Different Approaches to the New Unit Study Kits

The new unit studies are laid out differently from the old kits.  There are no daily lessons, which allows you to be flexible in how you approach the units, choosing the activities that work best for your student.

Here is an example of how two different families approached the Grade 2 Local Actions have Global Consequences Physical unit study.  One is a planned approach, the other is a more “plan as you go” approach. Life happens, so remember to be flexible when you are planning your own approach!

Planned Approach:

Cindy is the mom of three busy kids, in grades K, 2 and 4. She likes to have things planned out in advance so she can be prepared.  Cindy booked her unit studies for the year and knows when they will be arriving at her doorstep. She also ensured she had her passwords for L4U/Overdrive and the subscriptions saved!  A few days before she knows the kit will arrive, she took 2 hours one evening to map out her 6 week plan for this unit.

She downloaded and printed the parent guide from the Learning Commons website, https://hcslearningcommons.org/unit-study-resource-kits/.  Having the guide on the computer gives her quick access to the links provided.  Cindy likes to have her own paper copy of the guide so she can highlight videos and activities as she plans.

On the How to Use This Kit page of the guide, Cindy noted that the suggestion is to read all of the books, and watch 10 – 12 videos. Each section also noted how many activities to do.  There was a lot to choose from, so it felt a bit overwhelming, but Cindy got her highlighter ready!

Cindy created a 6 week daily plan, knowing there would likely be changes. She kept Fridays as a “catch up” day if they get behind. She aimed for 1 to 1.5 hours daily for the unit, depending on the activity chosen. She worked that into her daily schedule for all subjects. Cindy also used a Google doc to note what was done and shared it with her teacher so portfolios would be easier.

Week 1

Day 1 Wants vs. Needs: A Place to Live Read aloud and discuss questions.

Activity: Giving to Others

Day 2 Watch: Community Rules and Laws (Discovery Education) 15 min.

Activity: Rights and Responsibilities: watch Brain Popjr. video

Day 3  Wants vs. Needs: Food and Drink: Read aloud and discuss questions.

Activities: Reading Around the World (go to local library) and Field Trip to Food Bank

Day 4 Watch Reading Rainbow: Boxes for Katje (Discovery Education) 9 min.

Do the grocery store flyer list of needs & wants.

Day 5  Finish activity: Activity: Rights and Responsibilities Poster.

 

Week 2

Day 1 Wants vs. Needs: Clothes  Read aloud and discuss questions.

Day 2  Watch: The Difference Between Wants and Needs (Discovery Education) 16 min.

Activity: Our Africa Videos and do Cool Country Report

Day 3  Wants vs. Needs: Possessions: Read and discuss questions.

Activity:  Service Activity and donate items.

Day 4 Continue –  Cool Country Report

Day 5 Activity: Peace Is…Book (if we have time!)

 

Week 3

Day 1  Justine McKeen, Queen of Green –  read 2 chapters aloud

Watch: Rodney Raccoon Goes Green (Discovery Education) 23min.

Day 2   Our Global Community: Schools Read and discuss questions.

Activity: Holding the Earth Art

Day 3  Justine McKeen, Queen of Green –  read 2 chapters aloud

Activity: Technology Time: Play the Super Sorter Recycling Game. 

Activity: Endangered Species Report

Day 4 Watch: Sid the Science Kid: Save the Stump (Discovery Education) 26 min.

Activity: Endangered Species Report

Day 5 Activity: Endangered Species Report – finish

 

Week 4

Day 1  Justine McKeen, Queen of Green – read 2 chapters aloud

Activity: Caring for the Earth Story on Storybird

Day 2  Three Cheers for Trees: A Book about our Carbon Footprint  Read and discuss questions.

Activity: Caring for the Earth Story on Storybird

Day 3  Justine McKeen, Queen of Green –  read 2 chapters aloud

Activity: How do Oil Spills Harm Wildlife

Day 4  Watch: Keeping the Hive Alive (Learn 360) 32 min.

Activity: Caring for the Earth Story on Storybird

Day 5  Finish: Caring for the Earth Story on Storybird

 

Week 5

Day 1  Justine McKeen, Queen of Green – read 2 chapters aloud

Activity: Carl Gets Some Rest EPA Colouring Book

Day 2  Trash Magic: A Book About Recycling a Plastic Bottle  Read and discuss questions.

Day 3  Justine McKeen, Queen of Green – finish the book

Watch: Save Energy: Recycle Plastic (Learn 360) 1 min.

Save Energy: Recycle Glass (Learn 360)  1 min.

Day 4  Watch: Mission Recyclable (Learn 360) 28 min.

Activity: Carl Gets Some Rest EPA Colouring Book

Day 5  Activity: Field Trip – to our local river.

 

Week 6

Days 1 – 5 What’s Sprouting in My Trash: A Book about Composting  Read and discuss questions.

Activity: Build an Ecosystem – take the week to do this one and finish any other projects.

Videos: Recommend 10-12, completed: 10

Activities: Recommend 5-8 for 1st section.  Completed: 9

Recommend 6-12 for 2nd section. Completed:  8

_________________________________________________________________

Plan as You Go Approach:

Mary also has 3 kids in grades K, 2 and 4.  Here is her experience with the unit study:

Week 1

Hooray!  The kit came today and the kids are so excited!

Whoa,  there is so much to do…oh wait, we don’t have to do it all! We can pick the videos and activities we want as long as we do enough to cover the topics.  Kate has already picked out a few she wants to do! I better look up the guide online as there are a lot of links. I think I’ll keep my camera handy so I can take pictures of the projects as she’s working on them.

Just emailed our teacher for the subscription passwords so Kate can watch some videos.

We read Wants vs. Needs: A Place to Live,    Wants vs. Needs: Clothes and

Wants vs. Needs: Food and Drink. 

Kate had fun going through our closets! We donated clothes for the Service Activity.

She also chose to do My Extended Community (Technology Activity) blog which took all week to do.

Week 2

The kids caught colds so I was glad there were videos to watch!  Kate was able to open the links herself since my password is saved for Discovery  and Learn 360!

She watched:

Community Rules and Laws (Discovery Education)

Reading Rainbow: Our Big Home, an Earth Poem (Discovery Education)

Reading Rainbow: Boxes for Katje (Discovery Education)

If the World Were a Village (Learn 360)

The Difference Between Wants and Needs (Discovery Education)

For activities, she put on music: World Music

And did Random Acts of Kindness Challenge for her sick siblings.

Pen-Pals Around the World – we contacted friends in Mexico City via Facebook and she emailed their daughter!

 

Week 3

We read: Wants vs. Needs: Possessions and Our Global Community: Schools

Kate made a Paper Mache Globe which took 3 days to complete.

She also did the Community Comparison Activity and learned about Ghana.

Instead of Care Kits for the Homeless we put together shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.

 

Week 4

This week we read Justine McKeen, Queen of Green and Three Cheers for Trees: A Book about our Carbon Footprint

We had some good conversations about recycling and Kate decided to make the string-covered vase. She also did Recycling Kid Art, and Caring for the Earth Story as a physical book;

Technology Time: Have fun exploring NASA’s Climate Kids website

She also watched Balltown: Environment (Discovery Education), Reading Rainbow Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning (Discovery Education), Reading Rainbow: Jack, the Seal, and the Sea (Learn 360) and Don’t Pollute: Berenstain Bears (Learn 360)

 

Week 5

We read Trash Magic: A Book About Recycling a Plastic Bottle and watched

A Future for Frogs (Learn 360) and Rainforests (Learn 360)

Activities this week: Simulated Oil Spill and report, which took 3 days to do.

Technology Time: Played Light it Right

 

Week 6

We read What’s Sprouting in My Trash: A Book about Composting

Kate did the Sandwich Bag Compost Experiment

And from the first section,  Kate made drawings  of 5 important rights:  United Nations Rights of the Child and played the The Fair Trade Game with her older sister.

Videos: Recommend 10-12, completed: 12

Activities: Recommend 5-8 for 1st section.  Completed: 10

Recommend 6-12 for 2nd section. Completed:  6

As you can see, these are two very different approaches! Both work well for the families involved.  You may fall in between these two approaches…that’s great!  Make it your own!

We have created a Unit Study Planning Sheet for the unit studies which you can use as a place to start.  You have six weeks for the units and in some cases, you will be done sooner.  If you run out of time and have to send the kit back, you have the option of using the online guide for activities, or you can use the Digital unit and access eBooks to finish the unit!  Online guides

We are here to help you, so please contact us with your questions!

Physical L4U library:  Shandra Wiebe swiebe@onlineschool.ca

Overdrive and Research:  Pippa Davies pdavies@onlineschool.ca

Curriculum questions:  Natalie Sing nsing@onlineschool.ca

Subscription info and passwords:  Beth Johnson bjohnson@onlineschool.ca

Blessings,

Shandra Wiebe

Library Resource Administrator

Comments

  1. Shandra, I love this article. I had to laugh when it reached my inbox b/c I thought my name should be Cindy. Thanks for the hard work you all put in to helping us teach our kids.

    Like

  2. shandrawiebe says:

    Hey Laura, I confess…I am a Cindy too! Glad this brought a smile to your day!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: