HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections – a Schoolhouse Crew Review

This entry is part 5 of 27 in the series 2016 Homeschool Reviews

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak Review
 

Just in time for this US election year we’ve been reviewing HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections  by Home School in the Woods

With all the election news and conversations I had been searching for a way to help my daughter understand the long process that would lead to our new US President.

The U.S. Elections Lap-Pak was/is just the thing.

The U.S. Elections Lap-Pak is a digital product available as a digital download for $18.95 or on CD for $19.95 (Windows and Mac Compatible.

The U.S. Elections Lap-Pak is geared towards grades 3 through 8. My daughter is in the 5th grade and the content is just perfect for her (me too).

The U.S. Elections Lap-Pak is generally referring to the US Presidential elections but includes a little bit of information on elections in other styles of government and the choosing of other elected officials in the U.S. government system.

 

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak Review
The U.S. Elections Lap-Pak contains two main folders …

1.MP3s: This is the same information that is in the Reading Text. So you have the option of reading the book to your child (we chose this option) or to play the MP3 while you are putting the lapbook together.

2. PDFs:

  • Introduction and Directions: Which includes your directions for putting together each project in the lapbook and also directions for putting the whole lapbook together.
  • Lap Book Project Masters : These are your project templates. This is where you’ll find all the printables to put together each project in the lapbook.
  • Reading Text Pages: This is the booklet you will put together at the beginning and read through as you and your child put together your Elections Lapbook-Pak.

There are 21 projects in the lapbook beginning with the Definition of Elections and ending with the Vocabinet or a vocabulary project that helps to narrow down definitions of all the big words learned through doing this lapbook.

Using the Elections Lapbook

Initially we started working on the lapbook by doing one project and a reading text a day. After printing and giving her directions my daughter would put the craft of the day together as I read the accompanying text. This did work best for us and allowed her to retain all this great information. In a non-review world we would have kept working at this pace.

Messy homeschool room
This is what our floor looked like while we were working on the lapbook.

But due to the timeline of this review we ramped things up these past few days to finish the lap book for a complete project to show case for you.

The Project Directions in the lapbook are very detailed and complete so I recommend you read them through thoroughly before attempting each project.

For example by the end of the project we were on a roll and on the final project I neglected to read the directions thoroughly. As a result we messed up the final, and to me the most time consuming project, the Vocabinet activity, and pasted in all the definitions upside down.

I’m still not sure how that happened but once we realized what we had done we were to far gone to start again. Hence, heed my warning and read through carefully before beginning each activity.

The beginning of working through our Elections lapbook
The beginning of working through our Elections lapbook

There are 21 activities to work through…

Here are the list of Lapbook Activities:

  1. Definition of “Election”
  2. Different Forms of Government
  3. The American Experiment
  4. The Three Branches of Government
  5. Suffrage
  6. Who Do We Vote For?
  7. Terms of Office
  8. A “Handful” of Political Parties
  9. Caucuses & Primaries
  10. National Conventions
  11. The Presidential Campaign: Platform
  12. The Presidential Campaign: Stump Speaking
  13. The Presidential Campaign: Media — News Sources
  14. The Presidential Campaign: Campaign Advertising — Spreading the Word!
  15. Raising Money
  16. Statistics
  17. Election Day (this was my daughter’s favorite)
  18. The Electoral College
  19. Inauguration Day
  20. The Electoral Race!
  21. The “Vocabinet”
The Lap-Pak starts with explaining what the word “election” means. Then describes some different forms of governments around the world.
Putting together the folders for the lapbook.
Putting together the folders for the lapbook.

Next we learn some examples that the current American government built it’s system upon and who makes up the three branches of the government.

The details about the three branches of government really help to unravel some things you learn in the news. Who can make laws and why is an important thing to realize.
Then we start to build up to who can run for the U.S. Presidential race and how they begin. Where some catch phrases came from and how the different parties came to be.

In addition to doing this lapbook the coming elections sparked and interest in us to supplement this learning with some other readily available tools you might be interested in too…

  • Watching previous election campaign commercials from Living Room Campaign (because the current ones are so bad).
  • And watching some of the current debates although I don’t know how much that really helped.

The accompanying audio is the same information in the included printable book. At first I was reading the book but then we turned on the audio and found it rather nice to listen as we worked. We, amazingly enough, were able to multi-task AND retain this information while we worked.

Putting the U.S. Elections Lapbook together.
Putting the U.S. Elections Lapbook together.
Putting more activities in the lapbook. Notice the double sided sticky tape.
Putting more activities in the lapbook. Notice the double sided sticky tape.

Our Thoughts

We have loved doing this U.S. Elections lapbook. It was great timing!

Home School in the Woods make some really nice detailed lapbooks. And they are a great way to reinforce what is being taught.

double sided sticky tape
I came to love double sided sticky tape.

Using this lapbook was a fun way to end our homeschool day. It gave us something fun to look forward to after a day of math problems, sentence structures, and and science experiments (not that all of that isn’t fun too).

I wondered, before starting, how this project was going to go. I mean the elections can be a complicated thing even for adults. We gave my sister a looksee before finishing up and she was excited to have this information presented in such an easy to understand manner. This is coming from a homeschool graduate mom who lives in a home with very politically savvy members. But a lot of it she felt was over her head, until now.

elections-lapbook-2

From understanding the 3 branches of government and how they work together to what the word “Caucus” means and how that relates to the path to voting in a new US President. It feels really good to understand what is going on and how your vote was meant to count.

There is also history on the right to vote, how the current government we have today was devised of various other governments in history.

And the final product is so cool. I had a thought to order a mini Mp3 player to put the audio on so that when someone wants to look through the Lap-Pak they can listen to the audio at the same time.

Opening the lapbook first you see the Vocabinet and definition of elections.
Opening the lapbook first you see the Vocabinet and definition of elections.

 

The Vocabinet opened. Defintions of different words we've learned about government and elections.
The Vocabinet opened. Defintions of different words we’ve learned about government and elections.

 

elections-labook-12
Opening the right side of the lapbook. Learn about the two main parties, and other candidates we vote for such as senators and representatives.

 

right side of U.S. Elections lapbook. campaign advertising and raising money.
The center and left side of the U.S. Elections lapbook. Learn about more political parties you might now have know existed. How a candidate raises money. Practice your own campaign advertising and what is said during the swearing in.
The inside of our finished lapbook.
The inside of our finished lapbook.

Homeschooler or not this is a great way to teach your child about what’s going on in the current news in a fun, easy to learn, but yet complete way.

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