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I have heard wonderful things about Home School in the Woods, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review a piece of their Á La Carte line. Their À La Carte products are hands-on projects that can be used either on their own or as part of a larger curriculum. There are so many fantastic options that will compliment many different subjects – religion, history, art, music, geography, and even language arts.
I requested the Literary Genres Lap Book Mini Study because I always worry about knowledge gaps that may show up in our annual standardized testing. We read and discuss a wide variety of types of literature, but I wanted to make sure that my kids knew all of the differences and could correctly identify the genres.
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Literary Genres Lap Book
If you are not familiar with the concept of lap books, they are hands on educational projects that are contained within a folder or two. They are a great way to incorporate multiple learning styles – manipulating all of the pieces for the kinesthetic learner, writing and reading for the linguistic learner, sorting and organizing for the logical learner, and studying pictures for the visual student.
After you purchase the literary genre lap book, you will have access to the digital PDF file. The file includes the directions, tips, mini-study about literary genres, and the lap book pages.
I used this literary genres lap book for both of my children, so I printed out two complete sets. To keep everything organized I stapled all the introductory pages and the mini-study to use as sort of a teacher’s guide. Then I paper clipped a set of lap book pages for each student.
Mini-Study of Literary Genres
The mini-study pages are somewhat like a teacher’s manual. They include an overview of ten literary genres:
- Fairy Tale
- Tall Tale
- Science Fiction
- Historical Fiction
- Realistic Fiction
Each overview includes qualities specific to that genre. I really like that there are suggested books within each genre description. That was helpful when I was reviewing the various genres with my kids. We have read many of the books suggested, so I was able to pull that experience into the lesson. For example, when we were discussing realistic fiction, we reflected on the qualities of Misty of Chincoteaque that make it realistic fiction and the qualities that overlap with historical fiction.
Another great feature of the literary genre mini-study is the suggested additional activities. These activities help stretch the stories and add in more hands on learning opportunities.
Literary Genres Lap Book
The bulk of the pages are for the lap book. The way this Home School in the Woods lap book works is that you cut out all of the projects before assembling the lap book. There are five projects:
- Genres Card Catalog
- Book Stack Vocabulary
- Steps to Story Building
- Library of Good Reads
- Reading Tablet
We worked on one project a day, one day a week, so that we could really discuss it thoroughly. Our local library keeps a digital catalog now, so they found the genre card catalog project fascinating. They had never seen a card catalog or read one of the cards so this was the perfect opportunity to explain how I found books at the library when I was their age. They both have Kindles, so they were less impressed with the reading tablet pages. The tablet pages are perfect for a short book report though. After a while, both of my kids decided they were done coloring. I think that is perfectly okay. They are still getting the information, even if their lap books don’t look as colorful.
We followed the Home School in the Woods recommendation to store all of the pieces in a gallon size zip bag and I’m so glad we did. There are a lot of pieces to this lap book and I’m sure we would have lost some if we hadn’t kept it all organized. Of course, if we had lost pages, I could just print them again, but it is easier to just keep things organized from the beginning.
My kids won’t take their end of the year assessments for a few more months, but I feel confident that they now have a better understanding of the various literary genres. If they need a refresher right before the test, they can just flip through their lap books.
Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew checked out other Home School in the Woods À La Carte products. Check them out by clicking on the link below. I think we are going to add a few to our curriculum next year. I’m most excited about WWII: On the Home Front Lap Book/Notebook Project and the Art Gallery File Folder Game. Hannah has been interested in quilling lately, so I think The Art of Quilling might be a great summer project.
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