Careers of Today Lapbooks

My first graders just finished their Careers of Today Lapbooks, and they look amazing.  Not only were the final products great, my students were able to apply all of the researching and reading comprehension skills they have been working on over the past 7 months.

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Choosing a Career

To begin the project, I placed ten books about different careers in the middle of each table group.  I tried to include a variety of modern jobs for students to choose from.  I asked students to take a book from the middle and spend two minutes previewing it by looking at the pictures, reading the back cover and first page, and deciding if this was a career they would like to have someday.  I then rang a bell and students placed their books back in the middle and chose a new book.  We did this ten times.  The process took about 25 minutes but the time they spent reading, evaluating, and synthesizing was well worth it.

At this point, students had to choose one career that they would like to research.  Some students definitely had a hard time narrowing it down, but in the end, everyone chose just one!


The next step was doing research.  Students were given graphic organizers that broke down the information they had to find into five categories: what do they do?, where do they work?, what tools or equipment do they need?, how do I become one?, and other interesting facts.

Laptops Picture

We had just read a book about park rangers together as a class and completed a similar organizer together on chart paper.  I really emphasize to the kids the importance of using bullet points and paraphrasing.  As an upper grades teacher, I know how important it is for kids to be able to take notes and not to plagiarize.   This is definitely a challenge with first graders but they have gotten so much better the more we have practice.

Students used the books they had previewed to complete their organizers. The category, how I become one?, was definitely the most challenging section for students to complete.  I asked that kiddos include 3-5 bullet points for each heading and most books didn’t go into great detail into the education and work that went into getting that job.

The Lapbook

After my kiddos had completed all of their research, we completed the cover of the organizer and each foldable one at a time.  Each foldable took about 20 minutes to complete.  I precut everything as much as I could beforehand and I also folded all of the lap books before passing them out to students. I took the project slow but allowed students who moved quickly the chance to keep going and begin working on the next foldable.

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As students finished their lapbooks, I had them pair up and use their lapbook as a tool to teach the other students about the career they researched.  I loved hearing them talk so knowledgeably and excitedly about their jobs.  Once they were finished presenting, I had them switch partners.  In the end, students presented at least four times and became mini experts of their chosen career!



If you are interested in doing this project in your own classroom, you can find this resource here.


This resource includes all the foldables you will need with step by step instructions.


Pictures of student samples are also included.


I hope your students have as much fun doing this project as mine did.


Adding and Subtracting Fractions Lapbook

My class is now in the midst of fractions.   This is a huge (and I mean huge) standard in fourth and fifth grade!  I currently use an interactive notebook for math but decided to change things up this year.  I saw a great video online on lapbooks and decided to make my own to teach adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers.  

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My students have loved creating the foldables and inserting them into their lapbook. They constantly pulled it out as they worked independently and in small groups as an easy reference tool.

To begin, I had each student fold a manila folder so that both sides folded out from the middle. Then they created the cover and decorated it.

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Next, I used Four Column Flipbook to review the steps to adding and subtracting using common denominators and then had the practice using the Visuals Envelope Pockets and number lines stackable book.


Once they had the basics down, it was time to introduce adding and subtracting mixed numbers with common denominators. Students loved making the wheel which made this sometimes tricky concept easier to grasp.

Now that students understood common denominators, we began adding and subtracting unlike denominators. This has always been a challenge in the past because so many concepts come together (LCD, equivalent fractions, +/- fractions, simplifying).

I used the flow chart and handprint to teach students the steps to +/- unlike denominators. I love breaking math concepts into simple easy to follow steps and had students put up each finger as we reviewed the rules on their own hands.. They then practiced using the swinging ovals which they put fastened together using a brad. Starting with visuals is always a great way to lay the foundation for abstract concepts.


Students continued to practiced using other organizers as they moved onto mixed numbers.

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I definitely feel that that this lapbook was a great alternative to worksheets and interactive notebooks.

I included in this lapbook pack student samples, answer keys, and graphic organizers with step-by-step directions, so that other teachers who make this lapbook will have an easy and hassle free time.


Sometimes it is fun to change things up!