Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Australia Unit

This is actually a study I created so we could participate in a homeschool geography fair here. I'm going to link it anyway in case someone is looking for Australia study ideas. I did incorporate a few Core Knowledge science and geography objectives.

I'm going to try using Google Docs. I hope the link works.

Australia Unit in Google Docs 

I'm (Finally) Posting Again

I'm sorry I've neglected to post for so long. We had a hard drive crash and I lost all my lesson plans. I was as upset about the lesson plans as the pictures we lost I think! It was very difficult for me to start again from scratch. I really enjoy planning but the mental aspect of losing all that work made it feel discouraging and daunting. We also had some major changes including a move that meant I had to simplify.

Because of that I've veered a little away from Core Knowledge. I still love the program and am using it but no longer exclusively. I just couldn't put the effort back into redoing all those plans. I finished out some US History CK topics and we've done some science. I'll try to put together some of that lesson material to share.

For history I'm moving to ancient history because my boys are showing a lot of interest in that area. I plan to integrate CK objectives into that but I'm also going to lean heavily on some specific history resources. At this point I think we'll align more closely to Story of the World than CK for history. I may change my mind though! We're just doing pre-history right now so I've created that without a spine.

We're still going to use CK for the other topics though I am thinking of branching out a bit with science. Specifically, I'm exploring creating some lessons plans to follow Evan Moore Daily Science workbooks--just the $8 student material workbooks. I'm hoping I can align the topics with CK science topics though I don't have the workbooks yet to see if that will work. Right now I'm using a lot of printer ink printing out lapbook and similar components to help science topic retention. I think the workbooks might replace some of that. It also turns out I have a workbook loving child (who knew!) here so I'm doing it for him as well.

We just finished a short unit on Australia as we're participating in a homeschool geography fair. There is actually a CK Kindergarten objective for Australia. Of course the plans were a little simple but still I borrowed from the Baltimore plans and integrated a lot of video based material and internet resources. We also covered some 3rd grade CK geography objectives on rivers. Anyway, I'll post my plans in case anyone studies Australia and wants to use the ideas or resources.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Covered Wagon and Santa Fe Trail Lessons

We're currently continuing a US History unit on Westward Expansion.

I'm linking plans for a couple of lessons we've finished. I've started uploading the lessons to Zoho. I think it allows the lessons to be downloaded for editing if a person would like as well as copy/paste or read directly as one could when I've posted on this blog.

Wagon Train Travel in General
This plan includes the experience of travel in a wagon and cardinal directions (a Core Knowledge objective).

Santa Fe Trail
For these lessons I focused on the rich cultural influences in the area (Native American, Spanish, and then those of the Americans traveling on the Santa Fe Trail).

I'll be posting lessons for the Oregon Trail (and Gold Rush, Buffalo Bill, Alamo, etc.) as we work through them in the coming days.

It occurred to me that these westward lessons could combine with many of the Core Knowledge science objectives on habitats/biomes. For example, The Wilderness Road lessons could be used with forests, (with a stretch) the Ohio River Valley with underground (or river if you added a habitat lesson to CK objectives), the wagon train lessons with prairies, the Santa Fe Trail lessons with deserts, and the Oregon trail or California with Oceans (or mountains for one and oceans the other if you wanted to add a mountain habitat lesson). Rain Forests wouldn't work of course! I tend to do science and history in alternating units so we didn't do this but I think it might work well.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Prairie Dog Lessons

We're working through a biome/habitat science unit right now.

I decided to cover prairie dogs in those lessons. However, prairie dogs could be covered in many history topics such as Lewis and Clark, Westward Expansion, and even the Dust Storms era so I decided to link the prairie dog lessons as an individual unit here.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ohio River Valley Pioneers and Johnny Appleseed

Lesson--Ohio River Valley Pioneers with Flatboat Travel

We used our salt dough maps from the Wilderness Road lessons to talk about how people settled the Ohio River valley area and flatboat travel by pioneers down the Ohio.

We read Unit 8 of American Pioneers and Patriots including the introduction to that unit. The introduction gives context for Native American reaction to the settlers and is really important to begin in my opinion.

We made a flatboat today using the activity in this link (scroll down to the make a flatboat PDF at the bottom).

The next day we visited a local pioneer village from this time period. Here is a sort of clickable tour. There may be nice virtual options online; I didn't look much since we have local options.

Lessons--Johnny Appleseed and Art (texture in art)
This lesson set took multiple days here. I'm sure the time used could vary.

There are lots of apple related crafts and activities here.

Day 1
I read The American Story The Lord's Been Good to Me and we talked about the legends or tall tales that surround Johnny Appleseed (a Core Knowledge Objective). We also watched this silly song. Most of the library books I previewed incorporated plenty of Appleseed legend and could be used for this lesson. There are lots of online video or audio stories (some linked later) that could be an alternative to The American Story or another book as well.

I did the toilet paper craft from this link because it emphasizes his religious faith and some of the legends surrounding him even in his lifetime.

We also made baked apples today.

Day 2

I read First Biographies Johnny Appleseed because I found it more accurate than the other library books I previewed.

As specified in the Core Knowledge art objectives we discussed the texture in the Young Hare painting by Albrecht Durer. This link includes artist information as well as the painting.

We did the apple tree print picture craft from this link. The paint in this craft has a texture to it. I could have done apple prints instead. On the back we added a listing of the positive characteristics of Johnny Appleseed.

Day 3

We watched this about the life of Johnny Appleseed. An alternative is this audio about Johnny Appleseed. I would have used a book had I found one I liked. This has some legends presented as fact which I used to reinforce the concepts outlined in Core Knowledge. I used this information to guide our discussion.

We viewed this Native American Pomo Basket.

For our follow up activity today we glued small red yarn pieces onto an apple shape so our apple had texture we could feel like that basket we viewed. On the back of the apple the boys listed some of the legends/inaccuracies passed down.

Here are some apple games I didn’t ultimately use. Here is an animation we didn't use (not accurate but cute).

War of 1812, White House and Presidents

I struggled a little with the War of 1812. The Core Knowledge objectives don't address the Native American resistance to further expansion into their land and the British alliances supporting Native American resistance that greatly contributed to this war. So I added that perspective into the Core Knowledge objectives.

War of 1812 Day 1

Introduction of causes, Battle of Tippecanoe, and Old Ironsides

I'm going to begin with this video clip to help me introduce the conflict between Native Americans and pioneers.

Then we will read about the Battle of Tippecanoe using parts of the chapter in The Complete Book of US History.

Essentially I tried to set the stage for the war as such:
  • Settlers wanted to move west into Native American territory.
  • The British support Native American resistance to this.
  • Further, France and England are fighting on sea as well as land. As US ships travel for trade they are captured by both France and England. They sometimes force the sailors to join their war which is called impressment.

Finally, the US joins France in the war against England and against the Native Americans allied with England.

Most of the land battles were with Native Americans on the frontier.

Battles between the US and England directly were often at sea using wooden ships with cannons in their sides.

To present the above points and Core Knowledge objectives I made and then read a story type thing from select portions of the information here (Old Ironsides is Born section) I used a picture of the ship from a google image search in my story.

Activities to Close
We figured the size compared to our space as specified here.

LinkOther ideas I collected but didn't use included:
Paper Battleship
What Floats, What Sails

Day 2 General White House and Presidents, Burning of White House, Dolley Madison

We talked about the current president and the White House generally first. I made a little print out using pictures I found online primarily of Obama and his family as well as the White House. My print out also highlighted information about the children who have lived in the White House now and in the past. Lesson 20 in this link and link and link

I used the videos in this person's tour of the White House playlist to get a little of an inside look.

We then reviewed the first four presidents using the book Yo, Millard Filmore.

We watched this clip covering the Presidents.

To cover the Core Knowledge objectives involving the Burning of the White House and Dolley I used much of lesson 7 from this site. I did begin with the introduction in the lesson—what would you take with you if you were leaving your home never to return? Then I wrote the lesson content in story form with some google images.

Day 3 Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner, Battle of New Orleans

Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner
I read this.

Then we created a flag and talked about it’s symbolism. I used something similar to this plan except we used white paint and finger tips to make the “stars” rather than using the star template.

Battle of New Orleans
We watched Communication Now and Then
Then I read the description on the left side of page 142 in The Complete Book of US History but there is an alternative lesson here and this could easily make another day of lessons if desired.

Here is a map to show…sad

I left out so much that could be done with the War of 1812 for various reasons. If my kids were older I would cover a lot more so I wanted to include some great links I found.

This has so much to plan a War of 1812 unit!

War of 1812—website with lesson plans, video, and more for Old Ironsides.

War of 1812 resources—video clips and interactives etc. from the History Channel

Monday, August 8, 2011

Science Lessons

I uploaded my lesson plans for 1st grade science. These were too unwieldy to put on the blog but I think (hope) these links will work and may be easier for others to use as well. I think, for example, the lessons would be able to be downloaded and perhaps modified.

I used the free Baltimore Curriculum plans for some of these lessons. The link is here. Their website encourages the downloading and distribution of their plans. They also mention incorporating their plans with your own ideas. Therefore, I’m sharing the combination of their plans with my own additions and modifications in the hope it helps someone else.

Habitats/Biomes, Food Chains, and Conservation*
*I'm working through this unit now and will be making additions and/or modifying. Compared to other units this one is more lengthy and the plans more complicated.



Earth and Space

Human Body

I had previously put a couple of ideas for K science objectives on the blog so I'll link those here as well:
Seasons and Warm/Cool Colors (art) First Post
Seasons and Warm/Cool Colors (art) Continuation
Plants (and some CK art/music objectives with the science)