Creating a Lapbook About Horses
- Tuesday, September 27, 2011
If you or your children have ever had the privilege of visiting a farm and riding a horse, you probably discovered how easy it is to fall in love with these magnificent creatures! Those dark eyes, soft coat, and long, flowing mane are hard to resist.
Did you know that horses are measured in units of hand length? A “hand” is equal to about 4 inches, and the average horse stands between 15 and 17 hands high. Speaking of hands, what better way to learn about these beautiful animals than with hands-on activities that are assembled together to create a horse lapbook!
You may already have heard that student learning improves when lessons incorporate hands-on activities. It’s true! Therefore, a lapbook would be a great way to teach children about horses and incorporate hands-on activities. Although creating a lapbook about horses may seem as daunting a task as riding the biggest, fastest horse on the farm, with a little research and equipped with some basic home office supplies, your student can learn about the horse and complete an attractive lapbook displaying everything he or she has learned.
Your student will need file folders, paper in a variety of colors, crayons, pencils, markers, or other writing tools. You can find many reproducible templates for mini books, pocket cards, and other booklets and graphics online. You can also make your own mini books by folding paper in various ways. Other items to use in your horse lapbook include clipart, stickers, scrapbook paper, die cuts, coloring pages, games, puzzles, drawings, and photos.
Key concepts will vary depending on the age/skill level of your student and on what you decide you want to learn about horses. Here are some ideas to choose from:
What is the horse’s classification? What other animals belong to the same family? Horses, donkeys, and zebras look alike because they are all in the same family. Encourage your student to compare these three types of animals, using a mini booklet or Venn diagram.
Find a picture of a horse and have your child label the anatomy. Important features include the back, belly, dock, eyes, fetlock (ankle), forelock, hock, hoof, knee, mane, muzzle, neck, nostril, shank, tail, and withers. Find out about the different facial markings and leg markings on horse breeds, and encourage your child to draw markings on a picture of a horse’s face and/or legs. Markings might include star, snip, stripe, or blaze.
When studying anatomy, this would be a great time to explore the purpose of horseshoes! Why do horses wear shoes and how are they put on? Have your child record his or her answers on a horseshoe-shaped booklet.
Horses need plenty of food and water. What do horses eat? Are horses considered omnivores, carnivores, or herbivores? Visit a local feed store to learn about the different types of feed available. It is important to feed domestic horses properly, including lots of good quality hay. Visit a local horse farm and ask the owner to explain the dangers of feeding a horse bad hay. Ask him how to tell the difference between good and bad hay.
How long do horses live? What are some of the stages of a horse’s life cycle? On a yearly calendar, have your child record or count the gestation period for a horse (11 months).
How do horses use their senses? Horses rely on all five senses, but four are especially sensitive. Encourage your child to learn how horses rely on their senses of hearing, sight, touch, and smell.
What are the different types of gaits? Pretend you are horses and try demonstrating each of the different gaits: walk, trot, canter, gallop.
Size and Age
How are horses measured? Compare the size of different breeds of horses and/or compare the size of horses to other animals in the Equidae family. Find out what the smallest breed of horse is and the largest. How is a horse’s age determined? Suggestion: Have your child write his or her answer to this question on a mini book with horse teeth on it!
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