We had a great time this week using Amanda Bennett’s Spring Surprises unit study.
I really enjoy these unit studies. They are a nice break from the regular daily things that we use. I am always surprised at the things that Amanda Bennett finds to incorporate into the subject. So far this week, we’ve studied how the sun makes weather, the different hemispheres of the Earth, seeds and plants, trees, birds like robins and chickadees and how and why they build nests, the life cycle of frogs, rainbows, George Washington Carver, and more! We still have one or two more days left in the study!
While the Download N’ Go series is scheduled to only take a week, because my children are on the younger end of the age range, I usually break it down and take slightly longer.
Every good unit study starts off with a book basket! We went to the library and loaded up with as many relevant books as we could carry without exceeding our 40 book per card checkout limit (list of books that we used available at the end of this post).
We discussed the different activities that we do outdoors in the Spring like fly kites,
and play baseball!
|My little man at his first t-ball game|
I found a great book with seasonal poems, so we spent some time reading through them as well.
They children also wrote their own Spring themed acrostic poems. Aron needed help writing his down, but he still came up with the whole thing on his own.
We also made our own spring flowers with pipe cleaners using this tutorial from Make and Takes.
On the second day, we dove into how seeds grow, photosynthesis, and the life cycle of plants. We
“planted” our own seeds in mason jars so that we could get an up close and personal view of the growing process.
Because we garden every year, my children had some knowledge in this area, but it’s always fun to do hands on experiments like this to further their understanding.
On the third day we learned about the water cycle, how rainbows are made, and about George Washington Carver and his work with plants.
We made these Fabric Scrap Rainbows which I gave the tutorial for yesterday.
Over the last two days, we discussed birds that we can see in our own backyards like robins and cardinals and how and why they build nests. We talked about the chicken life cycle as well which was really neat for them since we have chickens of our own. We also discussed the frog life cycle and this made Aron want a new pet. Um…..not sure I am in the business of having amphibians for pets. I think I’m too city for that. Or prissy, as my husband would say. 😛
At the end of each day’s lessons, they would take nature walks and explore how things were changing now that it is spring. Gabriella took my camera out one day and took pictures of the green on trees, our azalea bush blooming, the grass changing, and the bush out front that is now green instead of yellow. They also collected twigs and leaves of varying sizes and shapes to examine up close.
It’s been a fun week and we look forward to the last day or so of this unit before we get back to our regularly scheduled programming. 🙂 We did continue on in core subjects, and Gabriella would not like it if I did not mention that she finished yet another of her practice reading books. She really loved this one so much that she’s asked me to see if our library carries the other books in the series.
That was our week. What’s happening in your school?
Books that We Used for This Unit (so far):
Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Paddington Bear in the Garden by Michael Bond
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Sunflowers by Gail Saunders-Smith
This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
Who Likes the Rain? by Etta Kaner
Rain by Erin Edison
Rain by Robert Kalan
Storm’s Coming by Dave and Julie Saunders
The Secret Garden Adapted from the original novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Birds, Nests, and Eggs by Mel Boring
Chickens by Lynn M. Stone
Life Cycle of a Chicken by Angela Royston
From Chick to Chicken by Jillian Powell
Growing Frogs by Vivian French
Fabulous Frogs by Linda Glaser
Frogs by Gail Saunders Smith
From Tadpole to Frog
by Wendy Pfeffer
Where Do Frogs Come From? by Alex Vern