Homeschool Essentials: Math-U-See Decimal Street lapbook for “Alpha”

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Today is Day 3 of “5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials” and I’m sharing about my favorite math elementary math curriculum: Math-U-See. I love that this curriculum has the lessons on DVD (Steve Demme is funny and connects well with the kids). But most of all I like his approach of trying to help the kids “see” math rather than just memorizing how to do it.

One of my children just started with the Alpha level. Place value is being taught in the first lesson. We created a Decimal Street lapbook for her to practice using the units (ones), tens, and hundreds place. I’m sorry I can’t give credit to the lady on whose blog I first saw this. It was many years ago and the blog site no longer exists.

What we do is write a number in the boxes at the bottom.  If the number is 632, she’ll put on 6 red “hundreds”, 3 blue “tens”, and 2 green “units.”  The boxes are covered in clear packing tape, so it wipes off really easily using a dry erase marker.  Then we practice with me putting the blocks on and she writes down the number.  After a few days of practicing this, I think she understands!

And my younger kids just like playing with the blocks!

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The blocks are what makes Math-U-See unique. The units are green, the tens are blue, and the hundreds are red. The kids can see and count them in each spot. And they can see that only 9 can fit in each house. This is important for them when they start learning about carrying or regrouping. No, Math-U-See doesn’t completely eliminate math tears, but it helps!

Do you have a favorite math curriculum?  Please share in the comments!

 

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

 

 

Be sure to read about more Homeschooling Essentials at the following blogs:

61. Lisa @ Our Simple Kinda Life

62. Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

63. LaRee @ Broad Horizons

64. Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

65. Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

66. Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

68. Adena @ AdenaF

69. Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

70. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
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And don’t forget to enter to win an iPad Mini here!

 This post is linked up to some of these great blogs!

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

Homeschool Essentials: Antarctica Unit Study/ Penguin Lapbook Resources

Penguin lapbook

 

 

This week I’m joining the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials blog hop.  Come back here each day this week to find out some of my favorite homeschooling resources.   And down at the bottom of the post you’ll find links to other blogs!

Today I’m sharing about the fun unit study we just completed about Antarctica and Penguins.  We’ve been studying world geography, and this was the perfect time to get to Antarctica.  It was even -18 degrees here last week!

Books:
The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins

Penguin by Claire Robinson
Children’s Atlas of God’s World by Craig Froman (pages on Antarctica)

Penguins and Antarctica: Magic Tree House Research Guide by Nancy Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Atwater

Weddell Seal: Fat and Happy by Joyce L. Markovics
Antarctica by Rebecca Hirsch

Other books we didn’t have time to read:
Penguin Puzzle by Judith Bauer Stamper
Black Whiteness: Admiral Byrd Alone in the Antarctic by Robert Burleigh
Crocodiles, Camels, and Dugout Canoes: Eight Adventurous Episodes by Bo Zaunders (chapter about Ernest Shackleton)

Student workbooks:
Around the World in 180 Days by Sherrie Payne (pages on Antarctica)
Draw Write Now book 4 (the polar regions) by Marie Hablitzel

Penguin lapbook:
 Free one we used
Free one from Lapbook Lessons
Various free coloring sheets found online

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Movies:
National Geographic Antarctic Wildlife (from Netflix)
March of the Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (haven’t watched yet)

Craft:

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5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

 

 

Be sure to read about more Homeschooling Essentials at the following blogs:

61. Lisa @ Our Simple Kinda Life

62. Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

63. LaRee @ Broad Horizons

64. Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

65. Amy @ Counting Change. . .  Again

66. Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

68. Adena @ AdenaF

69. Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue

70. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
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And don’t forget to enter to win an iPad Mini here!

 This post is linked up to some of these great blogs!

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

Veteran’s Day Activities #1

The BIGGEST Sale of the Year has been EXTENDED ONE DAY!
Veteran’s Day is soon!  Are you looking for some fun Veteran’s Day activities to do with your kids?  Look at these great ones at Educents!  And check back again because I’ll be creating some more great Veteran’s Day activities.

Who is it for?

  • Students in grades PreK-2 
  • Perfect for all families, especially military families or families abroad

What is included?

flip book 1  flip book 2

Veteran’s Day Flip Book Activities

  • Created by teachers on a military base overseas to honor our veterans from the American perspective and the European perspective for the sacrifices and aide given in times of need.
  • This product includes several folding activities to create a Veterans Day flip book. It also includes facts about Veterans Day and a patriotic poem
    • 22 pages
    • Grades K-2

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Salute the Military Kids!

  • There are several hundred thousand children today in US or overseas public schools whose parents are in the military. A high degree of mobility is demanded of these children and of their parents. Relocation is a reality that a significant number of these dependents are separated from at least one parent due to overseas deployment. Kids of Active Duty move around the world, acclimating themselves to new cultures, new friends, new homes and new surroundings. These activities will create awareness of the service and sacrifices of our military’s children. This is an opportunity to thank children for their support to our nation’s war fighters, and recognize the important role they play in the strength of our nation by contributing to the strength of the military family.
  • Includes: A Salute to our Military Kids includes: Military visor, Book, Dog tags, Math prompts, Friendship hugs, Shirt decals, Passport, “Keep Daddy/Mommy Safe” Bracelets, Pencil toppers, Time keeping watches, Dominoes, Writing paper
    • 47 pages
    • Grades PreK-1

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Mothers of the World

  • Every child wonders what the world is like beyond their own borders and provides a window into the lives of their fellow children. As young readers will discover, there are similarities in the way mothers do for their children all over the world. What is it like to be a mother in Africa? How do mothers and children around the world differ in their lives? Children will discover that life in other nations is often very much from their own. Hopefully it will inspire them to be better global citizens and to appreciate all moms of the world. The point of this book is to make clear to a child that moms love them through all circumstances, and that they can count with that love as long as they live because the bond of love between mother and child lasts forever.
  • Includes: color and black & white gift book, toilet paper roll cultural dolls
    • 40 pages
    • Grades PreK-2

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Patriotic Poetry Activities

  • This product includes poetry about the soldier, the flag and our allegiance to our flag. It also includes interactive folding activities, word work, and a game.
    • 51 pages
    • Grades 1 & 2

Why buy?

  • Perfect as Veteran’s Day classroom activities, or year-round
  • Fosters awareness and cultural understanding
  • Supports military families and children

How does the deal work?

  • Email delivery of voucher code
  • All sales are final

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

Apologia Swimming Creatures Final Post

Apologia Swimming Creatures Lapbook Crafts Field Trips

We had an absolutely wonderful time studying science this year using Apologia’s Exploring Creation With Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.  This was the fourth of the elementary Exploring Creation books that we have done.  And I have loved all of them!  Jeanne Fulbright loves the Lord and brings her understanding of God’s creation to all of her readers.  We become fascinated with not only what He made but how he made everything!  We also learn about what evolutionists think about things and how we understand it differently.  For example, evolutionists would say the ocean is billions of years old.  But since the oceans are becoming saltier, if they were really that old, they would be too salty for life by now.  Also, many scientists think jellyfish are “simple” animals, but their nematocysts are so amazingly complex that only an infinitely intelligent Designer could have made them.

See below some pictures of the experiments we did (using the great experiment supply box from Nature’s Workshop Plus), the ocean boxes we created, and the lapbooks we made!  I put a lot of great ideas on my Swimming Creatures Pinterest Board–be sure to follow it!

Experiments/Projects:

 

Making ocean currents:

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Learning how octopus and squid rise and fall in the water:

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Making a salt crystal brittle star:

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Making a shell collection box:

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Ocean Boxes:

 

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Here are the links to my previous posts this year:

Introduction to Swimming Creatures/ Ideas for each ocean box lesson, including supplies

Starting the Ocean Boxes

 Tube Anemones, sponges, octopus, sea urchin

Rays and Sharks

 Starfish, Squid, Octopus

Top Ten Whale and Walrus YouTube Videos

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From the Archives:  Oceans Unit Study and Lapbook

 

We used the Apologia Swimming Creatures Notebooking Journals, which are really well done.  The youngest kids did the coloring sheets, the middle kids the lapbook, and the oldest did notebooking pages and crossword puzzles of the vocabulary words.  Below you’ll see pictures of the lapbooks of two of my kids.

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We have one more thing to do wrap up our study, and that is to visit an aquarium!  We’re planning to do that when we go on our road trip this summer.

Update:  We went to the Omaha Aquarium, and it was awesome.  Here are a few pictures, but see the rest at Vacation Post #1.

Giant Japanese Spider Crabs:

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There was an awesome tunnel to see sharks, sea turtles, and rays:

 

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Jellyfish:

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By the way, many of the animals in our ocean boxes were made with Crayola Model Magic.  Crayola Model Magic is an amazing invention! I don’t regret one bit ordering a class-pack of 75 individual packages for my kids to use this year. We got a great deal on it at Discount School Supply!  If you’ve never tried it, it’s like clay but not messy at all.  You can color it with markers, and it dries in 24 hours.  My kids love it!

Assorted Colors Crayola Model Magic Classpack

 

Linked to   at My Joy Filled Life

   Ultimate Homeschool Blog Hop  at Teachers of Good Things

See all the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here!

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party}: Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods Lapbook and Projects

As I mentioned last week we started reading Little House in the Big Woods.
We were able to get to a few projects this week.  :)

Here are some pictures of our lapbook (you can find the printables free at Lapbook Lessons.)

There is a “Making Cheese” wheel and a felt pocket sewed up (to remember when Laura’s pocket ripped.

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They decorated the little house in the woods.

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Here are some of the animals mentioned in the book.

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And booklets about the food they stored for the winter, consequences for disobeying your parents, and things they did in each of the four seasons.

 

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We also made a needle book, like Ma gave as a Christmas present in the book.  I’m going to use mine, as I’m on the costume committee again for my son’s musical and will need to bring my sewing supplies along for emergency mending during performances.

 

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We made some homemade butter!  Delicious!

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We had a hard time understanding the cheese-making process from reading about it in the book, so I found this wonderful YouTube video!

 

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

It’s time for our Link Up Party: From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!


 

See who I’ve linked up to here.. including Hip Homeschool Hop

From House to Home {Link Party}: The Little House’s Clove Apple

Today at “From House to Home” I’d like to share about the new literature unit study that we’ve started.  It’s on one of my favorite all-time book series:  The Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  We’re almost finished with the first book Little House in the Big Woods.  My girls (ages 4, 8, and 9) are enthralled!  My 6-year-old son is also listening in.

They’ve started a fun lapbook, we’ve sung some of the songs, and we made one craft so far.  It’s the clove apple that Ma’s sister-in-law gave her for Christmas.
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It’s time for our Link Up Party: From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!



Linked to
http://christianmommyblogger.com

CurrClick Homeschool Spirit Week

CurrClick

It’s Homeschool Spirit Week at CurrClick, which means that you can get lots of Freebies this week.  Click below to find the schedule of events!  There’s a fun contest and a nice freebie for today.

CurrClick

 

There is one freebie on the homepage of CurrClick, as well, this week–Ancient Rome lapbook with study guide by A Journey Through Learning.  We’ve done several of their lapbooks;  they’re high quality!

 

Also here’s the top seller right now:  Fall Book Bag with lots of fun activities for your little one.  I also really love the Teacher Book Bag Materials.


Hottest New Title
Teacher Book Bag's Fall Book Bag 2012
Teacher Book Bag’s Fall Book Bag 2012

 

 

(contains affiliate links)

Alaska/ Sled Dog/ Iditarod unit study and lapbook

Alaska Iditarod Unit Study Lapbook

We’ve had a fun time this last month studying Sled Dogs, Alaska, and the Iditarod.  Here are the books and videos used in our study:
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The Incredible Life of Balto by Meghan McCarthy

The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford

Iditarod Dream: Dusty and His Sled Dogs Compete in Alaska’s Jr. Iditarod by Ted Wood

Balto (DVD)

Toughest Race on Earth:  Iditarod (DVD, more for older kids and adults)

This last resource was a documentary put out by the Discovery Channel.  It followed about 8 of the mushers as they ran the 2008 Iditarod Race.  I found it fascinating.  Now that we know some of the mushers, I’ve been a little obsessed about checking  the standings in this year’s race and reading all the bios!  As of this writing the leader is Dallas Seavey.  He was homeschooled, and his dad and 74-year-old grandfather are also in the race this year.

Here are pictures from the lapbooks the kids made.  There is a mixture from 4 different lapbooks made by ages 3, 5, 6, and 8.

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We used materials from HomeschoolShare:  Basket and True Dog Stories

The other materials can be purchased or downloaded from CurrClick:

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Alaska Extension from January Book Bag, 2009 (free)

Sled Dogs lapbook from Hands of a Child (on sale for $6.99 right now!)
Linked to


(Contains affiliate links.)

Beaver Lapbook

A while ago we did a fun unit study on beavers.  We found lots of great books at the library and watched a neat documentary on Youtube.

 

The materials for the lapbook were from Hands of a Child, called Busy as a Beaver.

 

It’s on sale at Curr Click right now!
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Purchase this lapbook at Currclick!
CurrClick

(Contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting I Choose Joy!)

Dinosaur Unit Study and Lapbook

Dinosaur Lapbook Ideas

In January we did a unit study and lapbook on dinosaurs (after my 5-year-old son has begged me for months!)

We read through an incredible book called Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham.

We also like the DVD set Dinosaurs, Genesis & the Gospel by Ken Ham and Buddy Davis

If you want to learn about dinosaurs from a biblical perspective, get some of these Answers in Genesis materials!  Yes, God created dinosaurs on Days 5 and 6, along with the other animals.  Yes, the Bible talks about dinosaurs. And, yes, dinosaurs were on Noah’s ark!

The lapbook materials were found for free on HomeschoolShare.

Because I wanted to add a number of coloring pages, I did something a little different with these lapbooks.  I punched three holes in the pages and the folders and tied yarn to hold them in.  The ages of the kids who did these were 3, 5, 6, and 8.  Here are pictures of the lapbooks!

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Free Super Bowl Mini Helper from CurrClick

Here is a free Super Bowl Mini Helper available from CurrClick.  My 9 yo son is excited to put this together!

CurrClick

(Contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting I Choose Joy!)

Information about Lapbooks

I have just updated this post and added it to a page.  On it you’ll find links to all the lapbooks we’ve done, complete with pictures and info about where to find them on the web!

 

(This post contains affilate links.)

Industrial Revolution Through Great Depression lapbook

The Industrial Revolution thru Great Depression Lapbook

 

We have really enjoyed using the history materials from Homeschool in the Woods.  Here is the most recent lapbook my second son put together, of the time period Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression. Here are the books we read for our Industrial Revolution through Great Depression study.
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Get Ready to Celebrate Reformation Day

The post about Celebrating Reformation Day has moved here.

Johnny Appleseed lapbook

Here’s a fun Johnny Appleseed lapbook to do from A Journey Through Learning.  After reading a few books about Johnny Appleseed, my 7-year-old daughter loved putting this one together.
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September 11 lapbook review

I’m sure we’re all aware that Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the attack on our country.  I felt like my 3 oldest kids were old enough this year to study about September 11.  We decided to do the Hands of a Child lapbook (which is only $1 if you buy it before September 11! http://handsofachild.com/)

I received this lapbook for free in order to do this review.

This particular project pack was written for grades 2nd through 8th.  The kids I had working on it were 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades.

We started by reading the research guide over two days.  It was so comprehensive that I didn’t add anything else to it.  (The only thing that I might still add is some information about Todd Beamer, a Christian passenger on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Beamer)  There is information in the project pack about each of the flights, the buildings that were attacked, a timeline of events, Osama bin Laden, Islamic extremists and terrorism, the rescue heroes, long-term impact, and memorials.  There are 21 lapbook activities ranging from interviewing someone, writing a letter, designing a memorial, and playing a game.  One activity that I felt was really neat was the Hero Qualities Game.  I’m always trying to help my children grow in character, and it’s wonderful to focus on something great that came out of this tragedy–the heroes who did wonderful things to help and save others.

In view of the little time we had to spend on this subject (it wasn’t originally in my plans), I decided that the kids would do one lapbook with 7 activities each.  We were able to finish all of it in one day (plus the 2 days of reading).

I do recommend this lapbook to anyone who would like to study September 11.  Lapbooks are always a fun way to learn a subject, even a very difficult subject such as this.

Pictures of our September 11 lapbook:
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Notice that he drew an octagon in the first picture, then changed it to a pentagon in the next!

 

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School projects from last year, including Civil War lapbook

Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale Giveaway Graphic

Civil War Lapbook

Still trying to get the rest of the pictures up that I missed from last year.

Here are a couple of projects we did:

Built a suspension bridge.
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Models of the heart with graham crackers.

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Lots of reading.
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Civil War lapbook (from Homeschool in the Woods).
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Depicting Easter with Legos:

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Revolutionary War unit study and lapbook

Revolutionary War Lapbook

 

After Colonial Times, we started studying the Revolutionary War.  We didn’t get to much into battles, since my kids are so young, but my oldest son read about them a bit.

Here are the books we read:

Johnny Tremain

How to be a Revolutionary War Soldier (Ratliff)

Annie Henry and the Secret Mission (Olasky)

Annie Henry and the Birth of Liberty (Olasky)

Buttons for General Washington (Roop)

Land Battles of the Revolutionary War (Smolinski)

Boston Tea Party (Furstinger)

Growing up in Revolution and the New Nation (Miller)

…If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution (Moore)

The Declaration of Independence (Bodden)

Mr. Revere and I (Lawson)

A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson (Adler)

Give Me Liberty: The Story of the Declaration of Independence (Freedman)

The Boston Massacre (Ready)

A Picture Book of Patrick Henry (Adler)

Can’t You Make Them Behave King George? (Fritz)

Nathan Hale:  Revolutionary Hero

Ben and Me (Lawson)

Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Osborne)

Drive Thru History DVDs

My 9 yo son did notebooking, while the 8 yo did a lapbook.  We got the lapbooking print-outs from Fortunately for You Revolutionary War Mini-Book and  A Journey Through Learning’s “An Overview of the 18th Century.”

Here are some pictures:

Below is how I attach the lapbooks into the Yearly Portfolio Notebook with duct tape:

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(Post contains affiliate links.)

Colonial Times Unit Study and Lapbook

Colonial Times Unit and Lapbook

Our next big study of the year was about the Colonial days of America.  Here are some of the books we read:

Picture Books:

Colonial Life–Kalman

Colonial Crafts–Kalman

Colonial Kids:  An Activity Guide—Carlson

A Day in the Life of a Colonial Blacksmith–Wilmore

A Day in the Life of a Colonial Printer–Wilmore

A Day in the Life of a Colonial Wigmaker–Wilmore

A Day in the Life a Colonial Silversmith–Wilmore

The Thirteen Colonies–January

Colonial Living–Tunis

Sarah Morton’s Day–Waters

Colonial America: Building Toward Independence–Worth

biographies of Pocahontas and John Smith

Historical Fiction:

Calico Captive–Speare

The Courage of Sarah Noble–Dalgliesh

Witch of Blackbird Pond–Speare

CD’s:

The Stories of the Pilgrims–Pumphrey, read by Jim Hodges

A Thanksgiving to Remember–Rainey, produced by Family Life Ministries

My older son did notebooking, while my younger son made a lapbook.  We got most of these lapbooking pages from A Journey Through Learning’s “An Overview of the 17th Century” and some from Hands of a Child “Life in Colonial America.
You might find them on sale at CurrClick!
CurrClick

Here are some pictures:

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(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links)

Explorers Unit Study and Lapbook

Last fall my oldest kids did an Explorers Unit Study and Lapbook.  (I know I’m a bit late in posting this, but better late than never!)

We were able to go on a field trip last summer where we went on board two replicas of Columbus’ ships–The Nina and the Pinta.  The thing I was most amazed about these ships were that they were so small!  Here is the website so you can see if the ships will be sailing near you!

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Pulling the anchor up:

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Old-fashioned navigational techniques:

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The rudder:

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There are some great books about explorers at the library (such as Around the World in One Hundred Years by Jean Fritz), so I checked out lots of them.  A living book/ historical fiction that I read aloud was called The High Voyage: Final Crossing of Christopher Columbus by Olga Litowinsky, which was written from the perspective of Columbus’ son Fernando.  We also read Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting for fun.

My oldest son did notebooking pages from NotebookingPages.  He wrote a summary and drew a picture on each page about a different explorer.  There wasn’ t a page for Lewis and Clark, Roald Amundson, or James Cook, so I just found pictures of them online and we made up our own pages for those.

Here are some pictures of the lapbook by 7 yo son did.  We used the project pack from Hands of a Child called Explorers of the World.

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(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)