Understanding Tragedy through Lapbooking

Open any newspaper or watch a nightly news program and you are bound to find a report about a tragedy somewhere in the world.  From natural disasters like forest fires and hurricanes to tragedies like September 11, 2001 and war; these are some of the unfortunate events we hear about and experience on a daily basis.  How do we explain these types of things to our children?  How do we help our children understand what a crisis is and teach them how to deal with it?  One way of helping your child understand tragedy is to create a lapbook about the event or a related topic.


I recently spoke with a mom about her son’s love of Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter”.  She recounted to me how upset her son was when he heard the news of Steve’s  tragic death in 2006.  While snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, Steve was pierced by a stingray barb; what some experts says was a one-in-a-million incident.  While trying to console her son and think of a way for him to honor his hero’s memory, this mom came across our Steve Irwin: Crocodile Hunter Project Pack at In the Hands of a Child.  They had never tried a lapbook before, but thought this would be a good time to start. 


By creating a lapbook on his hero, this young boy learned about and celebrated Steve’s life.  He learned about his childhood, his family, his career as a television and movie star, his work with zoos and animals, and his work as a conservationist.  Even though it has been 7 years since Steve Irwin’s death, his young fan can pull out his lapbook and remember his favorite “Crocodile Hunter.”


In the Hands of a Child has a variety of topics that can help you create a lapbook that will help kids understand some of the unfortunate events that may be happening right now in or have happened in history.  Some of those topics include:

  •  Slavery HOCPP 1014

  • Titanic HOCPP 1019

  • Forest Fires HOCPP 1041

  • Volcanoes HOCPP 1042

  • Extreme Weather HOCPP 1044

  • World War I HOCPP 1086

  • World War II HOCPP 1089

  • September 11th, 2001 HOCPP 1105

  • Steve Irwin HOCPP 1107

  • The Civil War HOCPP 1181

  • Amelia Earhart HOCPP 1227

  • The Holocaust HOCPP 1249

  • Earthquakes HOCPP 1255

  • Emergency Services HOCPP 1304

  • America’s Great Depression HOCPP 1347

  • Basic Survival Skills HOCPP 1350

  • Firefighters HOCPP 1367

~Katie Kubesh

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