, so you have my permission to completely skip it and not feel the least bit guilty about doing so.

Last week I found what could easily be my new addiction. Better than Dancing with the Stars, you ask? I think so. Better than blogging? Quite possibly. Better than . . . Mexican food? Well, now, let's not be unrealistic! But it is something really neat; it's lapbooking.

Last week, Hannah and I made our very first lapbook as part of her apple unit. I was very interested in it and wanted to try it out, but I was amazed at how much fun we had putting the whole thing together!

The front of Hannah's lapbook has four sections.

The first section is a list of Apple Facts that we compiled from various books we read. The second section is Parts of an Apple. When you lift the flap, you see a diagram of an apple. I wrote the name of each part as Hannah identified it to me. The third section is Varieties of Apples. In this pocket there are six cards that each contain information about a different type of apple. And finally, there is a Life Cycle section. When you open this section, you find six cards which each contain a small picture that illustrates the different stages in the development of an apple tree. Hannah has had a lot of fun putting these cards in the right order.

When you open up the cover, you find the second "page" of the lapbook.

This page basically has two parts. The first part is three questions that Hannah came up with about apples, and the second part is three interesting facts she wanted to share. Here is a list of the questions she chose:

Q How do apples grow?
A They grow on trees. They need water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide.

Q How do apples get from the orchards to the market?
A Tractors take them to a plant. They are prepared with machines, then trucks drive them to the market.

Q How do apples get picked off of trees?
A They are hand picked by people because machines will bruise them.

And here is a list of the facts she chose:

Did you know... when apples get to the plant, special machines core then, peel them, and bake them so they can become special snacks?

Did you know... apples start out as flowers? The flowers are pink at first, then they turn white. If you look at the bottom of an apple, you can still see part of the flower!

Did you know... that it is very important to wash apples and all other fruit before you eat it? If you don't wash it, you could become very sick!

When you lift the Johnny Appleseed flap, you come to the third and final page in our lapbook, which is about—obviously—Johnny Appleseed.

This page has six sections. The first section is a brief biography of John Chapman.

The second section is the Johnny Appleseed Grace. When you lift the flap, you see the Johnny Appleseed Grace at the top of the page. (The Lord is good to me / And so I thank the Lord / For giving me / The things I need / The sun, the rain, and the appleseed / The Lord is good to me.) Than Hannah made a list of things for which she is thankful, which included apple seeds, that God is so great, Bible stories, that Jesus will come in peace, Grandma & Grandpa and MeeMaw & Kimpaw, Mom & Dad and Millie, and for the things God gave me because they're a gift! (Hmmm...apparently she found her halo and dusted off the cobwebs just before answering that question. It's not always like that, I assure you!) Finally, we glued 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus) to the bottom.

The third section is a Fact or Fiction activity. When you open this part, there are three pockets. In the middle pocket there are eight pieces of paper, each with a statement about John Chapman. If the statement is true, we put it in the Fact pocket on the left; if it's false, we put it in the Fiction pocket on the right.

The fourth section is called Kindness and Stewardship. When you lift the flap, there are three mini-booklets underneath (one for Plants, one for Animals, and one for People). Inside each booklet, we wrote how John exhibited good stewardship or kindness in that particular area of his life. In the Plants booklet, we wrote, "John Chapman planted orchards from apple seeds. He used every part of the apple to make apple pie, apple cider, apple vinegar, apple butter, and to plant apple trees." In the Animals booklet, we wrote, "John would NOT kill animals. He would not even carry a knife or gun." And in our People booklet, we wrote, "He gave apple trees to pioneer families. He told children stories from the Bible and stories about his adventures. He warned settlers of a British attack. He was a friend of Indians."

The fifth section has a picture of Johnny Appleseed; and when you open it up, you find four flaps that each list a part of his body (on his head, on his body, in his hands, on his feet). When you lift those flaps, you read our description of what you would find on that part of his body (a mush-pot, sackcloth shirts, apple seeds, nothing).

And the final section is Johnny Appleseed's Travels. When you open it up, you find a map of the United States of America with those states that Johnny Appleseed visited colored in.

The one drawback to this project is that it was very time-consuming. (And I even printed out most of our activities from this web site, so the majority of the work was already done for me!) Still, it really was a fun experience and such a creative, interactive way for her to go back and revisit something we've already studied anytime she feels like it!

All right . . . if you're still with me, I'm sure your eyelids are pretty heavy, so go get yourself a good night's sleep!

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