An Important Overview of Unit Study Kits

Please take the time to acquaint yourself with this information and read it thoroughly, as it includes important details about how to access and use the Unit Study Kits.

NEW!  You need a password to access HCOS Unit Study Kit Guides, as they are now only being made available to HCOS students.  To access the password, you will need to log in to the Search Portal.

To find the passwords for various subscriptions and Unit Study Kits, choose the Subscriptions icon in the menu along the top.

This will take you to the Subscriptions page, which has the Unit Study Kit Guide and subscriptions links, usernames and passwords, or information where you can find them.  (Click on the word, “Name” at the top of the page to alphabetize the list.) Make note of the password and click on the link beside the subscription title.

To find the Unit Studies, hover over the Unit Study Kits tab on the main (mega) menu of this website, then click on the Grade and Subject button, such as Kindergarten Science. 

The links to the guides are below the information about the unit studies. Click on a guide and enter the password. You can download the guides to use offline. Read the instructions on the PDF Format tab to learn more.

Unit studies are a perfect way to facilitate your student’s learning as they immerse themselves in a wide variety of resources, subscriptions and activities, all of which have been carefully vetted and created by our unit study developer and teacher, Rachael Rennie, and the Learning Commons team of library staff.  They are suitable for all ages from Kindergarten through Grade 9.  

Unit Study Kits offer families a unique way to study and learn with mixed ages or grades. They cover science, social studies, humanities, and many even have a STEAM and Project-Based Learning component built in.  All of our kits offer a distinctly Biblical worldview.

The Ministry of Education has updated the content and curricular competencies for students in the Province of British Columbia. These kits have been designed with these standards in mind. Each activity in this Unit Study addresses the competencies of the new BC’s Modernized Curriculum, and is marked with the following labels:

These quality resources and lesson plans will help your students meet the new BC Modernized Curriculum in science and social studies.  Each set of activities will have icons showing which goals of BC’s Modernized Curriculum the activity addresses.

For further information on the pedagogy behind the kits please check out the context in Socials document or Science document.  It will help give background to the new BC curriculum and our inclusion of these new learning standards in our Unit Study Kits.

Digital Kits use books from the OverDrive Virtual Library, subscriptions, and various other online tools.

  • For information regarding ePDFs, please see the Getting Started with OverDrive eBooks page. under the “PDF and Adobe Digital Editions” tab.
  • Before you access any eBooks, you must first install Adobe Digital Editions on your computer or device.  View instructions here.
  • OverDrive eBooks may be accessed immediately from the appropriate grade on the “Unit Study Kits” menu on this website.  To access the eBooks recommended access OverDrive via the Search Portal (click on catalogue/ebooks once signed in).    Or, sign in separately to OverDrive and access via this icon.  

  • You are limited to a maximum of 5 books on OverDrive per account.  
  • If none of the required eBooks for a particular Unit Study Kit are available, we will purchase more copies.  Please Contact Pippa Davies,

Each key question will have books to read, videos to watch, subscriptions to use and activities to share with your child. You will not be required to complete all activities listed under each key question. Instead, you will be able to choose activities which most appeal to you and your child.  

All unit studies are checked to ensure links are working. You will need to access the unit study guide online as it has clickable links. It can be found through the “Unit Study Kits” main menu above. Hover over “Unit Study Kits” and select the appropriate grade level.

Several of our subscriptions are used throughout each Unit Study. To log in to these subscriptions, enter the Search Portal, then Login.  When you are logged in to the search portal, you will see this menu at the top of the page:

Choosing “Subscriptions” will take you to a page with all the names, links, usernames and passwords for each subscription our school offers.  Also, the links in the guide should open automatically once you’re logged in.

Each key question featured in the unit will include recommendations on how many activities to complete in order to fully address the curriculum content and competencies. Each set of activities will have icons showing which goals of BC’s Modernized Curriculum the activity addresses.

You are encouraged to choose varied activities to ensure all goals are being addressed. In order to fully meet the goals of this kit, it is important to read many of the recommended books.

Physical Kits use print materials from our physical commons and are available to enrolled patrons only.

When you book a kit through our Search Portal, it will be shipped to your home via CanPar free of charge, (up to the limit of 14 shipments for Enrolled patrons), and HCOS will send a courier to pick them up from your home after use. Kits may include novels, reference books, DVD’s, games, slides, puzzles, etc.

To access the Unit Study Kit Guide online you will require a password to access. View the instructions on the Overview Tab.   These online Guides are formatted in Google Docs and will provide the links to the various online resources.  


Digital Unit Study Kits are available to all patrons, whereas Physical Unit Study Kits (using printed books) are only available to enrolled patrons.  For a comparison of registered vs. enrolled, please see this page.

For our very popular Science and Social Studies Unit Study Kits, there is a limit of 4 per family out at one time, and only one kit per subject and grade. 

For example, you may borrow one Gr. 5 Science kit and one Gr. 5 Socials kit at one time, but not two Gr. 5 Science kits at one time.

Once you have returned a kit, you may borrow another one.  Many families choose to schedule deliveries of Unit Study Kits to arrive at various times throughout the school year using our advanced booking feature in the Search Portal.

  • The Learning Commons offers 14 FREE shipments (7 round trips sent and returned) per family per school year (August 1 – July 31st) for Enrolled Patrons. That is one shipment every 7 weeks. Once the limit is reached, the enrolled family is responsible for paying 50% of the shipping cost which can be paid be from student funding.
  • The loan period is seven weeks which does NOT include shipping time. You have the FULL seven weeks to use the material.
  • Mini Unit Studies are loaned out for 4 weeks.
  • Overlapping bookings – are not allowed if they go over the limit of 35 items within the 7 week loan period.
  • Back to back bookings – are not allowed. Items can be renewed twice, for a 4 week period.Be mindful of the number of shipments your orders create.  Once you reach the 14 Free shipment limit, you will be required to pay 50% of the shipping costs.

Unit Study Kit Guides are available in Google Doc format, but you can easily transfer over to PDF if you prefer using this format.

  1. Select the box next to each file you will convert. …
  2. Click the More button, then select Download… from the drop-down menu. …
  3. The Convert and Download dialogue box will appear. …
  4. Select a conversion format for each group. …
  5. Click Download to begin converting and downloading the files.