Free Mini Unit Studies
We post free mini unit studies twice per month to give you the ideas and resources to use the Charlotte Mason method at home in your homeschooling. We offer a topic for study and break it down for you into age ranges and provide you with suggestions for “living books” for reading and narration, copywork, and dictation. A number of reading materials and activities can be used with all of your children or combinations of age ranges within your family.
We supply you with links to notebooking pages on which to write the narration or copywork and activity ideas to add some unit study fun to do along side your Charlotte Mason homeschooling. If we know of lapbooking resources or worksheets that fit with the topic that we feel adds to the study, we supply those as well.
We hope you find topics and materials here that will enrich your homeschooling experience. Remember to check back often for new topics and materials, as we are always updating our materials.
You can also receive a bimonthly newsletter from us announcing new free resources by clicking on our subscription link in the top left corner of this page!
Celebrate Pi Day with these Activities
(For resources used with our study units, click on the Unit Study Resource Store tab above.)
March 14 is coming quickly! Make your plans now to celebrate math with Pi Day using some of these neat resources, books, and ideas. We have links to tons of websites with activity suggestions for all grades. We also have a list of books that you can read and follow up with notebooking pages or lapbooks.
We have started out our day with headbands. On the front of the headband we attached a triangle resembling a slice of pizza pie or a circle resembling a whole pie. The kids colored in their favorite pizza or pie. Then wrote the word “Pi”, underneath that “3.14”, then “(the pi symbol).” We wore our headbands for the rest of the day, so that whenever we looked at one another, the “visual” learners had a reminder of Pi throughout the day.
We read a variety of stories involving the use of measuring a circle and all its measurements. At the same time, we happened to be studying ancient Egypt, so that we were reading a book about Archimedes at the time. Here is a list of books that relate to the study of Pi:
- Sir Cumference and Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander
- Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter (diameter of a circle) by Cindy Neuschwander
- Sir Cumference and the First Round Table (circles) by Cindy Neuschwander
- Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone (cone’s dimensions) by Cindy Neuschwander
- Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick (the chapters near the end of the book look at Archimedes’ mathematical studies)
- Piece of Pi: Wit-sharpening, Brain-bruising, Number-Crunching Activities with Pi by Naila Bokhari (activity book)
- The Joy of Pi by David Blatner (middle to high school range)
- A History of Pi by Petr Beckmann (high school) (reference to million years old earth on first page)
Part of our day we read books, writing a notebook page summarizing what we learned about Pi on the bottom half of a notebook page and on the top half, drawing diagrams and examples of using Pi in a formula. My younger son had a worksheet with a table to fill in as he measured the circumference, diameter, and radius of objects around the house. My older son had a similar table to complete, but had an extra column where he had to use Pi to calculate the different dimensions of various circular objects around the house. Some Pi activity worksheets can be found at http://search.enchantedlearning.com/cgi-bin/uncgi/search?key=pi and edhelper.com.
To obtain different notebooking pages to write your findings of Pi, go to http://www.notebookingpages.com/index.php?page=free-lined-paper-pages.
Other Pi activities can be found at the following websites:
If you want to have your kids do a Pi lapbook, join Live and Learn Press’s Yahoo group and receive a free wonderful lapbook at liveandlearnpress.com.
You can end your Pi Day celebration like we did, by making a pizza (or ordering one) and taking its measurements using the formula. Enjoy your day making memories no one will forget!
If you would like to be notified of newly posted study units, please subscribe to Katie’s Homeschool Cottage newsletter (link found in the top left corner of this page.) If you enjoyed these ideas, please share with friends! Thanks.
Abraham Lincoln Mini Unit Study
(For books and resources to use with this unit study, visit our Unit Study Resource Store.
Read Abe Lincoln’s Hat by Martha Brenner – your child can read to you or you can read aloud.
Meet Abe Lincoln by Barbara Cary
As your child narrates to you the events of the story, you can write it for him/her on a notebooking page to place in a notebook. (See notebooking page links you can choose from below.)
You can have your younger child listen to some of the reading suggestions listed below for the older child and have them narrate to you events from these stories as well, while the older children write their own narrations.
Make a hat and have the child put notes in it and wear it just like Abe Lincoln. Make a donut shape out of black posterboard that fits over the child’s head, roll th top part of the hat and tape it and attach to the inside of the donut shape to stick up like Lincoln’s hat. Then cut a circle out to tape to cover the hole at the top of the hat.
Your child can also make a log cabin like the one Abe lived in when he was a boy. Cut out of a cereal box or light weight cardboard the sides and pointed roof of the cabin and tape together in the shape of a cabin. Cut out a door or any windows you wish to add, and glue craft sticks to the cardboard cabin to completely cover the cardboard. When the glue is dry, paint the craft sticks with brown paint.
If you would like some worksheets and more information to read with some unit study activities, click on the following link from School Express http://schoolexpress.com/ishop/software/lincoln_dg86.pdf
Intermediate and Junior High and High School Ages
Read any of the following living books:
Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legendby Justine and Ron Fontes (younger readers)
Abraham Lincolnby Ingri and Edgar Parin d’ Aulaire
Abraham Lincoln by James Daugherty
Abraham Lincoln’s World by Genevieve Foster (this gives you a world view of Lincoln’s time)
Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln by Jean Fritz
Abraham Lincoln the Writer: a treasury of his greatest speeches and letters by Harold Haolzer (for older students, a great resource for primary documents for study, copywork, dictation, memorization, and analysis)
After reading any of these living books, have your students narrate the events from chapters as you read them together aloud as a family or individually and then have them write their narration on any of the notebooking page options listed below.
You can copy nicely worded or key sentences from the books for copywork for the children to write on any notebooking pages. After they have studied these sentences and copied them, you can dictate any sentences to them at the end of the week while they write them down.
When there are key events mentioned in the books from his life or from events occurring around the world, put these into a timeline. (an example of a timeline notebook page can be found here http://www.notebookingpages.com/index.php?page=Free-History-Notebooking-Pages )
Copywork can also include lines or the entire text from the Emancipation Proclamation or the Gettysburg Address. You can find these online or from the collected works mentioned in the book above.
A unit study for Abraham Lincoln for elementary age students can be found here in lapbook form http://www.homeschoolshare.com/abraham_lincoln_boy_who_loved_books.php
For more activity ideas, read Abraham Lincoln For Kids: his life and times with 21 activities by Janis Herbert
Have your older and high school students write an essay or prepare a persuasive speech for debate about Lincoln’s actions and reasons for instituting the Emancipation Proclamation. Did he do it for the slaves or save the union? Look at this link to analyze and prepare for this discussion and write your position. http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/pdf/liberty_and_justice_for_all.pdf
Notebooking links to choose from
http://www.homeschoolshare.com/docs54367/AbrahamLincolnNtbkpgs.pdf (this one is written to work with the
d’ Aulaire book)
http://homeschool.consumerhelpweb.com/basics/notebooking-pages.htm (you can use the blank biography notebooking page or the 1/2 inch Abraham Lincoln page)
http://www.notebookingpages.com/index.php?page=Free-Biography-Notebooking-Pages (a variety of blank biography notebooking pages to choose from)