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Unit Study

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Resources & Printables

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Resources & Printables

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd we decided to jump on the band wagon and do a small unit ourselves! Rather than try to cover everything, I just decided to use The Lorax. I have actually never read the book myself (gasp)! Here you will find a collection of The Lorax Resources that we found and love!

Also, the movie is now out in theaters and the kids want to see it, and I have this thing about reading the book before you see the movie!

The Lorax Resources

I started by looking for the book at our local library, but alas no luck. Given it is Dr. Seuss celebration time (in honor of his birthday on March 2nd), they were all checked out! If I had thought ahead I would have purchased my own copy the book.

Instead I found what I could on the fly and purchased the interactive book for my iPad instead. Ava just loves it, and it helps out when I am busy with the older two because she chooses the read to me feature and lets the app do the reading (it also has corresponding sounds that she really likes)!

As I dug around for some resources and activities, I decided to compile them together, not only so that I could find them again, but so that I could share them as well!

The Lorax Printables

The Lorax Unit Studies

Project Tree Learning

This package of Project Learning Tree activities was created by PLT in conjunction with The U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) Discover the Forest campaign to encourage parents and children to spend time in forests and reconnect with nature. There are activities from kids from pre-K through 8th grade:

  1. Who Speaks for the Trees? – Students read (or watch!) Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and examine the importance of the sustainable management of natural resources. (Grades 2-8)
  2. We All Need Trees – Students are often surprised to learn how many different products we get from trees. Use this activity to help your students learn just how much we depend on trees in our daily lives. (Grades PreK-6)
  3. Three Cheers for Trees – It’s easy to take for granted both trees and the many benefits they provide. In this activity, students picture how their community would be different without trees and think about how much trees add to people’s lives. (Grades 1-4)
  4. Forest for the Trees – In this activity, students will role-play managing a Tree Farm. By using a piece of land as an example, they will begin to understand the economic factors that influence management decisions for private forest lands. (Grades 4-8)
  5. 400-Acre Wood – In this activity, students will play the role of managers of a 400-acre (162 hectare) piece of public forest. Through this role, students will begin to understand the complex considerations that influence management decisions about forest lands. (Grades 7-8)
  6. Plant a Tree – Never underestimate the power of a tree! Besides giving us an amazing array of paper and wood products, trees provide a host of other benefits—from shading our backyards to assisting in the maintenance of the global climate. Students can express their appreciation of trees by planning and carrying out their own tree-planting project. (Grades 1-8)

The Lorax Unit Study/Lapbook

This is a FREE Lorax Unit Study with Lapbook Printables.

This includes lesson plans as well as printable lapbook components.

Learn about:

  • vocabulary
  • the parts of a tree
  • pollution
  • recycling
  • counting money
  • and more!

Be sure to check out The Lorax Lapbook Activities for more pictures and details!

Crafts/Activities

The Lorax Discussion questions

  1. What was the land like before the Once-ler came?
  2. Did the Once-ler like the trees? Why did he chop down the first truffula tree?
  3. What did the Lorax mean when he said “I speak for the trees?”
  4. Why did the Once-ler keep “biggering and biggering” his factory?
  5. What happened to each animal as he did it? Bar-ba-loots? Swomee Swans? Humming Fish?
  6. What do you think he could have done differently while still ‘biggering’ his business?
  7. Can you cut down trees but still keep enough in the forest for the animals?
  8. How do trees help the earth: plants, animals, air quality, heat, noise, etc?
  9. What could the Once-ler have done differently to help each animal stay there?
  10. Do you think the Once-ler feels good about his decisions? Why or why not?
  11. What does the Once-ler say you can do with the truffula seed?
  12. Could he have done this while the factory was still making Thneeds?


The Lorax Resources & Printables from Starts At Eight

Other Dr. Seuss Fun:

A Preschool Readers List of Favorite Books from Starts At EightOur Favorite Dr Seuss Books from Starts At Eight. "oh the places you'll go!" Dr Seuss takes every little kid on a journey. Check out our favorites and some of the activities to go along with them!

Hands On Science: Magnets and Magnetism

Hands On Science: Magnets and Magnetism

Magnets and Magnetism offer a ton of fun hands on science experiments that you can easily do in your home. Here we have collected some resources to help you along in your study of magnets and magnetism.

Magnets and Magnetism Facts

  1. Magnets are objects that produce an area of magnetic force called a magnetic field.
  2. Magnetic fields by themselves are invisible to the human eye.
  3. Iron filings can be used to show magnetic fields created by magnets.
  4. Magnets only attract certain types of metals, other materials such as glass, plastic and wood aren’t attracted.
  5. Metals such as iron, nickel and cobalt are attracted to magnets. Most metals however are not attracted to magnets, some of these metals include copper, silver, gold, magnesium, platinum, and aluminium.
  6. Magnetism can attract magnetic objects or push them away.
  7. Magnets have a magnetic north pole and a magnetic south pole. If the same pole of two magnets are placed near each other they will repel each other (push away), while if different poles are placed near each other they will attract (pull together).
  8. Magnetic objects must be inside the magnetic field to respond, which is why you may have to move a magnet closer for it to have an effect.
  9. Magnetic compasses use the Earth’s magnetic field to help navigate in north, south, east and west directions.

Printables & Hands On Activities

The Magic School Bus Attracted to Magnificent Magnets Kit

  • Magnets Lapbook – Photos and ideas for a simple lapbook about magnets.  You can also download some of the templates for this at Homeschool Share (Scroll down to the “M” section and see “Magnets” where you will find little magnetic accordion books, pop-up and pull tab books.)
  • Magnetism on YouTube – this is a list of great video resources that pertain to magnetism.
  • Make a Magnetic Maze! – All you need is a piece of cardboard with a page protector glued to one side. Your printable maze of choice (these mazes from Mr. Printables are fun and free) a strong magnet and a paper clip.



Edu Science Magnet LabWe bought an Edu Science Know How? The Science of Magnetism to help us experiment with magnets.

Ava really wanted to make a compass and that is just one of the activities included in this kit. The kids started by playing “soccer” with magnets.

While Jayden continued with soccer, Ava moved on to figuring out how to make the car work in her favor!  Needless to say they both really enjoyed this kit and still have multiple projects left to explore.

Magnets Collage

More Hands On Science Fun

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate Activities from Starts At Eight. All things Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Calpurnia Tate discussion questions, vocabulary, study guide, microscope activities, free printables, art project and more!The Skeletal System: Hands-On Learning Resources from Starts At Eight. This is list of hands-on skeletal system activities, books, videos, and printables from teaching the skeletal system for all ages. Great homeschool activities such as Life Sized Human Skeletal Printable activity.Solar System Unit Study from Starts At Eight

Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples Unit Study

Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples Unit Study

We took advantage of the fall this year by learning about Johnny Appleseed and apples.  I found many free resources online, as well as taking books out of the library to supplement our studies.  We started by picking apples, learning about the life cycle of apples, and making applesauce.

Ava loved picking the apples directly from the tree.  One tree gave us two large bins full of apples, all of which we planned on using for applesauce and pies.  (Not just for us though, both my mother and mother-in-law were taking apples to cook with.)  Chloe just wanted to be up on top of the ladder!  Ava even stopped to eat a small apple or two!

Picking Apples Collage

Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples

Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples seem to go hand in hand. Fall is a great time to do this because you can go apple picking! {This unit has been updated from its original in 2012}

While Learning about Johnny Appleseed and Apples you can include many different hands on, reading, and printable experiences.

This unit includes things like:

  • How to Make Applesauce
  • Life Cycle of an Apple Tree
  • Apple Fractions
  • Who Was Johnny Appleseed
  • And More!

How to Make Applesauce

I am not sure I have ever made applesauce on my own.  I may have helped my mother here or there but this was my first time doing it with my children.  (Notice I had help from both my mother and mother-in-law!)

Much to our surprise Ava was a trooper when it came to apple peeling!  Not only did she stick with it the whole time, but she was having better luck with it that both Jayden and Chloe!

We basically peeled, cored, and cut apples to fill the pot we were using about 3/4 of the way.  The apples cook down a ton so we could fill it pretty full and not have to worry.  To make it the consistency we wanted we added apple cider (you could use water but the cider gives it a richer apple flavor).

Then of course we added cinnamon and sugar to sweeten it up!  The applesauce freezes really well so we filled many containers to freeze and have throughout the winter.

Making Applesauce Collage

Apple Resources

Apple Tree Life Cycle

1. Apple Pie Tree Book & Lapbook

In The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall,  two young sisters follow the progress of their apple tree through the seasons, from a bare tree in the winter, through the pink blossoms of the spring, to the apple picking in the autumn.

==>> Download FREE Apple Pie Tree Lapbook <<==

2. Life Cycle of an Apple Tree Activity

Using the Life Cycle of an Apple Tree Activity, Ava and I went through the life cycle of an apple tree and made this great paper plate representation of the cycle.

Life Cycle of Apples from Starts At Eight

Johnny Appleseed Resources

After completing our apple study we rolled right in to Johnny Appleseed.  I really love it when we can read books, view videos and do some hands on activities for a unit, and we were able to do that here.

Johnny Appleseed and Apples Lapbook

Since Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples go hand in hand so we chose to make a lapbook that included both things.

I compiled various pieces from the resources above as well as these FREE Johnny Appleseed Lapbook Components to complete our lapbook.

Ava loves having these as a representation of what she has accomplished. She keeps them on the bookshelf in her room and often reads through them again and again.

Johnny Appleseed / Apple Unit from Starts At Eight

Teaching Seasons and Months Using A Busy Year

Teaching Seasons and Months Using A Busy Year

Teaching seasons and months was one of the things I loved best when the kids were little! There are so many colorful books, songs, and printables available for teaching seasons and months!

Teaching Seasons and Months

{This post was originally from 2012 and has been updated with current links and more resources}

A Busy Year by Leo Lionni ~ Seasons & Months Printables & Resources from Starts At EightAva and I have been reading A Busy Year by Leo Lionni.  This book is a fantastic base for digging into both the seasons and months of the year, as well as a great story to work on story sequencing.  I compiled some fun activities to reinforce these concepts.

4 Seasons Printables:

Months of the Year Printables:

We used a cut/paste activity sheet to match the month to what happened in A Busy Year. (While the one we used isn’t available anymore, I created something similar.)

==>> Get the FREE A Busy Year Sequencing Printable Here <<==

The Spring, Summer, Fall Winter coloring sheet was done separately and just added on. Here are a few free Seasons Coloring Sheets to choose from:

A Busy Year by Leo Lionni ~ Seasons & Months Printables & Resources from Starts At Eight

Months of the Year Song:

A Busy Year Discussion Questions:

Here are some basic discussion questions to use with your child.  Some are straight forward comprehension questions and others rely on the child to think a little bit deeper:

  1. Where do Willie and Winnie live?  (McBarney Barn)
  2. How did the twins feel when they heard Woody talk? (surprised)
  3. In this book what is the weather like in March? (windy and rainy)
  4. Why does Woody like the rain? (Trees need rain to grow)
  5. What is your favorite type of weather?
  6. Woody says that May is “my month!”  What does Woody look like in May? (he has blossoms and leaves)
  7. What is your favorite season or month? Why?
  8. How do Willie and Winnie help Woody in July? (They use a hose to keep the fire from getting to Woody)
  9. Tell about a time when you helped someone.
  10. Where do the twins go in August? (to the seashore)
  11. What does Woody have int September? (fruit)
  12. What type of fruit do you think it is? (any fruit that grows on trees and looks similar, ex. apple)
  13. What happens to Woody in October? (leaves blow off)  How do the twins feel about this? (sad or worried)
  14. What presents did Willie and Winnie give to Woody for Christmas? ( flower seeds to plant, bulbs, manure)

You can also use this A Busy Year Book Companion that includes things like vocabulary practice and a mini tree report.

Fredrick was Ava’s favorite and she was thrilled that it was one of the ones done in the video Swimmy…and more classic Leo Lionni stories.

More Seasonal Unit Studies

SPRING: Homeschool Gardening Unit

Homeschool Gardening Unit from Starts At Eight

SUMMER: Teach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle BooksTeach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle Books from Starts At Eight

WINTER: 3 Fun Snowman Activities

3 Fun Snowman Activities from Starts At Eight

FALL: Johnny Appleseed Unit

Johnny Appleseed / Apple Unit from Starts At Eight

Homeschool Resources for Teaching Ancient Rome

Homeschool Resources for Teaching Ancient Rome

For whatever reason I love teaching Ancient History. Maybe it’s the incredible way they built things like the pyramids, or intrigue with how different things were then, whatever it is, Ancient History can be a really fun and hands on learning experience. Here I have collected some fabulous resources to get you starting on your way to teaching Ancient Rome in your homeschool! {PLUS there is a giveaway so keep scrolling to find it!}

Homeschool Resources: Teaching Ancient Rome from Starts At Eight is a collection of printables, books, art, hands-on activities and more for teaching Ancient Rome in your homeschool.

Rome wasn’t built in a day (as this old saying says). The history of Rome is long and complex, including rich historic cities with historic sites like the Roman Colosseum, a monarchy turned republic turned empire, and even famous people like Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.

Homeschool Resources for Teaching Ancient Rome

Project Passport: Ancient Rome

From the beginnings with Romulus and Remus, through the Roman Republic and the rise and fall of an Empire that spanned centuries, you will meet various people, explore places, and witness events that formed this amazing era of history! So, pack your bags and get ready for a journey back in time

Project Passports are designed to teach history hands-on, and with over 50 projects to choose from, the selections are plenty! Pictured below is just one of the awesome projects included!

Project Passport: Ancient Rome is designed to take you on a trip to a historic destination, the students are provided with printables to make a passport and luggage folder for their travels. Ample information is provided through engaging Text Lessons for Twenty-five “Stops” along the journey. As they learn about the history and culture of the era, the Itinerary will provide projects assigned to each “Stop” along the way and the directions on what to print, supplies needed, and how to make them.

What do you get?

Several components are provided to make your journey a memorable one! Beautifully illustrated printables are provided to make the following!

  • “Scrapbook of Sights” containing several notebooking projects, such as a timeline, maps, and more
  • “Dining Out Guide” to experience the era through your taste buds!
  • A 12-page Newspaper of articles and advertising encouraging creative writing and illustration
  • A dozen 3-D Souvenirs to make
  • A full Lap Book with over a dozen projects of its own!

Also provided is Dramatized Audio, where you can hear the words of famous people and witness events as they happened! After all, what travel is complete without a guided tour?

Check out my in-depth review of Ancient Rome’s counter part: Ancient Egypt!

Ancient Egypt Unit Study from Homeschool in the Woods - Starts At Eight

Ancient History Video Art Lessons

Homeschool Resources: Teaching Ancient Rome from Starts At Eight is a collection of printables, books, art, hands-on activities and more for teaching Ancient Rome in your homeschool.

Ancient History Video Art Lessons are a part of the You Are An Artist Video Art Lesson library from ChalkPastel.com

Ancient History Video Art Lessons Include:

  • Greek philosopher
  • Chinese Emperor
  • Ancient Buddha under Bodhi tree
  • Alexander the Great: helmet
  • Ancient Rome: Coliseum
  • Peloponnesian Wars: Spartan & Athenian soldiers
  • The Roman Empire: Caesar
  • The Life of Jesus: Sermon on the Mount

Story of the World

The Story of the World is an award-winning resource for families looking for a story based history curriculum. Told in the straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer’s trademark, this four-volume set covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas.

Each Story of the World volume provides a full year history curriculum including the reading text, activity/workbook book, and tests (There are also engaging audio versions of the reading text.).

Volume 1: Ancient Times (5000 BC to 400 AD) – Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor

https://www.pinterest.com/hmc3898/story-of-the-world-resources/

Books for Teaching Ancient Rome


Other Ancient Rome Resources

  1. Teaching Resources from Mr. Dowling – these are for high school level and include Power Point Presentations, YouTube Videos and MP3s
  2. Ancient Rome Unit Study – teaches students about Ancient Rome and the many influences they have had on our modern world. Includes reading selections, worksheets, enrichment projmects and more.
  3. History Scribe – Kids learn as they draw and write through history. Includes over 34 pages to illustrate and narrate.
  4. Simple Printable Timeline – This is a great reference sheet for creating a timeline
  5. Horrible Histories Rotten Romans

Other Great History Resources

How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan from Starts At Eight. How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan is a step by step guide to using a timeline as the spine for your homeschool history studies.Historical Fiction Learning History Through Literature from Starts At EightTeaching History Through Movies from Starts At Eight. Teaching History Through Movies is a great way to make history come alive. This landing page tells how we do this, where to get & what movies we are viewing. As we watch and find resources for movies I will add them here. American History, World History, Biographies and more!It Helps to Memorize History - Lists & Resources for History Memorization from Starts At Eight. It helps to memorize history as it creates "pegs" to hang information on. This is a list of important history things to memorize and help for doing it.Using the Who Was Series Biographies for Homeschool History {With FREE Printable Notebook Pages} from Starts At EightFun With Geography: FREE World Geography Printables from Starts At Eight

 

Winter Olympics Resources

Winter Olympics Resources

The Winter Olympics are fast approaching!  I remember doing a unit study with the kids for the last Winter Olympics and I loved it so much – More than they did I am pretty sure!

One thing I love about unit studies is the chance to spend so much time on a subject, really getting to learn and know so much more about it.  Unit studies allow you to include math, science, art, writing, history and more all from one topic! We are in full preparation to spend a couple of weeks learning about the history of the Olympics, this years location, and all the sporting events!

The Winter Olympics is a great opportunity to include various subjects together. Here are Winter Olympics art projects, unit studies, books, printables and other Winter Olympic resources from Starts At Eight.

Be sure to follow all the action on the Olympic Games Website!

Winter Olympics Art

Today I would like to share our Winter Olympics Art with Chalk Pastels and a few other great Olympic resources that we are using this year.

Winter Olympics Art with Chalk Pastels from Starts At Eight

Thanks to You Are An Artist we have yet another way to incorporate art into our homeschool! Using A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels: Winter Olympics eBook we have created some fun art.
A-Simple-Start-in-Chalk-Pastels-Winter-Olympics-476x600
Things to create in the book:

  • Olympic torch
  • bobsled
  • downhill skier
  • Olympic skate
  • hockey stick and puck
  • Olympic mountain scene
  • Olympic medals

You can also get this as a VIDEO ART COURSE! With the Winter Games Video Art Lessons you get step-by-step instructions, techniques that encourage both new artists and challenge more advanced ones and you can even join a Facebook group where you can share your artwork and ask questions! As a BONUS: If you purchase the Video Art Lessons you will receive the Winter Games Simple Starts in Chalk Pastels ebook I mentioned above!

Winter Olympics Unit Studies

1. Winter Games 2018 from Amanda Bennett


As you explore Winter Games 2018 with your family, you will find the following areas of learning included in the Winter Games 2018 study (pictured above):

  • History of the ancient Olympics
  • Science and the laws of physics in sports
  • Sports and the human body
  • World geography, both ancient and modern
  • World politics and its influence on international sports

The Winter Games Unit Study Adventure is a digital 4-week study, meaning your children can work through the study interactively. Each day’s lesson plan has been written in two levels: Lower Level (elementary grades) and Upper Level (junior/senior high grades), enabling the whole family to learn together. Includes the new Winter Games 2018 Companion Lapbook.


Winter Olympics Printables

  1. Winter Olympics Sports Bundle – Into the Olympics?  Learn more about many of the Winter Olympic sports including alpine skiing, bobsled, curling, figure skating, speed skating, snowboarding and more!
  2. Unit Study/ Reading Comprehension for Grades 4-8 – Stimulate interest and awareness in the history of the Winter Olympic Games and how they evolved. Study the traditions and the ceremonies held before and after the Games. Develop an awareness of the types of sporting events and the Canadian athletes participating in them.
  3. Lapbook & Study Guide (while this is the 2014 edition, much of it is general winter Olympics based) get the history, learn about the symbols, track the medals in each event and more!
  4. Winter Olympic Games 2018 – Complete Non-Prep Unit for grades 2-5 – Where is PyeongChang and what’s it like there? Learn more about the history. Tons of reading comprehension activities in this unit!
  5. 2018 Printable Schedule
  6. Olympics Lapbook – FREE Printable Lapbook from Homeschool Helper Online
  7. Winter Olympics History Year by Year
  8. Unit Study Workbook for kids in grades 3-6
  9. FREE Winter Olympics Bingo Game
  10. Printable Winter Olympics Pack – For children ages 2-9. These printables were made to go with the book G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet. Among these printables you will find writing, math and language activities.

Pinterest Board

Be sure to follow my Pinterest Board for more activities, printables, crafts, history lessons, and more! I am always adding as I find new stuff!

Winter Olympics Pinterest Board from Starts At Eight

More Winter Activities

Beyond the Olympics there are so many fun themes to explore for winter! Topics like snow, snowmen and snowflakes, winter sports like ice skating and sledding, winter animals like polar bears and penguins and so much more! Check out some of the other fun winter things here at Starts At Eight!

Paper Snowflake Craft from Starts At Eight3 Fun Snowman Activities from Starts At EightWilson "Snowflake" Bentley Unit from Starts At EightWhen the Snow Flies: Answers for Winter Physical Education from Starts At Eight

Big Girl Cocoa - Includes Our Favorite Hot Chocolate Recipes from Starts At EightCritters In The Cold

Using Horse Stories for a Horse Unit Study {FREE Printable Worksheets}

Using Horse Stories for a Horse Unit Study {FREE Printable Worksheets}

We can’t learn enough about horses in our house! Everything is horse related,  from horse coloring, to horse movies, horse stories, horseback riding lessons, 4-H club, and even horse apparel. Not only are we doing equine science as our science this year, but we are also using some other horse stories and books for some more horsey fun and hands on learning.

Using Horse Stories and Non-Fiction Books for a Horse Unit Study from Starts At Eight. Using Horse Stories is a great way to foster a love of learning with fun stories and hands on knowledge! Includes FREE Printable Horse Knowledge Worksheets.

We have an extensive collection of fiction books with horses as the primary focus, as well as a collection of non-fiction horse books for reference and learning purposes.

Fiction Books for the Young Horse Lover from Starts At EightHelpful Books for Young Horse Riders from Starts At Eight

Despite all of this, we can never have enough horse books in our house!

Lucky for us we have found some new horse books to add to our collection! Candlewick Press has both fiction and non-fiction horse books that we are using to extend our fun reading and increase our basic horse knowledge. {I received copies of these books and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Using Horse Stories for a Horse Unit Study

Horse Stories

Using Horse Stories and Non-Fiction Books for a Horse Unit Study is a great way to foster a love of learning with fun stories and hands on knowledge!

1. Chancey: Horses of the Maury River Stables (ages 9-12 years)

On the night that Chancey is born, a “fire star” gallops across the sky, a signal that a great horse has entered the world. But it will take many years of slights and hardships before the orphaned albino will believe that the prophecy is truly meant for him. First he must find a home at the Maury River Stables and a girl named Claire who needs him as much as he needs her. Then, when his aching joints and impending blindness bring an end to their training together, he must start a new chapter as a therapeutic horse, healing people with wounds both visible and unseen. In the manner of a latter-day Black Beauty, Chancey’s observant voice narrates this absorbing story, filled with fascinating details of life at the stable and keen insight into equine instinct, human emotion, and the ineffable bond that connects them both.

On the night that Chancey is born, a “fire star” gallops across the sky, a signal that a great horse has entered the world. But it will take many years of slights and hardships before the orphaned albino will believe that the prophecy is truly meant for him.

2. Macadoo: Horses of the Maury River Stables (ages 9-12 years)

When Macadoo is just a colt, he challenges his father?—?a huge Belgian stallion?—?in order to protect his dam. From that moment on, Mac knows that his purpose in life is to help others. From surviving a kill auction to learning how to be a vaulting horse to giving therapeutic riding lessons, Mac is always patient and never loses hope in his mission to serve others?—?and he finds the courage to “walk on” through even the most difficult circumstances.

3. Dante: Horses of the Maury River Stables (ages 9-12 years)

Dante’s Inferno may be the grandson of the greatest racehorse in modern times, but his start proves a rough one, both in life and on the track. When Dante fails as a racehorse, he lands briefly at a Thoroughbred rescue facility run by rehabilitating prisoners before being adopted as a project horse at the Maury River Stables. It’s not easy for Dante to make friends — horse or human — but slowly, horses Daisy and Napoleon bring him into the fold, and the girl Ashley begins to work with him. Can Dante put his fears aside and find redemption as an eventing horse?

Handsome but headstrong, a retired racehorse finds a second chance in this affecting, fast-paced novel that comes straight from the horse’s mouth.

Why We Love These Horse Stories

One of the coolest things about these three books is that they are told from the perspective of each horse. Because they are all set at the  Maury River Stables you also get to hear about all 3 of these horses in each of the three books, seeing each one from the other’s perspective and hearing their continued stories.
Each of these books is full of horse facts, terminology, and information. From the places and food they are fed, the tack that is used to ride them, their types of gaits, breeds, colors and more. Seeing as I have a love of historical fiction because it brings history to life, I love these books because they bring the horse world to life.

Horse Fun Word Search

Horse Fun Word Search Words FREE Printable from Starts At Eight

I have created a Horse Fun Word Search Printable (this is a pdf of the Word List Page above and the letter search box) that includes some of the horse terminology found in each one of these books.

Besides just doing the word search there are some other things you can have your children do with horse terminology:

  • Have them find the terms in the books as they go.
  • Write each word on a separate piece of paper and write definitions for them.
  • Have them create their own list of horse terminology as they read through the books.
  • Create a horse terminology book by using the list they have made. They can use these FREE Notebook Pages to draw or print picture of the terms and write a description of each term.

Horse Non-Fiction

While both of these books are listed for younger ages, they can be used for older children as well. While the information is presented in a fun and engaging way for little kids, the information covered it relevant to all equine lovers.

Our 4-H group has boys and girls from ages 8-13 and these books were a wonderful reference as we work through our 4-H book in the hopes of earning their first star!

1. A Field Full of Horses (ages 4-8 years)

“Every child who has ever clambered up the back of a pony or dreamed of owning a horse will delight in A FIELD FULL OF HORSES. Full of interesting facts about horses, this handsome book captures the very essence of horses for the very young.”

With pretty painted images, and tons of information sprinkled throughout this book makes a great lap time read aloud, a fun book for younger kids to flip through on their own, and a good reference for basic horse knowledge.

2. Horse: The Essential Guide for Young Equestrians (ages 6-9 years)

“Two experienced stable hands pass on their hard-won knowledge about such tasks as grooming and feeding, tacking up, and keeping equipment in top shape, along with tips on how to mount and dismount and perfect your riding posture so it seems you were born with a set of reins in your hands.” Among this book’s many novelty features are:

  • A lift-the-flap saddle
  • Ribbon stickers
  • Informative booklets
  • Pull-out cards
  • A certificate of achievement at the end

This book contains lift a flaps, pull-outs, mini books, and more, that add to the fun as well as containing tons of extra information! This book includes topics like horse markings, riding gear, breeds, tack, feeding and care, parts of a horse and basic riding skills.

Horse Knowledge Worksheet Printables

To go along with the non-fiction horse books as well as the horse stories, I have created some fun printables. All the information can be found in the 5 books (listed above) from this horse unit study.

Parts of the Saddle

Parts of the Saddle Printable from Starts At Eight

In the Horse: The Essential Guide for Young Equestrians on page 8 you will find a fun, moveable English saddle diagram of which you can use to label this Parts of the Saddle Printable Worksheet.

Parts of a Horse

In both Horse: The Essential Guide for Young Equestrians and A Field Full of Horses you can find images with the parts of a horse labeled which you can use to label this Parts of a Horse Printable Worksheet.

Other Great Titles from Candlewick Press

  1. SPARKS for New Readers
  2. Judy Moody and Stink
  3. Read & Wonder
  4. Brand New Readers
  5. Candlewick Biographies

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Switzerland Unit Study – History, Geography, a Lapbook & More!

Switzerland Unit Study – History, Geography, a Lapbook & More!

Have you ever tried a unit study? Do you like the idea of immersing yourself and your kids in a country and culture? Using this Switzerland Unit Study you can not only learn about cuckoo clocks, cooking, learning about cheese, Swiss history (including the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland), and geography, but you go on a fun adventure to solve a mystery!

Switzerland Unit Study from Starts At Eight. Destination Switzerland from CASE OF ADVENTURE - An extensive unit study on Switzerland that includes history, geography, reading, lapbooking and so much more!

What’s Included in the CASE OF ADVENTURE Switzerland Unit Study

I find unit studies a fabulous way to immerse yourself in any subject, and a living book – even better!  With that in mind I jumped at the chance to use the CASE OF ADVENTURE travel series unit study, Destination Switzerland. This included using the novel, Cuckoo Clock Secrets in Switzerland, the MEGA Travel Activity Pack and the Destination Switzerland unit study. Put all of these things together and you have an extensive unit study on Switzerland that includes history, geography, reading, lapbooking and so much more!

{I received a copies of the book as well as the printable packs and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Standout Features of this Switzerland Unit Study

1. A Living Book as the Spine

Cuckoo Clock Secrets in Switzerland is about a homeschooling family that travels. In this first adventure they travel to Switzerland where they solve a mystery about an ancient coin, all while weaving in learning about the history, culture, and geography of Switzerland and its people.

Dive into adventure with Ren, Rome, Jake, Libby and Tiffany as they discover an ancient coin and a mystery connected with a cuckoo clock which takes them to the beautiful land of Switzerland. In their quest to solve the puzzle, they unearth some fascinating history and recover a lost fortune.

2. Content for Multiple Ages

In the guide for this Switzerland unit study there are designations for older students (generally 8-13), and younger students (generally ages 5-7).

For example when working with the lapbook components you can choose to have your students write in them in their own words (older students) or you can print out the provided inserts and have your students glue them in (younger students).

3. TONS of Materials to Choose From

While the sheer number of pages in each of the printable packs can be overwhelming at first, once you read through the Teacher’s Guide and organize your thoughts you will find it liberating. Why? Because while there is TONS to choose from, that is a benefit not a negative. It offers you not only the above mentioned content for multiple ages, but varying types of activities for how far and how in depth you would like to go.

{PS. The dog helps! 🙂 }

My daughter is 10 and sort of falls in the middle of the younger and older age range of this. She loves doing lapbooks so we chose many of the lapbook components and I used this as a chance to cover some world geography as well.

Since we are spreading this Switzerland Unit Study out over many weeks I am keeping a folder with all the mini books we make, mapping we do, any photos of things we have done, and we will combine it all together on card stock and have it bound to create an awesome scrapbook style book for her to keep!

4. Flexible Scheduling

The Destination Switzerland Unit Study Pack is designed to accompany the book, Cuckoo Clock Secrets in Switzerland. In this pack you will find a VERY detailed Teacher’s Guide.

I recommend doing the “mommy research” ahead of time by printing out the Teacher’s Guide, deciding what components you are going to use, and then printing just those resources you need. It can help to use separate folders, or as I did, paperclip each of the days printables together so when you dive in with your child/children you are all organized and ready to go. I also put the Teacher’s Guide into a 3 Prong Folder for ease of use.

Due to the flexibility of this Switzerland Unit Study, you can take 12-14 weeks going at a more leisurely pace, adding in lots of extras and do a day or two here and there. Or you can take a couple of week and do nothing but this for your homeschooling!

5. All in One Resource

Want everything all together? This unit study has everything you need, from the living book to the printables, video links (within the Teacher’s Guide you are given a link to a page on their website where the video links are broken down by chapter) and extension activities! CASE OF ADVENTURE makes this Switzerland unit study an all in one resource so you don’t have to search or dig for information or activities!

Get This Switzerland Unit Study for Your Homeschool!

If you like the CASE OF ADVENTURE FB page you can get a FREE Printable Money Set.

You can also connect with them via Pinterest – Instagram and Twitter

Destination Switzerland Components

  1. Cuckoo Clock Secrets in Switzerland Novel
  2. Destination Switzerland Study
  3. MEGA Travel Activity Pack

Special Launch Discount

Special Launch Discount of 25% off entire cart for 10 days only – use coupon code: 25LAUNCH (from 1-11 February, 2017)

**discount applies only to downloadable products, not the book on Amazon

Win a Switzerland Unit Study! 

Win not only a copy of Cuckoo Clock Secrets but the Destination Switzerland unit study AND the Travel Activity Pack!!!

Travel to Other Places

Children's Books About Africa from Starts At Eight. Use this list of Children's Books About Africa to immerse your children in the daily life, culture, and history of Africa.Growing Peace & Learning About African Culture: A Unit Study from Starts At EightOnce Upon A Time in Japan: Exploring Japanese Culture Through Books from Starts At EightChildren's Books About Japan from Starts At Eight

Martin Luther King Jr Online Unit Study

Martin Luther King Jr Online Unit Study

Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader in the civil rights movement in the United States. He paved the way for others coming after him and left a legacy that shouldn’t be forgotten. Learn all about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement with this Martin Luther King Jr Online Unit Study.

Martin Luther King Jr. Online Unit Study from Starts At Eight. Use this Martin Luther King Jr Online Unit Study to engage your children in learning a piece of U.S. History. Learn about the Civil Rights Movement, the life of Martin Luther King Jr., and the famous "I Have a Dream" speech!

Martin Luther King Jr. Online Unit Study

1. Discover Dr. King’s role in the Civil Rights Movement

Learn about things such as:

  • the life of MLK Jr.
  • Plessy vs. Ferguson
  • Jim Crow Laws
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • the KKK
  • the Little Rock 9

2. Create your own “I Have a Dream” speech

Listen to and read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Then work on writing and presenting your own.

3. Design an illustrated quote graphic

Check out an extensive list of MJK Jr. quotes and create your own illustrated quote graphic of one of them.

Here is one of ours!

Martin Luther King Jr. Quote from Starts At Eight

Purchase the Martin Luther King Jr. Online Unit Study Below

Other MLK Jr. Resrouces

Mega List (60+) of Children's Books for Black History Month from Starts At EightMartin Luther King Jr. Unit Study and Resources from Starts At EightMartin Luther King Jr. - Links, FREE Printables, Videos & Books from Starts At Eight

The Skeletal System: Hands-On Learning Resources

The Skeletal System: Hands-On Learning Resources

One of my favorite science topics is the human body. I am so fascinated with how it all works. The Skeletal System is one of the body systems that is so fun to play with and learn about in a hands on manner.

The Skeletal System: Hands-On Learning Resources from Starts At Eight. This is list of hands-on skeletal system activities, books, videos, and printables from teaching the skeletal system for all ages. Great homeschool activities such as Life Sized Human Skeletal Printable activity.

I have gathered tons of resources on the Skeletal System throughout my years of homeschooling. From books, to games, and hands on creations, I have tons of great resources to share with you!

Skeletal System Resources

Hands-On Fun with the Skeletal System

1. Virtual Interactive Skeletal System Review Activity

In this interactive object, learners review the major parts of the skeletal system by clicking on the correct term as each bone or joint is highlighted on a skeleton.

2. Haversian Bone System

We did two different activities to demonstrate the characteristics of the Haversian System and how our bones are able to be very light, yet super strong!

haversian-bone-activities

“If the human skeleton were made of enough steel to equal the strength of bone, it would weigh five times as much. The strength of bone comes mainly from its inner structure. It is built up from thousands of compactly arranged tube-shaped units, each called a Haversian system.” [An excerpt from Reader’s Digest – How the Body Works, by Steve Parker.]

haversian-collage

3. Mini Skeleton Cutout

This is great as a younger kids activity for a lapbook or as a smaller scale version of the full sized one I show you next.

Mini Skeleton Lapbook

4. Life Sized Human Skeleton

eSkeletons has tons of resources for kids, including a Life Size Printout of a Juvenile Homo Sapien (kid). There is also an adult version.

We used this as part of a human body series that we did. This was a great hands on way to piece together a skeleton. Having the kids each do themselves made it more personal and relatable for them.

We started by taking a roll of Bulletin Board Paper and cutting a length the height of each one of the kids. Then they traced each other in pencil. Using a black permanent marker they went over the pencil lines, adjusting where necessary.

tracing-full-sized-human-body

Then we used the Life Size Skeleton Printout to attach to the paper. With my son, who was a very small 10 year old, the sizing was perfect. With my 13 year old daughter we should have used the adult one. Instead she cut out the pieces and drew in the pieces of bone to make it fit. We also made printable labels using the The Skeleton Book from DK as a reference for her to label the bones in the human skeleton.

full-sized-human-skeleton


5. Name That Bone Tutorial

A 66 page interactive (hyperlinked) activity that guides students through the study of the major bones of the human body.

Book Resources

The Skeleton Book

The Skeleton Book from DK – is a perfect reference book for learning about the human skeleton. Pg. 66 & 67 contain a human skeleton with all the bones named. This is a great one to use when putting together your Mini or Life Sized Skeletons.

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I also love the Full Sized Poster that is included. As you can see it is almost the same size as my 10 year old daughter!

img_9871a


Video Resources

The Skeletal System by MakeMeGenius.com

Note that this one has some errors in it. For instance for vertebrae they say “vertebraetes”, for fibula they say “febula”, they swapped the radius and ulna as well. Despite a few errors I included this video because my kids found it engaging to watch and I precursored it by telling them there were some errors and asking them to see if they could find them while they watched.

The Skeleton Dance – Dem Bones from Super Simple Songs

Printable Resources

Using Famous Artists Online Unit Study for Homeschool Art

Using Famous Artists Online Unit Study for Homeschool Art

Adding art to our homeschool has always been something I struggle with. It isn’t that I don’t like art, or that I don’t see the importance of art. Truly, I just struggle with art myself – trust me, you don’t want to see me try and draw a person! Since I struggle so much myself, I need a TON of help when it comes to teaching art to my children.

A great homeschool art project from Famous Artists Online Unit Study: Henri Matisse Art Project ~ Drawing With Scissors Goldfish Still Life. Plus try a FREE Lesson!

Collecting great art resources is something I have spent a ton of time doing throughout our years of homeschooling. I have found I very much appreciate an “Art for Dummies” style of tutorial. So anything with detailed steps, technique instruction, video demonstrations are even better! Here is a collection of various types of resources I have found to meet these criteria:

Art Project Resources for Homeschoolers from Starts At Eight

Famous Artists Online Unit Study

To add to the list above we are now doing some projects from this Famous Artists Online Unit Study – Volume One!

Famous Artists Online Unit Study is:

  • easy to use
  • affordably priced
  • online so no excess paper required
  • tracks your progress (checking off and graying out what you have completed, as well as an overall percentage progress bar)
  • includes not only art, but ties in the artists with the history of their time period
  • includes information about each artists style
  • Volume 1 covers Renaissance to Surrealism

Henry Matisse & Fauvism

This is a sample of one of the lessons from this Famous Artists Online Unit Study – Volume One. It includes a video about fauvism, biography readings about Henry Matisse and his artwork, and a step by step tutorial for creating a Goldfish Still Life.

“Later in life, Matisse was unable to paint due to health issues. Instead, he started “painting with scissors” by creating collages of cut-outs.” Using this method we created our Goldfish Still Life.

Goldfish Still Life

A great homeschool art project: Henri Matisse Art Project ~ Drawing With Scissors Goldfish Still Life

Your kids can make a striking collage made from a variety of images similar to those designed by Henri Matisse.  In reference to his paper cutouts, Matisse stated, “I cut paper, but I’m drawing with the scissors.”  Matisse also called the collage process  “cutting into color”.

Supplies:

We started by creating a cool water effect using watercolors and plastic wrap.

A great homeschool art project: Henri Matisse Art Project ~ Drawing With Scissors Goldfish Still Life

While that was drying we cut out large geometric shapes (larger is better, we learned that the hard way) to paste onto our background paper. We also cut lots of organic shapes form colorful paper, in the style of Matisse, “drawing with the scissors”, and saved these to add on at the end.

A great homeschool art project: Henri Matisse Art Project ~ Drawing With Scissors Goldfish Still Life

Using black construction paper we cut out the shape of the table to hold the goldfish bowl.

To make the shape of the bowl we used plain white printer paper folded in half, and drew a shape to cut out. We then traced the shape onto the back of our watercolor so we could cut it out in the fishbowl shape.

I created a fish template for my daughter to trace as I felt that would be easier for her. Using that we traced them onto a piece of scrapbook paper that she chose.

A great homeschool art project: Henri Matisse Art Project ~ Drawing With Scissors Goldfish Still Life

Using a glue stick we assembled the collage together layer by layer.

A great homeschool art project: Henri Matisse Art Project ~ Drawing With Scissors Goldfish Still Life

Scratch Art Fireworks & The Science of Fireworks

Scratch Art Fireworks & The Science of Fireworks

Want to create fabulous firework art for a special holiday like Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or New Years? Check out this fun and simple way to create fireworks of your own! 

Scratch Art Fireworks & The Science of Fireworks - A Mini Unit from Starts At Eight

Using a few simple supplies your kids can create scratch art fireworks to celebrate anything! These are great for creating around some of the major holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th and New Years. You can even turn it into a mini unit study by adding in some information and resources about fireworks.

Learn About Fireworks

How Fireworks Work

  1. How Fireworks Work – a website explaining the science behind them with vocabulary explained and more.
  2. The Explosive Story of Fireworks! (History of Fun Stuff) – In this book readers will learn all about how they were invented in China over 2,000 years ago, how Queen Elizabeth I created a special honor for the person who created the best fireworks, and much more! There’s even a fun quiz so readers can test themselves to see what they’ve learned!
  3. How It Happens At The Fireworks Factory – A look into how they are made.
  4. The Science of Fireworks – Check out this article on the science of fireworks and consider doing the fun activity!
  5. Fireworks!: Chemical Reactions (Raintree Fusion: Physical Science) – How do they get their colors? And why do they explode? Read this book to learn all about the chemical and physical properties of materials, as well as firework safety.

Scratch Art Fireworks

Scratch Art Fireworks

Supplies Needed:

  • poster paper
  • crayons
  • black tempra paint & paint brushes (be sure not to use kids washable paint as it will not work)
  • wooden skewers sticks or toothpicks

Directions:

1. Look at pictures, watch a fireworks display, and read about the science of fireworks. Also talk about how to be safe when using them or watching a fireworks display.

2. Using a piece of poster board have kids color the entire sheet with crayon using a variety of bold firework colors. None of the poster board should show through when they are done.

IMG_7706a

4. Once this is completed, paint over the entire piece with black paint. (Black like the night sky) The paint should cover the entire crayon work, but not be so thick that it will crack when it dries.

IMG_7713a

5. Once the paint has dried, take wooden skewer and scrape off a firework design. The colors showing through will appear as the fireworks appear in the black night sky. (We found that kabob skewers were sturdier than toothpicks for scratching.)

IMG_7721a

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