pinterest-dd591.htm Oak Creek Academy: Binding a Lapbook

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Binding a Lapbook

For part of our curriculum the last 2 and 1/2 years, we have been doing unit studies.  These usually have some kind of notebook or lap book type pages to go along with them.  For the first couple years we would put the parts and pieces on construction paper and staple the pieces down the left side.  I hadn't been to happy with this and bought a GBC machine this past fall.  These are the machines that put the rectangular holes down the side of your paper and allow you to put a GBC plastic comb on the stack of paper for a "finished book". There are some machines that are geared to office work, being able to punch several sheets at once and can handle a 2" ~ 3" comb spine.  Ours is not as heavy duty, and hence less expensive.

Following are some of the steps I use to create the books.

 The actual machine.  The charcoal gray 1/2 circle, on the left
allows you to adjust the size of paper you punch.  I have three
choices: letter, A4, and U.S.A. over sized.  I tend to leave it at letter.

 Before punch holes, make sure all sheets are lined up in the
correct order; I have forgotten to check and punch holes on the wrong side.
To punch the wholes, take between 5 - 8 regular sheets stacked
neatly together.  Insert the left side of the stack into slot
(similar to a 3 whole punch) and wiggle them a bit to make 
sure they're all the way back.  Press down handle to punch holes.
Repeat until all sheets have holes.

 This is what the left side of your paper will look
like when done correctly.  I still occasionally mess up 
on this step.  Thankfully it hasn't happened on an original piece of work.

 Now for the comb spine.  Insert it so that each "comb" is in between the tines
and can be opened up.  One side can be opened, one can't.

 With my machine, the handle that you press to punch the
holes also opens the spines.  On mine, there is also a wedge piece
that can be moved to lock the handle open - it is on the right of the
photo about midway.

 Now, pick up some of the punched paper.  How many you
grab at one time may vary, depending on thickness of sheet and
how comfortable you are with it.  Line up the holes with the "comb"
teeth and bring forward until teeth are all the way through the holes.
Repeat until all sheets are on.  I personally like to have the open part
of comb at the back.  You may like it the other way around.

 Once all the sheets are on, unhook the wedge/lock
and pull the book off.

Here is what the book looks like with the spine on.

For the actual cover, I either let the boys draw a cover onto card stock or I will print the cover of the unit study onto card stock.  For some of the larger unit studies we have finished, like Amanda Bennett's Pioneers or Thanksgiving, the boys and I will sort their work into different categories.  Some examples are: vocabulary, biography, maps, miscellaneous, Mayflower, 95 Thesis, or whatever else may be appropriate.  Then I will type these categories out in a Word Document, one word per page near the upper right corner and rotated.  The document then gets printed onto several sheets of colored paper and put on top of the appropriate stack.  When the book is completed, it is easier to find the various components that they'd worked on during the study.  Following are a few photo examples:

So that is how we bind a lapbook in a nut shell!

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