Wednesday, September 15, 2010


OK. So I have been really excited to try some new things this year. One of the things I have really been wanting to do, and decided was a must during our first week of school, was to combine Z's and J's Science and History classes into unit studies. I wasn't really sure how to go about doing this because Z is in first grade and J is in fifth. I decided to go with the curriculum J is using for both History and Science (gearing it down a bit for Z) and use a method called lapbooking. If you haven't heard of it I highly suggest you Google it. Lapbooks are a great way to offer a variety of activities about a subject and keep it organized. It is highly customizable and kids love it!

These are the ones we created for our Unit on Christopher Columbus. The first one is Joshua's. We are using the book series A History of Us by Joy Hakim for History. I used some materials used in our workbooks but then had J and Z pick out other things that stuck out to them. Then I created some quick mini books or journaling pictures for the kids to fill out. Not all of them are done. There are completed pages I haven't added and some unfinished ones that go with chapters we haven't read yet.

Activities include:

Make a list of supplies you would take on a voyage?
How did a lunar eclipse save Columbus?
The Columbian Exchange. List supplies exchanged between the New and Old World
Map Columbus's first voyage
Flash cards of navigational instruments used by sailors of that time period
Evaluate Christopher Columbus's Performance in eight areas. Give him a rank from 1-5
What were some fears sailors of that time period had?
A New Land. 1. Describe the New Land discovered by Columbus. 2. What were the people like who lived there? 3. What happens to the Taino people because of the arrival of Columbus?

Z's lapbook is much simpler. So far it consists of a coloring page, a maze, a compass picture Z drew as well as an activity showing some goods exchanged between the Old and New world.

Don't they look like fun? I am so excited and can't wait to start on our next unit. Basically anything that makes my kids excited about learning is fun for me and totally worth the paper, glue and assembly time. On a personal note I have also been bitten by the felt bug. I ran across a site that advertised felt food and toys for kids and decided that I needed to give it a go. I am totally hooked! I love coming up with ideas and seeing them come to completion. Here are a few of my first attempts.

Little Dinosaur for baby.

Dragon Finger Puppet from my Castle Collection

Lovey Elephant toy for baby.