Books We Love

Tadpoles! That means a frog unit study!

We unexpectedly acquired a batch of wood frog spawn so we are now going to work on a unit study on frogs and their life cycle.   Our daughter is watching them closely, noting dates of changes and measuring their growth.  It takes them 50-75 days for them to turn into frogs so she’ll have plenty of time to observe the 14 tadpoles we have, the first of which hatched on March 15.  She’s putting dates and how many days old they are on this sequencing page (which matches her monarch butterfly and chick hatching sequences she also put together from past life cycles she’s studied).

She sat down and reread all the Arnold Lobel “Frog and Toad” stories in an afternoon since she said they fit with our theme and counted for her reading that day.

She made a “transforming frog” craft, we used this pattern but used laminated construction paper and brads so all the legs can fold in and the tail can slide.  So she has had “Cindy the frog” transform before our eyes in a little play.  Hind legs first, then front legs, then she can slowly slide the tail away behind the body as her tadpole changes to frog.

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Seahorses

Jana had fun learning about Seahorses as I put together another interest led unit study.  She explored their habitats, unusual anatomy and behavior and enjoyed beautiful documentaries.  We found some gems of books that went along with our studies:

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Unit Study: Cephalopods

We finished up our primary curriculum and decided to spend a few weeks exploring some topics of my daughter’s choosing before moving on to MBTP 7-9.  She asked for Blue Ringed Octopus and Giant Squid.  So we took a little time to review classification, talked about Mollusks and then Cephalopods in general.  We reread some of our favorites on evolution and adaptation as we reminded ourselves where these organisms fit in the bigger picture.  We explored ocean and coral reef habitats as well.  I found out she loved working through dichotomous keys of made up fish and then working through identifying coral reef fish; and also pretending to be a conservation biologist identifying organisms by phylum, class and order that divers collected and shouldn’t have.  We also added notebooking pages to our big three ringed binder of the animal kingdom for several species that interested her in particular.

Here are some of the books on Cephalopods, including a handful of fun fiction in the mix, that we enjoyed during this unit study:

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We made use of some toilet paper tubes to create some cute models of a blue ringed octopus, giant squid and a blue octopus.

Next up, she wants to learn all about sea horses and investigate composers and classical music.

 

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Seasonal Books: Summer

The “Books We Love” category will include books we both own or have checked out from our library, that we have found to fit our themes, are fun and have had many re-reading requests. These are by no means complete lists of books we’ve read.

                         

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Butterfly books for kids

Lepidoptera are near and dear to this household.  Our garden is full of native and other flowering plants to attract butterflies.  We rear anything we can find the eggs for.  We’ve also participated in the citizen science of tagging our reared Monarch butterflies.  We have found many great reads for this theme that is so fun revisit every spring and summer.

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Evolution Books for Kids

As a biologist and a secular homeschooler the subject of evolution is an important one that we have been incorporating into as many areas of study as we can. History? Start with the Big Bang and big change over time. Unit studies that my daughter picked out on mudskippers and coat colors of dogs? Fabulous jump off points for discussing natural selection and adaptations and human selection of traits. Fun read alouds? We’ve found plenty! Here are the books we’ve returned to again and again.

          

 

 

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Picture Books About Scientists

We’re on our break from our more structured homeschool curriculum, but that doesn’t mean the learning stops.  We’re busy in the garden with vegetables, fruits and flowering plants where our daughter helps with everything from shoveling compost, planting seeds and seedlings, pulling weeds and watering.  And of course eating the fruits of our labor.  We’re keeping quail this season.  I’ve continued to request piles of related theme books.  Lately, real gems of picture books about scientists

          

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Eggs to Chicks and Birds

In the weeks preceding receiving our Hatch the Quail, we read quite a few books on eggs, birds, chickens and how birds are not the only ones to come from eggs.

 

                 

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Panda Unit Study

We have finished our MBTP 5-7 level and wanted to take a break from it before diving into the next level by doing some unit studies of our own.  I asked my daughter what she wanted to learn about and she quickly came up with a list that included mosaics, mudskippers, more french, how we get different breeds of dogs and pandas.  Mudskippers were tricky, there are not many resources for the early elementary years, but put together enough to last the week.  Pandas though, super easy to find resources and great books and hands on projects.

I used some ideas from this Zoo Curriculum packet which had the added bonus of introducing the eight different types of bears and continued on our basic introduction of animal classification we began in our mudskipper week.  If there is something my girl loves to do, it’s sorting.  It’s easy to come up with panda crafts, coloring pages and mapping activities as well as pretending to be pandas.

Books we used ranged from easy readers she read to me (it’s a general practice we have been doing for over a year where she spends about 20 minutes a day reading out loud), fiction story books for fun, Chinese legends of the mountains and pandas, longer read alouds and non-fiction titles.  Our librarian always knows what we’re studying next when we pick up our weekly pile of interlibrary loan materials :)

We also watched National Geographic and BBC Natural World nature shows to cap it off.

    

      

 

    

 

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Books for the Letter O

Testing out formats.  Should I have a post each for just one letter or should I separate out the subject matter?  There are certainly plenty for Owls as we did a unit on owls, but “O” was also the letter of the week so I included octopus, ostrich…

            

 

    

    

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Book List: Dinosaurs

Books We Love will include books we both own or have checked out from our library that we have found to fit our themes, are fun and have had many re-reading requests. These are by no means complete lists of books we’ve read.

This is just sample book list as I try to figure out what format I want to use.
           

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Seasonal Books: Autumn

Books We Love will include books we both own or have checked out from our library that we have found to fit our themes, are fun and have had many re-reading requests.  These are by no means complete lists of books we’ve read.

This is just sample book list as I try to figure out what format I want to use.

                 

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Book List: Apples

Books We Love will include books we both own or have checked out from our library that we have found to fit our themes, are fun and have had many re-reading requests.  These are by no means complete lists of books we’ve read.

 

This is just sample book list as I try to figure out what format I want to use.

       

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Seasonal Books: Winter

The “Books We Love” category will include books we both own or have checked out from our library, that we have found to fit our themes, are fun and have had many re-reading requests.  These are by no means complete lists of books we’ve read.

Winter category is including topics on snow, hibernation, migration, solstice and seasonal change.

This is just a sample book list as I try to figure out what format I want to use.  Whether I want to include summaries or my review, or have each topic on it’s own page.  But for now, links!

                                   

 

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