Posted on June 8, 2015
Martin Luther Lapbooks
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We have been using Mystery of History for learning history over the past few years, and since August 2014, we have been using Mystery of History Volume 3. This is available in the UK from Conquest Books or the Book Depository. Mystery of History is a chronological history curriculum, and at the moment we have reached the Protestant Reformation and Tudor times. Having looked at Martin Luther in the first few lessons on the Reformation, I thought we would make lapbooks about him to learn a bit more about the man and what he stood for, and also to deepen our understanding of some of the more difficult concepts that were the basis of Luther’s objections, such as indulgences.
For those who have not come across them before, lapbooks are a way of studying (almost any) subject in slightly greater detail, and presenting them in a folder, using pockets, booklets and flaps. The information can be presented in the way that each child chooses, reinforcing their interest and memory of particular aspects of the chosen subject. Lapbooks are therefore good for multi-level or multi-age learning, as they will all be on the same subject, but each child can work at his or her own level and present their material at whatever level or depth is appropriate for them. You can see more about lapbooks here. We have previously made lapbooks on the First World War, the Highland Clearances, Little House on the Prairie and the Olympics, amongst others.
I got the idea for our Martin Luther lapbooks from this post by Gena at I Choose Joy which uses the free editable Type-It-In lapbook printables from homeschoolshare.com I also bought the combined Reformation/ Martin Luther Bundle pack which is available to download from Currclick for $1.40, which is about £0.92. The printable PDF download contained colour pictures of Martin Luther and other key figures in his life, a map of Germany, a copy of the music for one of Luther’s hymns, (‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’), and a list of his 95 theses points. The download also included a unit about the Martin Luther Rose seal, which included a picture of the seal, and an explanation of why the seal was made and what the colours of the different parts of the seal represented.
In addition to making the lapbooks, we re-read the chapter on Martin Luther from the children’s fiction book ‘Mr Pipes and the Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation’, by Douglas Bond, which is available in the UK from Conquest Books or secondhand from Amazon, as below. We had read this book as our family read aloud book just before we moved house, and had really enjoyed it. Claire from Angelic Scalliwags has a post with lots of other helpful book recommendations for this time period here.
We also listened to some of Luther’s hymns being sung online, following links from this free Martin Luther and the Reformation unit study, watched a video clip about Martin Luther on History.com, and read articles on the BBC website about Martin Luther, Wittenberg and the Reformation in Pictures, and the release of special edition Playmobil figures ahead of celebrations to mark 500 years since the Reformation in Nuremberg.
It took the children about three weeks to complete their lapbooks, working on them a few afternoons a week. You can see the individual personalities of our children in the way they have laid out their lapbooks, and how much of their own artwork they have put into the cover and mini-books inside.
Has your family made lapbooks before? If so, what subject were they about, and do you have any tips for adding extra interest and learning to lapbooking?
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