Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress Lapbooks -- Part 1

Three weeks ago we began reading through the incredible classic tale called Pilgrim's Progress and compiling lapbooks in the process.

Daily, we use many of the Pilgrim's Progress resources that I compiled in a post back at the beginning of this time.

This is the third lapbook that we have ever done, so we are still relative newbies to the lapbooking realm, but I find it a great way to compile, review, and visualize what we have learned. Some of my kids enjoy it more than others, but all of them prefer it over a plain written narration.

This is the first lapbook we have done since we really knew what we were doing {wink}. So, I have given the kids a little more leniency in how they compose their books. They can choose the format, style, and substance of their minibooks. However, as we read and discuss the book some passages and events clearly evolve more easily into minibooks and those have naturally appeared in all of their books.

We have used Homeschool Share heavily in our lapbooks. I especially like their listing that offers many different formats based on the number of divisions you need. For example, when they decided they wanted to make a mini-book on the main characters we had met so far, they needed something with 6 divisions. You simply look on the chart at the different options and pick which one you would like to work with. Some like the tabs, others the graduated books, and others simply an envelope that they put cards for each of the characters inside of.

Also, we have started to get comfortable with even making some of our own minibooks using auto shapes and such in Word. This is not nearly as difficult as I first thought. If you open a new Word document and click on the autoshape function you can create your own speech or thought bubble, hearts, rounded rectangles, etc. Then, you either type the words you want on it or print it blank and hand write it.

They each have four or five minibooks in place so far, and here is a sampling of what they have put together, with some of the discussion and methods that prompted their creation:

- Naturally, we first began with the author, John Bunyan. The front has his picture and name. The tabs contained various information that the kids thought important. Birth, employment, writings, imprisonment, family, and death. They each picked three tabs, but each of them put different titles and information on their tabs. We also went into a brief discussion of the time period.

- Into the text then, as Christian walked with Pliable he talked of the glories of the Celestial City. We took the questions and answers and put them into a graduated lapbook with words, illustrations, and Scripture references about what we can expect in heaven.

I made one of these heaven minibooks with my four year old and the next day he was flipping through saying, "Crowns, shining robes, lots of people praising God, angels, and we follow God to get there." I love that he has this tangible way to remember what we discussed!

- A few miscellaneous minibooks . . . the memory verses we have learned so far, and "What is an allegory?" For these we just used simple shapes doubled up. The question or passage on the outside, the answer or text on the inside. These are quick and easy.

- Every few weeks they will compose a book of the main characters that we have met during that time. They had many different formats to choose from for these, and they did well summarizing the characters and included pictures that we had found online.

My daughter made a book on the living illustrations from Interpreter's House using images she found in yet another web based rendering of Pilgrim's Progress:

Interpreter's House has given us some of the greatest conversations so far. We spent a whole week walking with Christian through this house. He saw an unquenchable fire fed secretly by a man with oil, a vivid picture of our own lives fueled by God. He watched as Patience and Passion showed their true selves and received their ultimate reward. And, he saw a man in an iron cage overcome and swallowed up by his own sinfulness.

This reminded me of a segment I have seen a few places now by Joshua Harris on giving in to evil:

My kids really enjoyed watching that and it gave a great visual for how important it is to just stay away from sin and not give the Devil a foothold in our lives.

Here is one of their lapbooks at this point in the game:

This is a long project which we will not wrap up until March or April. We have really enjoyed using Pilgrim's Progress for our Bible time and really spending time learning and discussing the various Scriptures and allegories throughout the story. I look forward to spending another 9 weeks in this book and really soaking up the richness of this great classic.


momtofivekids said...

That's awesome! It's one of my favorite books!

5intow said...

momtofive, I have to agree. It has been a while since I read it through, but we are really enjoying it!

Heather said...

This is so neat! My older one read this last year, now I want to go back & do a unit study.

You know, you may enjoy the movie we found--it was an old version, but had a young Liam Neeson playing the part of Christian. I thought it was good (but maybe not for the little kids)It is on netflix. I enjoyed it!

5intow said...


Thanks for the tip about the movie. I was thinking about looking for one in a month or two when we are close to or at the end. I'll definitely be on the lookout for it then!


Jimmie said...

I love how you're letting the book/curriculum set the info in the lapbook rather than using a prescribed kit. This is how we lapbook too.

Erika said...

Thank you so much this is amazing! I have always wanted to do this book with my kids but was afraid to create my own lapbook. you have inspired me! Thank you