Friday, 18 March 2011

Travel Lapbook

Our first lapbook was about a cruise to Spain, Morocco, Portugal and France which we took late last year.  Lapbooking while on holiday is a unique challenge. I prepared some of the materials beforehand and we had planned to use any free time we could find to work on the lapbook while we were on holiday.  We ended up doing some of the activities on the ship, but the main focus during the trip ended up being "resource-gathering" (because you always end up having too much to do while on holiday!) and we only completed most of the mini-books after we returned home. 

The cover of the lapbook features a simple watercolour, titled "A Mosque in Casablanca" which Emily helped to do.  The focus of the "Odyssey at Sea" art workshop we attended was on using watercolour paint blocks as the starting point for semi-abstract pieces about places we had visited.  Emily chose the colours for her block, painted it and stamped it on the art paper.  She then dictated what she saw in the colours and I helped her paint some elements. 

This is a view of the lapbook when its cover is open.  We divided the lapbook into three main parts - the centre column is about Spain, since we spent the most time there, while the two side columns are about Portugal and France. 

Portugal - we talked about Portugal's flag and some simple facts about Portugal.  We also devoted a mini-book to beautiful Madeira, with photographs of certain scenes we saw and a counting exercise involving banana trees (a native crop). 

Spain - we coloured the Spanish flag and this exercise meant that Emily got very excited every time we saw the flag during our shore excursions!  We also added in some simple geography (identifying where in Europe Spain is situated) and some sections on flamenco and other forms of dance.  A highlight of our Spain activities was that Emily got dressed up in a flamenco outfit, complete with matching shoes and fan - definitely her idea of a good time!

France - we coloured the French flag and also did some tracing work with simple words like "hello", "bonjour", "thank you", "merci", "goodbye" and "au revoir". 

Finally, we included a mini-book on the different modes of travel we used on the trip, as Emily has always been particularly interested in trams and trains. 

On the back of the lapbook, we traced our flight path from Singapore to Barcelona, and Emily chose some of her favourite postcards to be featured.

Overall, I think this was a nice way to break into lapbooking.  It became apparent to us that children enjoy reading about their own adventures and experiences, and it was heartening that Emily was keen to flip through her mini-books again and again, long after the trip!  We haven't done a travel lapbook since (there has been no travelling of late!) but we'd definitely do one again.

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