Ecology Lapbook

Ecology Lapbook

Year 3’s first quarter focuses on Ecology- the study of organisms, their relationships to each other and to their surroundings!  To make planning easier, the whole lapbook is in one downloadable file, including instructions for assembly. You can print it all out ahead of time and complete each section as you come to it, or assemble the lapbook at the end of the quarter as review.  You choose the best way to use these lapbooks in your school!

Here’s a picture of the completed lapbook:


Ready to get started? Download and save the file:

Ecology Lapbook

The instructions are included in the download, but I’ll break them down week by week for you here to match the tour guide. Plus I add my two cents worth of discussion topics to have with your students while you’re lapbooking.

A Note about the Lapbooks: 

Lapbooks can be a fun and interactive way for students to learn- lots of teachers both in and out of the school system are using them these days.  And they are a fun way to review material you’ve already covered.  Don’t feel pressured to make your lapbook look exactly like the pictures.  The most important thing is that your students are learning and having fun! If they want to put pieces in different places, color it differently or make their own additions, go for it!  Lastly, if you have several students, you can either let them each make their own (if they can cut and glue by themselves) OR you can make one lapbook as a family.

Supplies you’ll need for this lapbook:

  • A file folder (any color will do)
  • Cardstock and white paper to print inserts on
  • Glue stick or two sided tape
  • 1 metal brad
  • Stapler



Print the cover (pg 4) one sided on regular copy paper

Print  the Five Kingdoms wheels (pg 6-7), and the Food chain slider (pg 5) one sided on card stock.

Print the “In order to be alive” booklet  (pgs 8-9),  the animal types flaps (pg 10-11), the Biomes flipout and “animals cope with change” flaps (pg 12-13) two sided (flip on the long side of the paper) on cardstock.

Week 1

First open your file folder and fold the sides in toward the middle.  You’ll end up with something that opens from the center.

1 open file folder

2 fold inward

Cut out around the Five kingdoms wheels.  Use scissors or an exacto knife to cut out the trapezoidal window. Use a sharp pencil (or an exacto knife) to punch/cut a hole in the center of both circles.  Line them up and place them in the top center of your file folder, and mark where the center hole is.  Use your  pencil or exacto knife to punch a hole in the file folder where you marked the center of the circles. Then use your metal brad to attach the two wheels to the file folder.  Use the cut out space to spin the middle wheel revealing the name of each kingdom and a picture in the window.

FiveKingdomWheel FiveKingdomWheel2

Have a discussion about the Five Kingdoms.  Why are there 5 Kingdoms? Why do we organize organisms? Is it easier to learn about an organism when we know other creatures that are similar to it? Can you name something that belongs in each of the five kingdoms?

Week 2

Cut out the pieces for the “Producers, Consumers, Decomposers” slider.  One piece has a window to cut out, and one piece has a slit to cut.


Slide the “are parts of the food chain” slider into the slit you made in the piece with the food chain pictures.


Glue or glue dot around the very edge of the piece with the food chain picture, and attach the top piece with the window. Then glue the whole slider assembly right under your Five Kingdom Wheel in the center of your lapbook.


You pull the tap to reveal the Producer, Consumers and decomposers in this example of a food chain.  Talk about this food chain- it’s a simple one right?  Can food chains in nature be simple? Can they be more complicated than this? What other creatures could you substitute for any of the ones shown in the slider?

Week 3

Cut out around the pages for the “In order to be alive” booklet. Stack them with the title on top and staple on the dotted line.  Then fold in half and glue to the top right flap of your file folder.




Talk about the definition of ‘being alive.’ What are ways people show each of these characteristics? We have babies, catch (or go shopping for) food, we grow, and we adapt to our environments right? The last characteristic, react and adapt to environments, might be a trickier one to explain.  But just think about people all around the world, and maybe your last big road trip.  People in different areas of the world have adapted to their environments.  People in really hot dry areas are used to it, but if you were to visit you would probably feel miserable.  The same is true if you moved to Alaska from Florida- it would be quite a transition.  Even going from a sunny place like the Southeast to a drizzly overcast place like the Pacific Northwest would require adaption.  People who live in Seattle are used to the drizzle and clouds all the time- but I would feel miserable there!

Week 4

Cut out around the types of animals flaps.  Fold them in half on the gray line.  Then fold back on the top gray line (see the picture for clarification).  Use a glue stick or glue dots to glue the middle sections together.  When you open the flap it should look like the animal is opening it’s mouth.  Then glue these down the left side of your lapbook.






herbavores5 I have to admit I’m pretty proud of these little animal flaps.  I drew some cartoon-type food in their mouths, but have a discussion about all the different types of food these three animals might eat.  A rabbit eats plenty more than just carrots, and lions will eat just about anything that can try to run away. You may have even seen a raccoon digging in your trash can at home! If you have scrapbooking stickers, you could even add some more ‘food’ to the insides of their mouths, just make sure you put the right kind in each animals mouth!

Week 6

Fold the flaps in on the Biomes flip page so that they open in order of the memory work. Then glue the back of it into the center bottom of the lapbook.


Talk about the animals and plants that live in each biome.  Which Biome would you want to visit? Why or why not?

Week 6

Cut out the “Animals cope with change” flap, and fold into thirds along the solid lines.  Cut slits between “adapting, migrating or hibernating.” Fold and glue into the bottom right side of your lapbook.



Can you think of some other animals that adapt, migrate or hibernate? How do your own students cope with change? What have humans done to reduce our need to migrate or adapt? We have heat and AC in our homes, we have shipping of food to grocery stores etc.  Life is very different for human animals than it is for wild animals who depend on nature for everything!


Add a snazzy cover and make it fit into a 3 ring binder!

Glue the cover to the front. If you glue one side first, you can use the edge of the file folder as a guide to cut on. Then glue on the other side. (I know these are pictures of the Botany lapbook- but the idea is the same!)20 glue on the coverTo make the lapbook fit into a 3 ring binder, run some packing tape along the left side. Fold over such that some of the tape sticks to itself. Hole punch through the tape, and store in your science binder.21 tape on edge of lapbook

22 hole punched lapbook

Ta-da! You’ve finished an Ecology Lapbook!  Use it for review or even to ‘present’ the information to other students or to Dad when he gets home.  If you laminate the pieces they may last a long time, and can be a good road trip activity for review one day.





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