/ / Mr. Popper’s Penguins free lapbook

Mr. Popper’s Penguins free lapbook

Since I’ve been talking about lapbooking lately with some of the reviews I’ve done, I thought I would re-visit our very first lapbook that I posted about a few years ago.  I’m sharing this again here for any newbies looking for a fun and inexpensive way to start.

Big Sis and I have recently discovered lapbooking. Not a new invention in the homeschooling world by any means, but it is new to us. I’ve been reading about lapbooking, looking at lapbooks, thinking about lapbooks, but generally not doing lapbooks for the past two years. I liked the concept, but had the sneaking suspicion that it might just be busy work. Well, as it turns out, Big Sis loves it. And it’s not just busy work! For us, it has increased her already-enthusiastic desire to learn, enhanced skills like handwriting & cutting/pasting, and built a foundation for some very nice literature and unit studies in the process.

We have delved into books and a new level of reading comprehension, thanks to deeper question and answer time with the lapbooks. Big Sis craves hands-on “stuff” for learning. Lapbooks are great for this. We read a little, research a little, and lapbook a little. The only thing I have to do in advance is find the resources and print what we need. Big Sis starts everyday with, “What are we going to do today? Did you find more stuff for me?” She looks over my shoulder as I scour my lapbooking and homeschool sites for printables and ideas. (I’ll share some of my favorite links in an upcoming post.) Fun!

We began with reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. Big Sis loved the book so I decided it would be a fun place to start. Homeschool Share (an awesome site for quality free resources, especially free lapbook ideas) provided the outline and printables for us to follow. Here are some pictures of her first effort:

Here you can see she labeled the parts of a penguin.
An overall view of the inside of the lapbook. She colored the states where the penguins traveled — great geography lesson!

We included a food chain (science), penguin alliterations (language arts), and Mr. Popper’s infamous icebox. Big Sis added details from the story to the icebox, which covered reading comprehension, as well as fun artwork.

The outside flaps included a definition of pinnipeds (dictionary skills & science), a q&a booklet about the design of penguins’ black and white coloring for camoflage, and Big Sis’ hand-drawn seals. The encounter with the seals was her favorite part of the book, so she wanted to include them somehow. She drew them free-hand, then cut them out and pasted them onto the front to go along with the pinniped definition.

We used some additional resources from Usborne Books, too:
That's Not My Penguin touchy feely book
Where do penguins live and what do they eat? Find the answers, and lots more about penguins, in this delightful touchy-feely book.  Deluxe Touchy-Feely Series

What is it like to live in Antarctica? How do penguins travel quickly across the ice? Who discovered the South Pole? And why are seals so fat? In this fascinating book you’ll find the answers and lots more about life on the ice. 

Penguins internet-linked book from www.kidsloveusbornebooks.com
Dive down deep into the amazing world of penguins to find out how they swim, feed and travel across land. Then follow a penguin chick from the very start of its life, to the time it can take care of itself.


I’ve learned some things in the process of this first lapbook. I now know how to do extensions, how to make and fold mini-books, and the importance of cardstock and/or colored folders. Our current work is already showing improvements as we learn together about the art and craft of lapbooking! I’ll post more photos in the future as we continue to learn through lapbooking.

I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions!

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Read more in this series:

Learn everything you wanted to know about lapbooking in your homeschool. Tips, tricks, inspiration, and how to make them work for creative learning! heartandsoulhomeschooling.com


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