29 April 2011
A Review: The Curiosity Files Red Tides Unit Study
Recently we have had the opportunity to review a unity study from The Old Schoolhouse magazine. We've done a couple of unit studies in the past so they're not entirely new to us, but we haven't used them much. I am beginning to wonder if using unit studies more often, especially with my son, might be very beneficial for us. It's a great way to incorporate so many different areas of learning into one topic.
This particular unit study was about red tides and is a part of The Curiosity Files offered by The Old Schoohouse magazine. I loved how it was laid out sort of like a detective's file~that was particular appealing to my daughter who loves a good mystery.
We had never heard of red tides, so we have very much enjoyed learning about them. We are huge beach and ocean lovers so this was right up our alley.
This unit study began with simply talking about what red tides are~and what they are not. It's set up in a Q&A format and The Princess and I had fun reading it together. She would read the question and then I would read the answer to her and Mr. B. It was a nice change of pace from their regular studies. They enjoy learning together with me reading to them.
After we had studied up on red tides it was time to see what we had learned. There are several fill in the blank/multiple choice/true & false worksheets to see what your student has retained. I was pleased with the results!
We learned about the food chain and types of algae that are in our foods. There's a great list of vocabulary words to learn and several corresponding worksheets to go along with the grammar section of the study.
In math we were introduced to the metric system. I had not yet taught my kiddos about that and this was a fun way to learn about it. You get to measure all sorts of things in your kitchen. There is much more to learn in this unit in the way of math, such as percentages, significant figures and rounding, but that was a bit advanced for my 2nd grader and K5'er.
There is a wonderful Bible study tucked in as well that talks about when God created the oceans and tides and also brings in some beautiful Psalms that talk about the waters. The handwriting/copywork incorporates these verses, too. As for more creative writing, there are several essay options for older students.
Continuing on with the language part of this unit the kiddos were introduced to *adjectives* and *articles* in several fun worksheets. There is also a fun little board game to print off and play to practice learning about these parts of language. My kids love games so this is a huge plus! There are also more worksheets that focus on vocabulary and spelling: some being for younger elementary and some for middle school and jr. high ages.
In reading about red tides known throughout history, there are fun activities to do such as creating a timeline. In geography there are links to follow to learn about red tides around the world along with a map to chart them.
In further science there are experiments to do and worksheets to go with them. My kids love experiments! It was amazing to learn about types of algae that are in the food we eat~among food that we do not eat:)
This unit study is even rounded out to include a song or two, coloring pages, puzzles, book lists and mini books or *snippets* to include in a lapbook, if you desire to make one.
I was very impressed with how very well-rounded educationally this study was. Even though I don't plan to school only with unit studies, I think these would be a wonderful supplement to our year. This especially works well into my plan to school year-round. I will definitely be looking into many more of the ebook offerings at The Old Schoolhouse magazine.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for my frank and unbiased review.
This post is linked to the Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup at The Happy Housewife.