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Knights and Castles Lapbook

A few weeks ago we read Knight Before Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne as part of our study of Great Britain (I know…great literature, but the kids love it!). While I was looking for a study guide and some lapbook ideas to go along with our studies I came across a study guide also by Osborne called Knights And Castles (Magic Tree House Research Guide). The book simply breaks down everything about knights and castles and has illustrations and side comments from Jack and Annie also. The girls really enjoyed using it and it made it much easier to get them to sit still and focus on the things we were learning about.

Homeschool Share also has several different levels of knight lapbook components that you can pick and choose from depending on your child’s age/level. They also have a unit study along with the lapbook pieces to use as you go along. We used some from Homeschool Share and the bulk from Osborne’s Knights And Castles. Only after we did our unit did I realize that Homeschool Share has chapter by chapter minit books based on Osbornes book {sigh}.

Here’s how we broke up our week:

Monday

  • Reviewed what we had learned about knights/castles from prior study: Middle Ages, protecting a castle, castle life, and festivals and fairs
  • Life of a Knight tab book: stages in how to become a knight: page, squire, knight
  • Label the castle: portcullis, tower, parapet, moat, drawbridge, merlon, and crenel
  • Colored pieces of our castle we were making (DLTK site)

Tuesday

  • Learned about different types of armor and weapons that knights used
  • Labeled a knight’s armor: helmet, chest & back plates, arm plates, thigh plates, foot plates, shoulder plates, gloves, and calf plates
  • Identified different weapons flapbook: sword, lance, battle axe, flail, crossbow
  • Talked about where knights lived and a little about castles and how they were built
  • Finished the castle – the below picture shows the fair maiden Polly Pocket in her dwelling

Wednesday

  • Talked about battles and seiges
  • How to joust and win – i.e. how to score and get the most points
  • Learned about the three steeds of a knight: palfrey, destrier, and pack horse
  • Vocabulary: page, squire, code of chivalry, moat, merlon, crenel, sentry, armor, serf, pilgrimage, and dubbing ceremony

Thursday

  • Lapbook cover
  • Wrote about knights and castles (you have to see the pictures below for a good laugh – Laurianna’s involved a fainting man who saw a knight and was surprised)
  • Put lapbook together and had fun using Polly Pockets as the castle maidens – you have to use what you have!

A few websites we used this week:

  • Hoernersburg Lego Castle…it’s all legos (and I think I have free time….)
  • Castles for Kids – talks about the parts of a castle and also has other links to real castles, even some for sale should you be in the market for one
  • Kid’s Castle – our girls had fun on this site exploring different areas: dragonsville, the great tower, the guardroom, gatehouse and more

Pictures of our completed lapbooks:

The picture of the fainting man

Some great resources on knights and castles:

Tale of Peter Rabbit Lapbook

As part of our study of Great Britain we picked The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter as a unit/book study. We used Five in a Row for the study and I loved it! Homeschool Share has a great lapbook pdf to go along with many of the areas we studied.

Here’s how we divided the week to study Peter Rabbit:

Monday

  • Language Arts – animal fantasy story
  • Science – emotions/fear (crisis thinking)
  • Math – what is a fortnight?
  • Art – naturalism

Tuesday

  • Language Arts – vocabulary and onomatopoeia (McKenna has been having too much fun saying ‘onomatopoeia’ ever since…and pointing them out). I made a minit book for onomatopoeia to go along with the lapbook too.
  • Science & Math – planning a garden. I created a grid for the girls and they made a “garden plan”. The girls picked the vegetables that they wanted to plant and then laid out their gardens using Unifex cubes. They had to space them ‘x’ inches apart and have rows between their plantings (pictures below). The garden planning pages are available at Homeschool Share.
  • Art – details/movement
  • Beatrice Potter

Wednesday

  • Social Studies – geography and setting
  • Language Arts – noticing the details in text and illustration
  • Science – pets of Beatrice Potter
  • Art – created our own lapbook covers


Thursday

  • Social Studies – setting rules
  • Language Arts – descriptive language and wrote a letter of apology to Mr. McGregor (used this resource as a stepping stone for our letter)

Friday

Today we put all the pieces of our lapbook together. Here’s how McKenna’s turned out.

And just in case you can’t read the apology letter that McKenna (first grade) wrote to Mr. McGregor, here is her note to him (her spelling). We put our letters on the back of the lapbook.

“I’m sory for eating yur vegetables and makeing a mess. Al (I’ll) clean it up for you. I’m going to plant you sum new vegetables. Al (I’ll) plant lettuce peas broccoli and lima beans.”

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Storing Lapbooks

After we complete a lapbook there is always the question of “How exactly do we store this…and where?” At times I’ve filed it in along with the kid’s schoolwork records, or put them on the bookshelves to look at, but this year as we lapbook along with our geography studies we’ve been doing a little something different.

And it involves duct tape (oh, yes!).

I came across this idea somewhere in the wonderful bloggysphere (thanks to CouponSista for pointing me to the post New Use for Duct Tape at View from the Hill). This idea is great and has allowed us to store our lapbooks along with our notebooking pages, so we LOVE it!

Here’s how I put ours together:

~ Cut a piece of duct tape that is about 1/2″ shorter than the length of the lapbook side.

~ Stick the duct tape to the side of the lapbook, leaving enough room to double the duct tape back and still have a bit of a ‘lip’ of sorts. This will be the edge that you use the 3-hole punch on.

~ Use a 3-hole punch on the side with the duct tape and put it in your binder – simple, isn’t it?

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Tiger Lapbook

We wrapped up our unit on India with a study on Tigers. We used the lapbook provided by Homeschool Share.

We learned all about:

  • a tiger’s diet
  • habitat and home
  • tiger’s teeth
  • how to classify a tiger
  • the different types of tigers
  • what areas tigers are native to
  • types of tigers
  • the anatomy of a tiger
  • how tigers find their prey
  • and more!! (you just need to check it out)

The girl’s had fun using Draw Write Now again to draw their own tigers and also wrote a few facts in their journal so that we could add the page to our lapbooks. We have really loved using these books to add onto our art and drawing. The girls love to draw and these books have helped them so much!

During the week we found several different books about tigers, some fun stories and some fact books that we read and studied together – did you know that a tiger can pounce from a still position up to 30 feet? When we measured it out, we realized that it was almost the length of our entire house.

Then we had fun trying to see how far we could pounce…a measly 3 1/2 feet was the record for Zachary!

Here are the books we used this week along with our study.

Fun Literature

School Books

Volcano Lapbook and Unit Study

Volcanoes were top on the list of things to study when the girls found out that Mt. Fuji was actually a volcano. We decided to work together on a lapbook from Homeschool Share. Lapbook components that we studied and used were: parts of a volcano, volcanologist, who’s going to blow, trivia game, inside a volcano, exploding volcano (scholastic pull-tab), volcano phases, vocabulary words, ring of fire, types of rocks, and the earth’s plates.

Our “art” project was to build our own volcano. The kids were far too excited to see how it would explode in our backyard.


On Monday we made some salt dough and formed a volcano using a tea bottle and a cardboard box. I based the model we made from this one that I found through a google search.

The dough took a few days to dry, so on Wednesday we were able to paint it together. I outlined a few areas for the girls and they worked together to paint it to make it look more like a scene/cutaway of a volcano. When they were done with the base painting, they let Mommy drip red paint around the ledge of the volcano to make it look like lava was dripping down the sides of the mountain.

Here is our completed project in action. Be warned: Screaming toddler and swinging lens cap may disrupt your viewing pleasure.

Volcano links for kids:

Our Panda Lapbooks – the video version

Our panda lapbook from Homeschool Share was a great way to wrap up our study of China. The girls wanted to have themselves videotaped showing off their lapbooks this time, so that’s what we did! Laurianna shows off her lapbook in the first video and then McKenna shares a litte bit of hers.

Some great Panda Resources


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