Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to create a Unit Study

A unit study is a theme or topic that you approach from various angles and resources. Content areas such as History, Math, Science, Bible, and the Arts are better suited for unit studies than skill areas like math and English because these areas must be taught precept upon precept. Of course, there are many fine companies that provide pre-made unit studies, such as Amanda Bennett, Hands of a Child and Beautiful Feet, but, perhaps you’d like to create your own. Here’s how:

1.      Brainstorm your initial topic and get it defined to the point that you can create a course description with objectives and goals. (i.e. my 8 year old wants to learn more about horses, my 11 year old wants to learn more about the 1800’s, my 16 needs a great study on the 20th century for a high school lit/history unit.

2.      Do an internet search/ initial research on your topic and refine as needed, (i.e. define it clearly enough so that it is not so broad that it consumes the entirety of your elementary life, or so narrow that there is not information about it).

3.      Create a reading, movie, T.V. list based on your course description and research

4.      Brainstorm activities and projects, for instance:

1.      dioramas
2.      presentations/short skits
3.      field trips
4.      community experts
5.      cooking/foods
6.      games
7.      posters
8.      oral and written reports
9.      maps/geography
10.  memory work
11.  scrapbook
12.  video/ stop action animation
13.  Blog article (or a blog created to showcase the unit/YouTube
14.  Play mobile / Lego re-enactments,
15.  lap books

5.      Fit the activities and projects that you’ve chosen into various curriculum areas:
1.      literature
2.      history
3.      science
4.      math
5.      the Arts (music, fine arts, drama)
6.      phys.ed.

6.      Plan your Study (Create a notebook for your study- you might want to do it again!)

1.      Determine the time for the study- how long will it be, how often will you work on it.
2.      Schedule the resources you have readily available- books, DVD’s, people, etc.
3.      Schedule the projects for the unit –allow enough time for them!
4.      Schedule the reading for the unit
5.      Schedule the memory work for the unit
6.      Schedule field trips

7.      Create a fitting close to your successfully completed unit study like a grand finale field trip or a presentation/reenactment for Dad and Grandparents!
Unit studies are fun for young and old alike and can be either simple (the zoo) or complex (the 20th Century). They are only limited by your imagination!
I’d love to hear about the unit studies that you are creating!
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

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