Using Lap Books in Your School Counseling Program

Are lap books all the rage at your school yet? I’ve seen teachers use them for so many literacy and math topics, and students seem to love them! So I thought, why not me too?

I started with a Worry Warrior lap book since I already had an established group counseling program on this topic. It was an easy way to start small with materials I already had! And like most fun ideas… this one came to me at the end of the year 😉 Anyone else have that problem?

I met with several kiddos from my group again at the end of the year to refresh their worry-management strategies before they were “on their own” for summer break. Each student made his/her own lap book so they could have something tangible to keep and take home from group. They really loved having something to keep! I also made a “master copy” lap book with all of the elements laminated so that I can use it one-on-one in session and let students write on the lap book with dry erase markers. Here’s a look at the Worry Warriors lap book:

Front cover
Inside left column: how worry affects your life

inside left column: compare/contrast worried body and calm body
inside center: worry battle cards that describe anxiety-management strategies for students to practice

center view

I like to add a fun character to the lap books just for kicks – it’s totally not necessary, but the kids seem to like them! I’m really happy with how this lap book turned out and how the students responded to them! Seeing how they practiced the strategies convinced me to make lap books for more topics because they were really engaged. They are surprisingly easy to make too! Here are pictures of a few of the lap books I have now:

Cyber bullying prevention
inside left column: types of cyber bullying
inside center: what would you do/personal experiences
inside right column: effects of cyber bullying 
Inside of Buddies, Not Bullies (bullying prevention)
Inside of Emotion Investigators (my favorite!! Just look at that detective!)
Inside of Bully Bees (bullying prevention for early elementary)
Inside of Mindfulness Matters (includes 24 mindfulness strategy cards for students to practice!)
SMART goals

Test-prep and test-taking skills 

how to make a friend

how to keep a friend/maintaining friendships

Safe during: internet safety!

Multiple Intelligences

Leadership qualities 
Groovy growth mindset

Peace Seekers: Conflict Resolution

Bottom line: I love lap books because (1) there are not tons of handouts – everything is contained in one folder and nothing is going to fall out! (2) Students can make them to keep. Some of the students seem to open up a lot more while we make them together because they have busy hands and feel more comfortable talking. (3) I can have them ready-made for one-on-one sessions when I need them, and I never have to dig for handouts. (4) There are tons of opportunities to customize these by leaving areas blank and letting students fill them in, making flaps with the elements so they can write underneath the tabs, etc. (5) They’re small! They don’t take up a lot of space on a shelf or in a filing cabinet. (6) They’re adorable.

Are you already using lap books in your school counseling program? I’d love to hear more about how you make them work and how your students respond to them! What topics are you covering?

If you’re not already using them but want to, check out all of my lap books here. I’m still brewing up a few more topics – can’t wait to show you!!


4 thoughts on “Using Lap Books in Your School Counseling Program

  1. I have 2 of Counselor Keri's lapbooks and I can not wait to use them this year. I have used lapbooks for other subjects and the kids LOVE them. I agree with all 6 reasons for using lapbooks listed in this article and I really think that they will be the next big thing in counseling. Lisa Landy

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