One of the fun things about travelling is picking up fun books and activities for the ride. On our trip to Osan to visit some Kansas friends, the kids each got a sticker book for the bus trip home.
Raven chose a cool book about deadly animals – mostly for the snakes. Her and I both love snakes and we had been reading and watching videos about them after we saw that a couple of our friends on Facebook had ball pythons as pets.
When we got home she still had snake stickers leftover so I suggested she start a snake lapbook to display all the information she had learned about them.
If you think your middle schooler is too old to make a lapbook, think again. They are a nice change of pace from a textbook and they make a colorful presentation for a portfolio. The convenient thing about lapbooks and older grades is you can leave most of the research and creation to the child and the project will be truly theirs.
For her lapbook cover, she actually drew and designed the “all about snakes” graphic with her bamboo tablet and printed it out.
Videos, websites, and books about snakes
We found some of the resources about snakes for kids to be too simple for Raven. So we expanded our research to include herpetology (the science of reptiles), coming across snakes in nature, and breeding and handling snakes in captivity.
The resources linked here are good for upper elementary through high school kids:
- Snakes at the BBC
- A nice overview of snakes at Academic Kids
- Sensational Snakes – an article
- Sheppard Software has a great snake section with a quiz and classification game
- Videos about snakes on Watch Know Learn
- The Rattlesnake Museum online
- How Snakes Work (from How Stuff Works)
- Teaching children to be snake safe
- How snakes move
- Free public domain ebooks about snakes and reptiles
- Interview with a herpetologist – this guy works with some dangerous snakes!
- How to properly hold reptiles
Since we saw friends who own ball pythons as pets, we looked up a lot of information about choosing and keeping a ball python.
We spent almost an entire day marveling at all the different colors and patterns of ball pythons made possible through breeding.
A very cool video about snake locomotion:
We found a great book at the library that had information on snake anatomy, habitats, and even senses.
Printables for a snake lapbook
Since we already had snake stickers, we mainly used the free snake lapbook at Homeschool Share to complete our mini books. I also printed out several images of different snake species so that Raven could draw and make her own mini books.
- Snake lapbook with all the research included at Homeschool Share
- Label the rattlesnake anatomy
- Some pretty realistic snake coloring pages
- A coloring/fact book for venomous snakes in Florida
- Another great snake anatomy picture – this time in color. You could print this out or draw your own.
- Two pdf downloads about snakes for kids
This lapbook will count towards Raven’s 7th grade transcript under Animal Science. I could also give her some credit in art as well since she created mini books and digital graphics for the project based on real snakes.