Monday, August 5, 2013

5 Days of Learning with Unit Studies - Read, Read, Read!

This week I am joining 90 TOS Crew Bloggers in the 5 Days Blog Hop.  I am going to be talking about Learning with Unit Studies, our favorite way to learn!

I feel that learning with unit studies gives my children an opportunity to really dive into a topic and study it from all different angles.  

For those of you not familiar with unit studies, let me explain a little bit about them.  A unit study takes a topic, and then studies it in a hands on, engaging way.  Studying your topic could include reading wonderful living books, learning historical information , doing science experiments and projects, writing reports, dramatizing, doing arts and crafts, learning geography, cooking and more.

You could do a unit study on an elephant, Ben Franklin, baseball, cowboys, The American Revolution or the States.  Anything really! You could do a unit study on a character trait like Obedience.  You could even do one on a favorite book like Caps for Sale.  

Once you have your topic a picked out, you could purchase a unit study, find a free one online or make your own.  Personally, I do not feel the need to recreate the wheel {smile}. I have come to love KONOS and Trail Guide to Learning {TGTL}. They are very different from each other, but both are unit study in nature and have done all the work for me.  KONOS focuses character traits and TGTL on American History.  Another favorite source for unit studies is Homeschool Share.

This week I am going to walk you through how we do unit studies.  I am going to use the American Revolution as my topic, which we are going to be starting it in a few weeks.  

So, now that I have my topic I will start by pulling any books from our shelves that go along with my topic.  I would also go online and request books from by library.  Lots and lots of books! I would make sure to include biographies, historical fiction books, as well as picture books for my younger guys.  

I plan on reading and using books like:
  • George Washington: Man of Prayer and Courage (The Sowers)
  • Johnny Tremain
  • Guns for General Washington
  • The Eve of Revolution
  • George Washington’s Breakfast
  • If You Grew Up With George Washington
  • Sam the Minuteman by Benchley
  • George the Drummer Boy
  • If You Lived in Colonial Times
  • And then what Happened Paul Revere?
  • Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution
  • What’s the Big Idea Ben Franklin? 
  • Phoebe the Spy
  • Can't You Make Them Behave King George? 
  • You Wouldn't Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party! 
  • Great American Artists
  • How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning
  • Joining the Boston Tea Party
As you can see, one of the main things we do when doing a unit study is read, read and read!  

From reading great books, my kids learn A LOT! When children read "living books," stories that are interesting, they feel a connection with the people and their story.  This builds interest and a love of learning.  Many a day I try to stop reading and my kids literally beg me to go on.

Just from reading these great books, we will learn what the American Revolution was all about, will learn about some of the main historical figures that played important roles in the American Revolution.  We will learn about the time period, how people lived back then and what they believed.  We will learn the whos, whats, wheres and whys of the American Revolution! 

I feel that each of these books is like a piece our American Revolution puzzle.  Putting them all together gives my kids the big picture, or completed puzzle, of our topic.  

Join me tomorrow as we continue with 5 Days of Learning with Unit Studies!  

Check out what other TOS Crewbies are talking about...

 Summer Blog Hop



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