Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mara, Daughter of the Nile Lapbook

My dd read this book just for fun, but loved it so much that I snookered her into doing a book report on it. This is what we ended up with...

Opening the lapbook, the first "spread" covers the actual story..the "book report." Opening up the interior flaps exposes the mini-books on ancient Egypt pertinent to the story. We did the usual books for a book report...Setting, plot, characters(major & minor), conflict, opinion. She also added books for ancient Egyptian beliefs, the Nile River, slaves, Egyptian boats, the Valley of the Kings, blue lotuses, Egyptian scribes, hieroglyphics, Hatshepsut/Thutmose III, a timeline, and pockets for Egyptian Gods, architecture & art in ancient Egypt. Being my artistic child, she sewed a mini shenti (mens' kilt-type skirt), and the dresses women wore, two lotus columns, a drawing of a woman "Egyptian-style"...and also her version of it with shading & highlighting to make it look more realistic. (She couldn't stand how unrealistic the "Egyptian" drawing looked and had to "fix" it. )

I may not be able to share ALL the booklets, and I can't share some of the decorations, but I can tell you where we found them and/or how we made them.

First, I chose to print the booklets on either parchment or white paper. It was a "clean" look for an Egypt book. They are known for white clothing and papyrus, so those were the "obvious" choices. We also went to our local craft store and bought some scrapbook paper for some of the decorations/embellishments. For the most part she only used the red & blue cardstocks, and she also used a stucco-looking paper and a "dried mud/plaster" paper for a couple pockets. She used a green "ginkgo-leaf" paper as a background for the setting... but you really can't see the gingko leaves, which was fine...but it matched her raffia, and it wasn't blue or red. ha ha I digress... My DD insisted on having a "gold" paper for trim (which was expensive for scrapbook paper, but we both like how it turned out).

We also bought colored raffia to tie her books (instead of stapling or gluing). She was really interested in the blue lotuses so she took off on that theme throughout the lapbook. She added blue lotus columns (an image we found online...but this one would work too...I traced then copied onto cardstock...b/c the online image was shaded & pixelating badly when we enlarged it), and blue lotus paper flowers we made using a scrapbooking punch tool, light & royal blue paper, and small flat-backed rhinestones for the center. She made extras so she could fill in "empty spaces." She also tore the edges of some books/labels because it gave it a more "aged" look.

We also found some digital scrapbooking kits that had printable paper and clipart. She chose a Hieroglyphics image and a horizontal pattern for the background of the interior and the top/bottom borders (respectively). Here are a few...

Heart of Wisdom
Digiscrap Depot
Scrapgirls (This one was our favorite and utilized in our lapbook)
Digital Scrapbook Pages

For the Art & Architecture pockets, we found art & architecture from the time period when the book took place, printed them on white cardstock & labeled the back...what, where, when, and who built them (architecture)/was in them (art).

We also found a really cool map of Ancient Egypt someone had hand-drawn here. I edited out the place names and touched up a few things to come up with my dd's map. (There are others here and here that will work too.)

This just goes to show you what can happen when you read a really good book. :-)


  1. Wow! Saying that I am truly impressed just seems so inadequate. Amazing!


  2. WOW Sonia! Tell her I said this looks great.


  3. You could sell this lapbook and make lots of money!! It is awesome!! My daughter and I also LOVED "Mara, Daughter of the Nile". Great job!

  4. Thanks, ladies! :-) She had fun (and I have to admit, I had fun helping her find all the items and come up with ideas too. (BTW, the clothing was completely her idea.) :-) As good as the pictures are, they really DON'T do it justice. It's one you just have to see in person to really appreciate. :-)

    Lucy, I wish I could sell it, but a number of the items are "custom" (scrapbook paper from local craft store & flower decorations), others are copyrighted (many images), other digital items we purchased and I don't have distribution rights. I would love to share what I can...but the things I can't I included in the description so everyone knows where I found them. :-) I know not everyone will want to put this much work into it, but it's really just for ideas how you can customize your own lapbook...even if you purchase the booklets from one of the online companies or use a free one from the many places on the internet.

  5. Gorgeous lapbook! Truly.
    This book is on the shelf to be read this year. I want to show this to my daughter for inspiration.

  6. This is such an awesome lapbook. Your daughter should be very proud of her hard work. It is very stylishly combined. Her attention to the topic is inspiring.