Why You Should Be Using Flap Books in the Classroom with 7 Examples

Did you know that students who engage in hands-on learning are 75% more likely to retain the information? It’s true! And it’s the exact reason flap books deserve a place in every reading lesson. 

Flap books are simple. You create a few flaps and BAM! An ordinary activity becomes an interactive experience. But even in its simplicity, using flap books in the classroom greatly benefits student learning. 

Benefits of Using Flap Books

The great thing about including flap books in the learning process is the way they enhance engagement. The simple act of lifting flaps creates excitement and piques curiosity among students as they try to decipher what goes underneath. Other important benefits also enhance engagement. Here are a few others:

  • Engaging and Interactive: flap books encourage active participation. Students are actively creating their flap books, giving them ownership over their learning. It also promotes independent learning, as students learn at their own pace. 
  • Differentiation: flap books are perfect for differentiation because they are easily adaptable. Students can respond in the flapbook with pictures, words, sentences, or paragraphs. Students are all completing the assignment, but their responses can vary based on ability.
  • Organization: flap books provide a structured format for organizing information. flap books help to divide the content into sections or categories. The sections break learning into smaller chunks so that it doesn’t seem as overwhelming for students.

This is a skimmed-down list, but I could go on about how helpful flap books are in improving focus, motivation, and overall comprehension in reading. But now, I want to share a few of my favorite ways to use flap books in reading.

7 Examples of Flap Books in the Classroom

Use Flap Books to Compare Topics

Compare and contrast venn diagram flap book for alligators and crocodiles

Flap books provide an effective way for students to compare and contrast different topics in the classroom. Students can easily organize key information side-by-side thanks to the dedicated sections for each topic. For example, Venn Diagram Flap books are great for taking broad topics and breaking them down into smaller, more focused chunks.

Use Flap Books with Vocabulary

Flap books in the classroom to study vocabulary words. Definitions go under the flap.

Sometimes it’s difficult to vary our vocabulary activities. Things can get repetitive from week to week. With flap books, students can dedicate each section of a flapbook to a vocabulary focus word. Under the flaps, students can write the words in a sentence, give a synonym for each word, provide an antonym, or draw an example of the word. The options are endless!

Use Flap Books as a Reading Response

Flap books in the classroom for reading response.

Flap books can also serve as a reading response activity in the classroom. After reading a book, students can create flap books to explore the plot events, character traits, key details, etc. 

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In addition, when the flap is lifted, students can share text evidence. This allows students to demonstrate their understanding of a text in an interactive format.

Use Flap Books to Sort

Flap books in the classroom as a sorting activity.

One of my favorite ways to use flap books is as a sorting activity. Students can sort examples and non-examples, categorize words, or sort based on word use in a sentence. One advantage of sorting words with a flapbook is that it helps to keep all the sorting pieces secured underneath the flaps.

Use Flap Books to Answer Questions

Flap books in the classroom to answer reading questions.

As we question students about texts, poems, and problems throughout daily reading lessons, we can vary the questioning format and use flap books. This breaks up the monotony of students answering comprehension questions. Asking questions on a flapbook has the advantage of hiding students’ answers underneath the flaps.

Use Flap Books for Parts of Speech

Flap books in the classroom to study parts of speech.

Flap books are a great way to display students’ understanding of language when introducing parts of speech. Under each flap, students can provide examples, use words in sentences, draw pictures, etc. 

The flap books serve as a tool for introducing a new concept, reviewing a specific grammar skill, or assessing learned material.

Use Flap Books to Provide Examples 

I could go on and on about ways to use flap books in the classroom. I started using them in 2007 and have made hundreds of them ever since! But I’ll spare you. One of the most common ways I use flap books is to showcase examples of a skill. 

Flap books in the classroom to provide examples for various reading skills like present and future.

Think about using flap books to share examples of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, compound words, contractions, multisyllabic words, homophones, synonyms, etc. 

The list can go on and on. As students lift the flaps to reveal their examples, they demonstrate their learning and communicate their ideas effectively!

For additional reading resources that embrace flap books in the learning experience, check out Rooted in Reading! Each activity mentioned in this post is used in our signature reading curriculum.

Don’t forget these ways to use flap books in the classroom, save the image below for later!

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Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


Sample a day of Rooted in Reading with these lesson plans and activities for Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar!

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