Unit Study Printable + Blogabration Coming!

Posted on June 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM


I would love to have you come on over and check it out!

We, you done it! We came out Number 13 at the Top 25 Homeschooling Moms Blog. THANK YOU for voting for us. You know it's not my style to prod you to vote each day but after I changed our blog platform in January and our blog climbed quickly, this is a sweet highlight of the year for us. I am not sure what other bloggers do to show their appreciation to you---but something like this calls for a PAR-TYYYY! I heart you and so we need time to plan a "proper Texas size party". We are thinking about a Blogabration after the holiday next week. Also I will post the link to my interview by the Circle of Moms as we will be put in their Round Up next month.

Side note of business here If you haven't noticed already our Dynamic 2 Moms Site recently received a website upgrade. Though we are not finished, some pages are not viewing. We will be working on that to complete the upgrade. Also, our New Beginnings site will be upgraded soon. Some pages might not download but we will do our best to keep it smooth through this transition.  In the past I have tried to upload videos to my blog and though the video may be seen in draft form, they don't come through. It's no secret I don't like to do "techy things" my techy skills are not that far off. So I am hoping the major upgrade will relieve some of those problems.

Enough about business, I am excited to share this form for planning a unit study that has been floating around in my head for a long time. Passionate about unit studies, I wanted a form that not only worked as a place to plan and store ideas but one that could give you the 1,2,3's if you dared to try one. When I looked through my handwritten sloppy copy notes I put all the things I do into this form. To plan one unit study I have 8 pages. It doesn't mean you will need all of them and some of them you will make double or triple copies.  I explain how best to use each page below. Take your time reading this because you know I prefer a slow and steady way to my blog posting so I won't rush ya.

Download all 8 pages here .

Page 1 -  This page will need to be printed off for EVERY unit because it is your very basic information page. It will help to keep your unit studies organized by level and theme. I am going to use my planning the Rainforest Unit Study to help you visualize how I fleshed it out. The Rainforest is the obvious Theme. However, there are many "bunny trails" or subtopics you may want to go down. For me, this is one of the most beautiful crowning jewels about unit studies. I can plan exactly for the needs of my family. My subtopics included Photosynthesis, Scientists and Inventions, Art, Creation and Birds. Subtopics keep me on track. Duration doesn't have to be filled out unless you have time constraints. I tend to fill mine out AFTER we complete the project. Under Resources do not discount people you have access to. In our co-op group we had one father who grew up in the Amazon and his pictures of his boyhood swimming in the Amazon River was an enriching tidbit to our study.

Pages 2 - 3 - Page 2 is another page if you need more room for your references. Page 1 may be enough space. Page 3 is for you to use in case you have very different resources you may want to use. Maybe you have Bible Study information you prefer or even resources unique to your culture.

Page 4 - This page is a "keeper page" as well. Print it off for each unit study. I have listed activities to help spark your creative juices for a unit study. These are some of the things we have done. You will want to check off all things you plan and come back after the unit study to check off what you did "unplanned". Also some activities may be unique to this unit of study. For example, in the Rainforest unit, we tested out the ability of a bromeliad to hold water. I knew ahead of time this would be an activity we wanted to do so it would go under "Activities Specific to this Unit".

I listed materials I have and materials needed or did not want to forget to purchase closer to needing it.  Then I could check it off after I had it. Materials can include crafty things, electronic things and living things like plants. It is really ANYTHING you want to list and be sure you have. When you revisit this unit in the future and if you make good detailed notes, this will end up being a time saver for future preparation.

Page 5 - I really heart this page because lesson plans for unit studies can {don't have to be} unique. Lesson plans just need to be a thought or two. If you want more specifics, you can use the lesson planning pages on my curriculum planner. Try one, two, three or more of this page. Notice how there are 5 boxes. Five boxes helps you to plan one 5 day week. One box per day. Unit studies are about weaving the main theme into your subtopics. So one week's subtopic, for example Photosynthesis would go in the center box. The next week may be Art. Even the NEXT day you can switch subtopics or switch back to your main theme. Just put your subtopic in the box. Keep it organized, keep it straight. No insanity losing here.

The three sections around it I tend to use for the levels I am teaching. No matter how many children we have, most can be divided into elementary, middle school and high school. The bigger box I tend to use for the age group that I need more in depth space. It could be high school or if you don't have a highschooler, you need more space to write what you want to do for the day for your little ones.

Another appeal to a unit study is to challenge your children on higher thinking skills. So if you only have one or two groups that your children can be grouped into, use one of the boxes for a higher level concept. When you come back next year or the following year, you can review what you worked on and see if they grasp that concept now.

One more way I have used this three section division is to break down the subtopic  into smaller chunks. I did this with the subtopic "Living Cells' from our Rainfores into "Plant and Animal" cells. This box can be used for that. Switch it up each day if needed. I love it, love it.

Like I mentioned, the space is just enough to pencil in the general thought for the day. Feel the freedom because unit studies are about the choice to be as in depth or as surface level as you desire.

Print off as many as you need of this page and/or mix and match it with my regular curriculum planning pages.

Pages 6 - 7. Page 6 has the subjects that are listed on page 1 of the document. Most all unit studies will have "lists" of some sort to study. For the Rainforest, we studied some of Henri Rousseau's art. Listing his art here helped me to remember the titles and gave me a place to make my lesson plans for the next week.

Also, we listed the animal and plant cell and had a list of scientists. All of these things I wanted to be sure to cover or introduce. Words, character traits, spelling lists, list of kings, living things versus non-living things can be listed on these pages.

Page 8 - Assessment Page. Unit studies can be assessed the same way any other subject is. If you live in a state that requires it, this form allows you to put in your own standard. Like me, you may not in a state that requires record keeping but wish to track progress. I use the simple standard of 1 - 5 at the top. At the bottom under the teacher score you can add that number and give it a letter grade.

Without overwhelming you, I hope this form and my few brief notes gives you an idea of how I plan my unit studies. I have printed off a couple for my planner but too I can download and use during the year  and store them in my pockets of the binder for each year.

If you read down to here, I have one more little "surprise" printable for you. Yep, I have been holding back. It is a 2 page month spread for the Curriculum Planner following the Academic Year. I only had the 2 page spread offered for a physical year and you have been so nice you didn't say a word about it. It bugged me not having the same month calendar as the academic year I am going to follow this year. So here are two color choices if you are following the academic year. I apologize if you printed off the physical year but the "blog contest" threw me off my planning in a good way. So I want to be sure you get this now.

This calendar group I call cotton candy. It has pink, light pink-orange, a gray-green, and blue for the note section. Cotton candy is blue right?

Download it here.

This second option I call ocean. It has blues and green hues. Reminds me of the ocean.

Download it here.

We have a Blogabration to plan and I plan on taking off some time these next few days.

I was inspired by this quote today as I am feeling whimsical today.....

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."

~ Audrey Hepburn~

Hugs and you know love ya!


Categories: Unit Studies, Giveaways, Dynamic 2 Moms Planner Printables