World War 2 Lapbook

by Jimmie Lanley on April 26, 2010

ww2 book stack

We have finished another period of history — WW2.  I admit that I learned a lot myself about this monumental war.  Here are the primary resources we used for this (four to five week) unit:

WW2 Books

World War II for Kids

I ditched the Winter Promise reading schedule and instead used this book as our WW2 spine. (I really like all the books in this series.)

Hoodwinked: Deception and Resistance (Outwitting the Enemy: Stories from World War II)

I chose select stories from this book.

Story of World War 2 (Dover coloring book)

WW2 Videos

Diary of Anne Frank

WW2 Historical Fiction

Journey to America (read aloud)

Don’t You Know There’s a War On? (Sprite read alone)

Snow Treasure (read aloud)

WW2 Audio

The Music of WW2 This is a fabulous site that has authentic songs from the time period — ballads, Big Band music, political songs, etc. So much fun!

ww2 lapbook coverI asked Sprite if she’d rather do a lapbook or notebook for WW2, and she chose a lapbook. It’s been quite some time since we’ve made one, actually, so I was rather glad she’s not outgrown them altogether. (Not that I think lapbooks are only for young children, but it seems that she was getting tired of them.)

For the lapbook base, we did something different. We used two very large manila envelopes to make a book with pages and pockets. I got the idea here. (I made my own tutorial which will be posted at Heart of the Matter later.) This envelope base is perfect for a lapbooking-notebooking combo since you can slide notebooking pages into the pockets.

Inside — first spread

ww2 lapbook inside

Inside — second spread (see the flaps for the pockets?)
ww2 lapbook inside2

Inside — third spread
ww2 lapbook inside 3

WW2 Minibooks

Here is a list of the minibooks Sprite created. I listed the links we used for graphics or for study where applicable. For the most part, each book represents a summary of the day’s lesson. In some cases, we pulled a specific detail out of the reading to focus on, for example the Thompson gun.

1.  German U-boats trifold
german uboats trifold1

2.  Fascist Leaders accordion book
fascist rulers accordion2

3.  Start of WW2 four-sixths book
ww2 begins four sixths book3

4.  The Battle of Britain accordion book

battle of britain accordion1

5.  The Fight for the Suez Canal accordion book
fight suez canal accordion1

6. Operation Barbarossa special fold
operation barbarosa2

  • Hitler & Stalin image

7. Pearl Harbor is Bombed pentagon special fold

pearl harbor pentagon special fold3

8. Japanese Internment Camps matchbook
japanese internment camps matchbook1

9. Rosie the Riveter single fold

Rosie Riveter simple fold1

10. The Big Three single fold
the big three2

11. Thompson Sub-machine Gun single fold with four corner book inside
machine gun single fold2
(Sprite’s choice of one WW2 weapon)

12. Holocaust pentagon special fold
holocaust pentagon special fold3
This was a mini geometry lesson as Sprite worked on the six pointed Star of David.

(This was a hard topic, needless to say, and I didn’t require Spite to write about it. It disturbed her too much. Instead, she cut out text from a worksheet linked below.

  • There are some powerful black and white photographs in this PDF. (I ended up not showing them to Sprite. The reading was hard enough.)
  • Remembrance Poster

13.  Pacific Victories accordion book
ww2 lapbook (36)

WW2 Notebooking Pages

ww2 lapbook pockets1

I really liked this visual literacy PDF. Each page has either a political cartoon or a photograph to analyze and learn from. We used several pages from it as notebooking sheets to add to the pockets of the lapbook.

We used a WW2 map of Europe from our Knowledge Quest Maps CD.

We also added the poem If We Must Die by Claude McKay, which was read by Winston Churchill to inspire people during WW2.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie April 27, 2010 at 12:02 am

Here I am bookmarking another wonderful resource from you! Thank you so much for all of your great ideas and links!!
.-= Melanie´s last blog ..Step Two: Happy Dance! =-.


Kris April 27, 2010 at 1:49 am

One word: WOW!!! Another great project. I would hazard to guess that Sprite knows more (probably much more) than I do about WWII. If I asked really nicely, would you consider submitting this post for the next Homeschool Showcase? I’m definitely taking notes for when we study WWII.
.-= Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers´s last blog ..The Public School Parents’ Guide to Homeschool Parents =-.


Tatiana April 27, 2010 at 2:39 am

“WOW!” was my first first thought, too. And second, and third, and . . . . I’m still saying it to myself. Even right now, I’m hurrying to finish this comment so I can go back and pour over all that great information. Thank you so much!
.-= Tatiana´s last blog ..Venezuela =-.


Barb-Harmony Art mom April 27, 2010 at 3:12 am

We also really liked the World War II for Kids book when we used TOG year 4. My boys were heavy into learning about this time period and it had a lot of jumping off points for them.

Thanks for the link to the political cartoons and photos with the accompanying analysis questions. We will be using those next year…thanks for the link.

Great job!
.-= Barb-Harmony Art mom´s last blog ..Weekly Wrap-Up: Starting Our Home Stretch =-.


Samantha April 27, 2010 at 4:19 am

Your daughter did a great job with the lapbook. I will look forward to that tutorial about making the lapbook base. I saw books like this at another site but I couldn’t figure out the directions.

We are studying Ancient History all year next year but I’ll be sure to check out your great resources when we study WW II.



Eszter April 27, 2010 at 4:30 am

This is really great! I like the way your daughter colors and draws.


Sarah April 27, 2010 at 7:46 am

Fantastic lapbook! We’re in the midst of WW2 right now and I’m kicking myself now for not starting a lapbook for it. But we’ve had great reading and great movies. I’m glad to see which version of Anne Frank you watched. I had not started researching the various editions yet. I’ll have to check out that WW2 spine, too. I have loads of books already but that one looks great! We just finished reading The Winged Watchman today and will start I Am David tomorrow.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..On the Menu =-.


Amy April 27, 2010 at 8:01 am

Jimmie, you and your Sprite never cease to inspire! Thanks so very much for sharing this!
.-= Amy @ Hope Is the Word´s last blog ..Incoming =-.


Dana Wilson April 27, 2010 at 8:33 am

You really got a lot of mileage out of that lapbook! Very creative!

I like WWII for Kids as well! We have it in our curriculum along with lots of others – one of my favorite WWII historical fiction books that you could read aloud to Sprite sometime is Enemy Brothers, by Constance Savery. It has some absolutely wonderful themes of redemption and forgiveness. One not to miss!


Nadene April 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm

You have both done an amazing job! I’m sure this is a very sturdy armature for future study or reference! Thanks for sharing all your ideas and references ~ your suggestions and ideas are always so valuable.
.-= Nadene´s last blog ..Art Appreciation ~ Cezanne Fruit Still Life =-.


Sybille April 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Wow, another SUPERGREAT Sprite-Job! I’m amazed! Hope in about 10 years you will open a lapbook-museum!


Dawn April 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm

What a wonderful study. Don’t you just love when you learn along with your child some new tidbit. You have so much info packed into that one lapbook. GREAT!!


Michelle April 28, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Looks great! I admire those of you who lapbook. My kids seem to love it but somehow we never finish. I don’t know why. So we don’t do them.

But everyone else’s look awesome
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..Nature Walks and Talks =-.


Paula (Belgium) April 29, 2010 at 1:47 am

That lapbook will slowly turn into a story and eventually an essay. Hope you will still blog by that time, so we can enjoy and join Sprite’s learning process.


Palmy April 29, 2010 at 2:35 am

This lapbook is great! Bye from Sicily!


Mar April 30, 2010 at 10:39 am

Jimmie, Another great resource from you for our studies next year. I’ve planned some of the same resources already and as usual you’ve given me more ideas! What a great lapbook, Sprite. Thank you for sharing the details – I love that! – M


J's mom May 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I am interested in finding quality English books about the Asian side of the war, especially the way the Japanese treated the Chinese and the Koreans and so on. I am on the lookout. I found a few books on Pearl Harbor and on Japanese prison camps in the U.S, but not much else…


Tammy September 24, 2010 at 5:04 am

Hi Jimmie,
Thanks for sharing your lapbooks. I have used your printables to use in my son’s lapbooks about WWI and WWII. This is our first year doing lapbooks and your blog has been extremely helpful.


Alicia October 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm

i’m doing some research for a unit on wwII coming up later this school year. i love your rundown of what you used. so helpfu! thank you!! just a quick question though: do you think that “diary of anne frank” video is ok for younger kids? (first grade?) its sometimes harder to tell with older movies. thanks for letting me know!


Chrissie February 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Hi Jimmie, Thanks so much for this! I have been scouring the internet for weeks now do to a ww2 lap book with my kids. This will only be our second we did one about 4 years ago and not sure why it has taken us this long to do another. 🙂 I was wondering if you can tell me where I could find that map you used.

Thanks again for all your wonderful resources!!


Jimmie Lanley February 22, 2014 at 8:50 am

I’m so sorry, Chrissie. That lapbook was so long ago. If it’s not linked in the post, I have no idea.


Laura September 16, 2014 at 9:08 am

What age would you say this is for? I have a second grade boy who is in love with WWII but he’s also *very* tender hearted.


Laura September 19, 2014 at 11:36 am



sdevuyst January 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Awesome list of resources! Do you have your lapbook all bundled into one package? I would love to use this with my 5th grade class.


Jimmie Lanley January 31, 2015 at 1:46 pm

I don’t sell any lapbooking products, Sarah. Check out CurrClick though!


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