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How to Make a Lap Book: A FREE Lapbook Template

How to Make a Lap Book - A FREE Lapbook Template

Lap Books are everywhere! If you like hands-on projects, interactive notebooks, or creative ways to engage your students in learning, then you may want to give lapbooks a try. Today’s post is on how to make a lap book with just a few simple items! Plus, download a FREE Book Report Lapbook Template for teachers and homeschooling families for use with your students!

How to Make a Lapbook

When I first heard of lapbooks and saw some samples that other teachers had made, I was afraid it would be too time-consuming and project-heavy without a focus on real learning. I was wrong(Don’t tell my husband I said that…he may write it down for future reference!) 😉

Lap books do not have to be huge, multi-paged contraptions. They are actually quite simple to make. Here is how to create a basic lap book, using ONE file folder. 😀 I’m a simple gal at heart!

Materials needed:

  • 1 file folder
  • 1 sheet colored construction paper (or cardstock)
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • colored pencils, crayons, extra paper


Place the file folder open flat on the table.

STEP  2:

Fold each side of the folder inward toward the center fold. Crease strongly on the 2 new folds. (It should look like a French Door.)


Cut a piece of heavy construction paper or card stock and glue it to the inside back wall of the lap book. This not only reinforces and strengthens the back wall, but it also adds some color to the project.


Add interactive notes, titles, research, and any desired features to your lap book.

That’s all there is to it! Simple, easy, and fun. There are so many different projects for which you can use lapbooks – book reports, famous person project, history report, all about me, math display, creative writing project, and so much more!

Interested in trying a lapbook with a FREE printable template? Click HERE to download the FREE Book Report Lapbook! It includes photo examples, easy-to-follow directions, and ALL the printable templates you need to complete the project with your kiddos. Here are some photos of the completed project:

Looking for other book report ideas? Check out this blog post on Cereal Box Book Reports. They are a hit with students and a nice change of pace from the traditional book report. Also take a look at 10 Book Report Ideas that Kids will Love. I think you’ll like it!


Save This Lapbook Tutorial for Later

Pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can come back for this tutorial on how to make a lapbook!

Shelly Rees

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  • Sassylittleteacher July 27, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Very nice information! I thought the same thing about lap books, but I was wrong! Can't wait to make my own!

  • Sheila Craig January 3, 2016 at 2:56 am

    I will use this for my American Revolution unit. So cool.

    • Shelly Rees January 4, 2016 at 3:59 am

      Great idea! I’m sure your students will enjoy the project!

  • Jazmin Cano February 7, 2016 at 4:42 am

    I am making one on the state of Hawaii

    • Shelly Rees February 7, 2016 at 5:56 am

      Awesome! What a great project…hope it goes well!

  • Cyma August 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Great idea! It’s wonderful thankyou????

  • Cherry-Ann July 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm


  • Trish July 28, 2018 at 11:20 am

    I’m thinking about how to use as a PBL product for a unit on Early Man. Seems like a fun option!

  • Patsy August 12, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    We have beginning of the year “Summer Book Lunches”. I plan to use this idea for us to review our summer book. Thank you so much!

  • oooooffffffff December 18, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Thanks for the instructions would love to use it again.

  • ITookATestToday December 18, 2018 at 7:01 am

    This is very helpful for my class thank you

  • Robin Saulsbury April 23, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Under the “Who, What, When, Where” flaps, did you have the students write a few words about the book or questions? The space underneath is very small.

    • Shelly Rees August 13, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      I had them write shorter answers under these flaps. We did not use complete sentences. Thanks for the question!

  • Jordan October 10, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Have you ever done a tutorial on how to make an exploding box book? Would really be helpful to respond if you’ve done something like this in the past, or if you could do one for me.

    • Shelly Rees August 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm

      No, I haven’t, but they do look pretty fun. Thank you!

  • Sabine Tröger October 10, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Ist there a Norm for which subject is in which Side? I wanna do that in Germany / my class …..

    • Shelly Rees August 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm

      It really is up to you! That’s the nice thing about lap books….you can set them up however you would like. Thanks!

  • Christina October 16, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you for the step-by-step instructions on how to create the Lap Book. I really appreciate it!

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    I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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