Snowflake Bentley Mini Unit Study

snowflake bentley unit study image

Let me set the stage:  You woke up to snow falling outside.  School was canceled and the buses aren’t running today. 

But that doesn’t affect you. 

You homeschool.  For you today can do school.  Tomorrow, when the snow has stopped falling and the roads are clear again, is the best time to take a snow day.  Send the kids outside in all their winter gear to sled and build forts and snowmen while you drink something hot and watch through the window (or clean the house or go out and play with them… whichever you choose).

But today the snow is falling and everyone is distracted.  Today you wish you had a special plan for something snow related.  Today you wish you’d thought to get some snow themed books from the library (or hadn’t loaned yours to a friend).

Well, I’ve got you covered.  This unit doesn’t take any books (though you can certainly pull out your much loved copy and flip pages the old fashioned way).  And you don’t need any other books to help you dive deeper into the subject (though, if you are reading this with time to spare, you can still request a pile of them from the library just for fun).

This unit comes equipped with a reading of the book on YouTube and PDF download of the book with some other resources.

You can even pop some popcorn or get a snack and cuddle in to watch it together before getting started on some great Language Arts, geography, science, or art activities.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Snowflake Bentley Mini Unit Study

Watch a reading of Snowflake Bentley on YouTube.  Or you can get an online version here.

Then, select a few of the activities below and keep the learning going. For an easy day, watch a bunch of videos and do some drawing. Want something more? Pick a writing assignment, do some extra research, make your own crystals and try your hand at painting. Really, there is something for everyone. Adapt the lessons for your own kids and ages, or hit Pinterest for more ideas!

Science

  1. Watch Where do Snowflakes Come From on YouTube
  2. Snowflake Photography video on YouTube
  3. Explore the SnowCrystals website. Pick a subject from it to write an essay of 1-3 paragraphs (depending on the age of your child) or research more thoroughly and write a report about it (Lauguage Arts also).  Feel free to add other internet or book resources for this.
  4. Make Salt Crystal Snowflakes.

Language Arts

  1. Use this free Snowflake Bentley Book and Lesson Plan all rolled into one. Print it out or download it to use on your computer.  You may want to read the lesson plan notes ahead of time to decide what you want to do.  Then read it or let your child read it for himself and choose some activities to do.
  2. This site has a lesson plan worked out for 2nd-3rd
  3. Answer one or more of these writing prompts (free download) on the enclosed note booking page.
  4. Using that same freebie, fill out the character analysis about Wilson Bentley.
  5. Use this page to do a character study about focus and persistence. Many ideas and questions are included there.

Geography

  1. Visit Layers of Learning for some history and a state map printable.
  2. Three Boys and a Dog has free Vermont Symbols and State Facts worksheets.
  3. Watch this video about Vermont on YouTube.
  4. Or this one, also on YouTube.

Art

  1. Design your own snowflakes with this Snowflake Starter Template.
  2. Cut out paper snowflakes.
  3. Do this Watercolor and Oil Pastel Resist Snowflake.
  4. Make Snowflake Window Clings.
  5. Make Beaded Snowflake Ornaments.

What other ideas can you share?

Do you have a favorite lesson?

Gathering here.

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Owl Moon Mini Unit Study

owl moon blog header

My 8 year old boy holding our much loved book.

I’ve been reading this book to my children for years.  It was one of the early ones we bought for winter reading when my oldest were little.  Now, most of the time, it is they who read it to each other.  I haven’t read it to them yet (we haven’t had any snow yet so I haven’t been feeling it yet) this year, but they’ve been reading it since before Christmas.  It’s a favorite!

So, whether you’ve never read it, or it’s an old favorite, I want to share with you a mini unit study based on Owl Moon.  It’s a mini study, because I am sure there is more you could pull out of it.  I didn’t do anything about the train reference and I didn’t choose to study the moon this time around.  You can deepen your study by adding those subjects, or by adding a geography study of New England, or Massachusetts specifically, where the author’s husband used to take their children out owling in the winter.  You could also add a study of snow, but I’m choosing to save that for our next book study… Snowflake Bentley.

Owl Moon Mini Unit Study

Are you a missionary, living on foreign shores?  Is it difficult to get to a library or are funds tight and books are just not in the budget right now?  For this study, I’m assuming you do not have access to a copy of this book, so here is a reading of it on YouTube:  Owl Moon Reading on YouTube.

If you have the time and/or desire, you may be able to find it at your local library or ABE Books or at Amazon.

Please make this unit study your own, selecting which activities/lessons you want to do.  This lesson can be done in a day or stretched out to fill a week or more depending on how many of the lessons and activities you select and how deep you dig.  If you have a library or funds to purchase books, add in some great books on these topics for you to read aloud or your children to read for themselves.

Language Arts

  1. After first reading, each student can give an oral or written narration of the story.
  2. Write an opinion paragraph telling why you do or do not like the story and why. (Give examples from the story.)  Encourage at least 5-7 good sentences.  (3-5 sentences could be appropriate for younger children if they want to participate in this assignment.)
  3. Discuss figurative language—This post gives a great explanation and printables for how she taught figurative language in her homeschool. The printables at the end of her post include cards for each of the figurative language types (print and fold them over to make flash cards or cut them apart to play matching games). I recommend the graphic organizer she used for lower grades and the last page for upper elementary grades.  Or you can simply read the book again, searching for different types of figurative language.  Or make your own chart of the ones you find (each type of figurative language along the side or across the top, then fill in examples in the column or row of that type.)
  4. Teach “theme”. Print pages 2-4 of this “Free Teaching Theme Printable Pack” and discuss them with your child.  Print page 7 for her to fill out about Owl Moon.    (Or this one is a Theme Lesson plan specific to Owl Moon.  You can use her printable instead or simply reference it and the possible themes she lists for reference.  I found it helpful!)
  5. Adjectives Hunt – read the book again and write down all the adjectives you find. Sort them into categories of which question they answer: “Which one?”, “How many?”, What kind of?”, “Whose?”
  6. Read about the author here.

Science

  1. Watch this short “All about Owls for Kids” video on YouTube
  2. Optional: Watch this 11 minute video of 8 Owls and their Sounds on YouTube
  3. Watch this BBC Documentary about Snow Owls on YouTube and answer the questions on the attached page. It’s about a Snow Owl family from hatchlings to flying away. (Here is a simple question sheet I made for you to use with that documentary.)
  4. Optional: Five Owl Farm Documentary on YouTube
  5. Learn about and fill out a barn owl food chain.
  6. Optional: Dissect Owl Pellets. You can find information about the pellets and how to find and dissect them here, or you can order them online for dissection here.  This is a Pellet Analysis Sheet.

Art

  1. How to draw an owl
  2. Or How to draw an owl for kids on YouTube (or one of these others on YouTube if you want more)
  3. Owl Moon Textured Art Lesson Plan
  4. Simple Owls in the Night Painting
  5. Wood Bark Owl Craft (or make a bunch of them and turn them into a garland)
  6. If you know a little bit of crochet, this cute crocheted owl would be fun.
  7. This is a picture tutorial for making clay owls.
  8. For those who like to sew, this cute owl softie could be a fun gift to make for a little one or new baby.
  9. Or search for other owl crafts for various ages and using various mediums and supplies on Pinterest and pick your own. There are so many to choose from!

Pick one or two activities/lessons from each subject for each day you spend on the unit and have fun!

Are you planning to use something from this unit study?  Please leave a comment below to let me know.

And don’t forget to pin it for later!

Gathering here.

 

The Legend of the Christmas Tree — Unit Study Lesson Plans

Legend of the Christmas Tree

 

Since the Rockefeller Christmas Tree is officially lit up for the season (as we’ve already been learning about), I think it’s high time we spend some time talking about why there is a Christmas tree at all.  Do they even have pine trees in Israel?  (Hmmm… maybe that is a good research question you’ll want to add on to this lesson plan.)

My children love the book The Legend of the Christmas Tree (find it used at ABE Books here) and I love that it teaches how it came to be part of our so often secularized celebration of Jesus’ birth!  Usually we just read it and enjoy the lessons it teaches, but since I’m helping create some lesson plans for my niece, I figured we’d do some of the extra fun projects and learning about this too.  So here is my unit study for The Legend of the Christmas Tree.  Let me know if you try it out or if you have any other ideas to add. 🙂

 

Christmas Lesson Plan for The Legend of the Christmas Tree 

Watch a reading of this book on YouTube. (I’m assuming this is a last minute lesson plan and you haven’t had time to grab the book.)

More to learn:

 

Activities

  • Art:
    • Pine Cone Christmas Trees
    • Make Gift Tags from these cute Pipe Cleaner Christmas Trees. Just punch a hole in one corner to tie to a present.
    • Make these cute and simple trees and use them as place cards on a Christmas themed table (Christmas Eve, Christmas day, on the day you decorate your Christmas tree). Just write the name of each person who will be eating with you on the trees and then place it above the plate at the table setting at meal time.
    • Make a ribbon scrap tree ornament to hang on your tree, or make several to give as gifts. Include a card that you’ve written or typed that explains the three corner/ trinity illustration from the book in your own words. (This could count as a writing assignment as well!)
  • Home Ec.:
  • Science/ STEM:
  • Writing: (choose a fun writing paper from Pinterest here.)
    • Which is best, a fake tree or a real tree? Write a persuasive essay to convince your reader.
    • Which is best, going to a tree lot for a pre-cut tree or cutting your own. Write a persuasive essay to convince your reader.
    • Should the tree topper be put on first or last? Why?  (write a paragraph)
    • What sort of decorations do you like best on a Christmas tree? Explain your answers in paragraph form.
    • Do you like colored lights or white lights on your tree? Explain your answer in paragraph form.

 

I’ll be adding more Christmas books throughout the season.  Click the “Follow” button or enter your email in the sidebar so you don’t miss anything!

 

Gathering here.

Feature image created at Stencil.

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Unit Study

The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Book Unit StudyThe Christmas season has officially begun and with it my eyes have turned to creating simple and fun learning plans for our homeschool that revolve around Christmas.

I didn’t plan on The Carpenter’s Gift being the first unit I covered this year, nor did I plan for a homeschooling post to be the first official blog post on this blog.  But, as it happened, I was designing this super simple and completely free unit study for our niece (and our kids) to do and I stumbled on the fact that the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting was tonight.  So late last night, when I finished gathering my list of videos and activity ideas to include in our  study, I thought I’d share it.

This is a super simple, mostly no prep unit study about the book The Carpenter’s Gift: a tale about the Rockefeller Christmas Tree (find it used at ABE books here).  I’m assuming you can’t get it from the library and don’t want to wait for the one you just ordered to come, so I found a reading of it on YouTube.

 

The Carpenter’s Gift: a tale about the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

(Here is a reading of it on YouTube)

 

More information:

 

Activities:

  • Art:
    • Draw and decorate your own Christmas tree for Rockefeller plaza (use sequins, glitter, and whatever you can find to make it super fancy if you want to.)
    • Paint a pine tree forest where they may find the next huge Rockefeller Tree (video tutorials here)
    • Design a Christmas tree topper for the Rockefeller Tree or your own. Draw a picture of it.  If you want to and it is possible, try to make one.
  • Writing Prompts:
    • Describe how to decorate a Christmas tree
    • Tell about your favorite Christmas tree ornament (what does it look like?, where did it come from?, etc.)
    • Would you like to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting in person someday? Why or why not?  Think about weather, travel, crowds and decide if it would be worth it or if you don’t really care.  Explain your answer.

 

I’ll be adding more Christmas books throughout the season. Click the “Follow” button or enter your email in the sidebar so you don’t miss anything!

 

You may find me gathering here.

Feature image created at Stencil.