Saturday, February 11, 2012

Foldables and Lapbooks

The topic of Foldables came up at a meeting recently, and I was very surprised at the number of teachers who did not know what they were.  I know many of my colleagues have used them on occasion but perhaps they just may not have been aware that they were known as Foldables.  So, of course, the blogger in my brain said, "Ah ha!  A blog topic!"  I'm hoping this is not new information for most of you!  If it's not, keep reading because I found some great resources to share at the end.  If it is new, I think you will want to start using these soon.

So, have you used Foldables?  They are sort of interactive 3-D graphic organizers your friends make.  They can stand alone, such as the ones my friends make when we studied Sir Isaac Newton's Laws of Motion.  The picture below shows some stand alone foldables and is from  Mrs. W's blog Fifth Grade Life.  The link will take you to a post she did on how she used foldables, along with geography vocabulary foldable project with a rubric.

Or, and these are the ones I like best, Foldables can be incorporated into your friends notebooks.  You can make a Foldable that is glued into your friends notebook or make it out of pages of their notebook.

Sometimes, Foldables become the notebook and, I believe, this is what they now call Lapbooks.  Lapbooks tend to deal entirely with one topic.  An example of one is in this post I wrote where I showed you a laws of motion lapbook from this science web page which shows you an assortment of different lapbooks.

You have to give credit where credit is due. 
The queen of Foldables has to be Dinah Zike. 

Dinah Zike
 She has a huge number of books out there that will tell you just how to make your own.  If you really want to know more about them, visit Dinah Zike's Web Page.  There is a lot of information there.  If you visit Amazon and search Dinah Zike Foldables, as I did on this link, it will take you to over 247 matches!  She has tons of books that cover different age levels and instructional subjects.  You are bound to find something you like.

However, in looking around the web, I found a nice assortment of free resources.  Here are some links to Dinah's books that were available online as PDFs:

Dinah Zike's Teaching Reading and Study Skills    This one is really geared more toward social studies, but the foldable directions are there.

Dinah Zike's Teaching Math with Foldables  Love this one for upper elementary or even middle school.  This is a pre-algebra edition, but don't let that scare you.  I noticed that most of the examples are exactly what I am teaching in 5th grade.  Even if you aren't teaching older friends, the directions for the Foldables are all there and can easily be used at any grade level.  Just change the topic.

 Foldables by Dinah Zike  This one I love.  This book is geared toward reading.  In fact, on page 42 of this book there is a great chart that correlates specific reading skills to the foldable best suited for it.  I had found this on the web and just saved it in my documents.  I forgot to bookmark the web page, and now I can't find it.  Instead, I this link will take you to Google docs where I put up my copy.  I've only linked to a Google doc once before, so I'm never sure if I get it right.  If the link doesn't work, sorry!

I also found some other links that weren't Dinah Zike, but good resources as well.

Explicit instructions on how to fold several different types of foldables  This link might be helpful if you get confused on just how to fold.  It's also kid friendly in its directions, so you could always print out the page and just give it to your friends to follow.

Examples of Foldables and Lapbooks  This web site from Catawba County Schools has actual student examples of different Foldables and Lapbooks.  It's nice to take a look at so you get an idea of how they are being used.

So, those are some of the Foldable resources I found online.  They are a great way to get your friends involved as active learners and break up the normal routine. 

One more thing.  If we are going to be doing all this folding, we might as well have some fun with it!  Check out this link.  Maybe, probably, totally not appropriate for your friends, but fun to look at!     Paperfoldables


  1. I am obsessed with foldables! Dinah's academy is only 25 minutes away from me and I am really hoping to attend one of her 3 day sessions very soon! I started using foldables this fall with my students and they have completely changed how I teach! My 6th graders love them and I love that they are excited about learning with them. It is the perfect way to chunk the information in an amount that is much easier for them to understand!

    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

  2. Using foldables in my math notebooks has completely changed the way I feel about math notebooks. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!

    Runde's Room

  3. I am obsessed with foldables! They have been a great resource to break up the textbook madness in my classroom. Thank you for posting more resources!

  4. I can't wait to browse her website! I love foldables!

  5. Oh, how I love a good foldable! They're so good for letting kids touch and manipulate information they usually only just read about. One of my students constantly comments on how our Science notebooks is more like a scrapbook than a notebook.