Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Animals of Iowa - Unit Study





For grades K - 5th. You can easily adjust this this study to your students learning level.
This is a 35 week study, you can make it shorter or longer by simply doing more of less work each week.
Most weeks will have an extra credit portion, it is an optional way to add more to the study, perfect for adding in more for your older students.

Supplies needed -
Trapper
Notebook
Pencils
Crayons
Printer and supplies for printing worksheets and color pages



Week 1 -
Read from this site.

Watch this video.

Read from this site.
Older students can write two or three facts from this site.

Do this worksheet.

Color this page.



Extra credit -
 Have your student go through the list and write in their notebook any of the animals they have seen in real life ( not at a zoo ).

Have your student pick one or two of the creatures on the list from above and do a study on them. Have them write a paper on what they learn.


Week 2 - 
Read from this site. 

Read from this site.
Older students can write two or three facts from this site.

Watch this video.

Color this page.

Do this worksheet.


Extra credit - Have your student write a page on bats.

Week 3 - Spend time on this site.

Print this list and have your student mark what birds they have seen in the wild.

Make a bird feeder out of a pine cone, bird seed and peanut butter! Watch your feeder and talk about what birds come.

Have your student pick one or two birds from the list and watch videos about them.
Older students can write two or three facts they learn in these videos.


Have your student pick one or two birds and print color pages of them. Be sure they are colored correctly.

Extra credit -
Build a bird house or make more feeders to attract birds to your yard ( More information here - https://www.polkcountyiowa.gov/conservation/education/nature-in-iowa/animals-in-iowa/backyard-bird-habitat/ )

Learn about bird watching.


Week 4 -Read from this site.

Watch this video. 

Color this page.

Read from this site.
Older students can write a short paper on what happened to the Bison.

If you are able, visit a farm or prairie that has bison. Talk about what you see, take pictures and enjoy learning about Bison!

Extra credit - 
Have your student write about why what happened to the Bison was wrong.


Week 5 - 
Read from this site

Color an elk picture.

Read from this site.
Older students can write two or three facts from this site in their notebooks.

Visit a farm or park that have elk. Talk about what you see.

Extra Credit - 
Have your student write a paper on why they think Elk left Iowa.

Week 6 - 
Read from this site. 

Read from this site ( this is optional, some kids may not like learning about these bugs as they can be scary to some. )

Spent time on this site. Look at the many different kinds of bugs in Iowa. Help your student write a list of at least ten bugs they have seen in their yards.

Extra credit - 
Have your student pick an Iowan bug to write a a paper on.

Week 7 - 10 
Have your student pick three different bugs to study more on from the sites above.
Watch videos on them, write facts and color some pages.

Extra credit -
Have your student pick a dangerous Iowan bug and write a paper on it

Week 11 -
Review week.
Spent this week reviewing some of what you have learned so far.

Week 12 - 
Read from this site

Spend the rest of the week on this site. This site is huge and full of facts, pictures, reading and more.
Have older students write 5 -10 facts from this site in the notebook.

Have younger students color a picture of a few mammals in their notebooks.

Extra Credit - 

Have your student write a list of all the Iowan mammals they have seen,

Week 13 - 16
Have your student pick one ( each week ) Iowa mammal and spend the week studying it.
Watch videos, color pictures, write a paper or whatever you decide.

Extra credit -
Have your student write a paper on the mammal they picked.

Week 17 -
Have your student pick one Iowa mammal and spend the week studying it.
Watch videos, color pictures, write a paper or whatever you decide.

Extra credit -
Have your student write a paper on the mammal they picked.

Week 18 -
Read from this site.

Look at the lizard gallery of this site.  Pick one lizard and do more studying on it.
Older students should write a paper or facts about their lizard of choice. Younger students should watch videos or be read more information on the lizard of their choice.

Extra credit -
Have your student write about an experience they had actually seeing or touching a lizard from Iowa. This can include in the wild, at a zoo or an event.

Week 19 - Read from this site.

Color this page. ( make sure it is colored correctly )

Watch this video.

Read from this site.
Older students should write at least three facts from this site in their notebook.


Extra credit - 
Spend time learning about all the other butterflies of Iowa. This may have been touched on when we did insects earlier but many students will enjoy the extra learning time focusing on just the butterflies in Iowa.

Week 20  - Read from this site.

Color this picture.

Watch this video.

Have older students pick one of the owls native to Iowa and write about it. Have younger students pick one and watch a video or maybe color some pictures.

Extra credit - 
Pick another  Iowan owl to study.

Week 21 -
Read from this site.
Older students should write 2 -5 facts in their notebooks

Watch this video.

Color a picture. Make sure they are colored correctly.

Extra credit - 
Learn about the Golden Eagle. Write a paper, read the linked site and watch videos.

Week 22 -
Read from this site.
( Skip the Eagle since this has been covered already. )

Have your student go bird watching! Write a list of the different birds of prey they see while out. You can spread this out over several days this week. It may help to find a list that you can print or even take pictures while doing this activity.

Extra credit - 

Have your student write a paper on one of the many birds of prey Iowa has.

Week 23 -
Review week.
Spent this week reviewing some of what you have learned so far.

Week 24 -
Read from this site. 

Read from this site.

If the weather allows, go visit a lake. Have your student write about what they see. If you are a fishing family, spend the day fishing.

If you have somewhere local that you can visit, go to a native to Iowa aquarium. The Science Center in Des Moines have many local fish on display, along with other animals.  Bass pro in Des Moines also have a tank you can visit.

Extra credit -
Have your student write a paper on a fish on their choice.

Week 25 - 29
Have your student pick one fish ( each week ) of their choice that is native to Iowa. Spend the week studying that fish. Read about it, watch videos and color pictures.

Week 30 - 
Read from this site.

Color this picture.  Make sure it is colored correctly.

Read from the snake section of this site.
Have older students pick 1 or 2 snakes from the list to write about.

Watch this video 
( This is not an Iowa video but a safety video, we do have dangerous snakes in Iowa!  )

Many children are afraid of snakes. Spend some time talking about why snakes are very useful.
Have older students write a list of five reasons why snakes are important.

Extra credit - 
Have your student write a paper and spend time studying a dangerous snake if Iowa.

Extra credit - 
Have your student spend some time studying all the snakes in Iowa. We have a lot of them. Have them pick one or two to study.


Week 31 - Read from this site.

Many children are afraid of spiders. Spend some time talking about why spiders are very useful.
Have older students write a list of five reasons why spiders are important.

Read from this site. Have older students write 2 -4 facts from this page in their notebooks.

Optional study - Have your student spend some time studying the brown recluse. Learn about how this spider can be dangerous and the best way to avoid a bite!

Extra credit - Have your student pick an Iowan spider and write a paper on it.

Week 32 - 
Review week.
Spent this week reviewing some of what you have learned so far.

Week 33 - 
Read from this site. 

We have already learned about the bison and elk. Spend the rest of the week reading on black bear and lynx.
Have older students write 2 -3 facts about each animal in their notebooks.

Color this picture. Make sure it is colored correctly.

Watch this video.

Watch this video.

Extra credit -

Have your student write a short paper on the black bear and the lynx.

Week 34 and 35 

Spend the next two weeks learning about extinct animals from Iowa.
Have your students research each one from the list above. Have older students write down why they went extinct.
Research each one with your students. Find videos, color pages and other websites to read from.

Extra credit -
Have your student pick an animal from the list to write a paper on.






Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Birthday in Heaven


I have written about my Grandma  few times over the last few months, as most of you know, I lost my Grandma this year to cancer. She died in September and I have missed her terribly.

The grief has been a bit harder this month. Not only is it Christmas but my birthday and my Grandma's birthday both fall in December.

I have found the little things are the hardest, like not getting that birthday phone call, not addressing a Christmas card to her, not buying her a gift. Each time these little things have happened, my heart just felt pained. I miss her so badly.

Her birthday is December 23rd, all week long I have been thinking about my Grandma. I so wish I could just pick up the phone tomorrow and wish her a happy birthday, I wish I could be sending her some flowers or a new book to read. Instead I only have my memories, pictures and things that were hers to comfort me now.

So Happy Birthday in heaven Grandma, even though I always miss you, I miss you just a little more this day.

                                             

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Home Schooling in the Raw - Keeping History Fun


My kids are blessed with two parents who really love history, and of course what I mean by blessed I mean two parents that like to talk way to much about subjects that they probably are not very interested in. Luckily, this is something we both know we are guilty of and we are trying to find ways to keep history fun for the kids.

Right now we are using the Story of the World , along with the activity book for Alexzander and Destiny's history class.  They do enjoy listening to the story but the map work and color pages in the activity book can get a little repetitive. Luckily, it does come with a lot of extra activities you can do ( they are written in the front of the book, along with study questions.

I think the favorite extra we have done so far with the kids was making clay cross necklaces. It was a very fun, yet simple project! All we needed was clay ( get the kind you bake ) and leather cord. They shaped and cut their cross to look the way they wanted, while I talked about how Monks would have made the crosses, why they used those materials and the history behind Monks. They had fun, learned a lot and no have a fun necklace to wear.

                                   

We have made food that would have been eaten in the time periods they were learning about, made paper dolls and were sure to look up what the clothing they wore would have looked like, made replica crowns and so much more.

We also will watch videos to learn more and keep history interesting for the kids. If they learn about something they really like learning, we will break from the book and spend some time studying that certain subject.

That is one of the best parts of home schooling, we can adapt and change what we need.

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