Last, but certainly not least important is to determine how to begin or open your unit study. Unit study beginnings matter because you want a hands-on activity that will hook your children onto unit studies.
There are several ways to introduce a unit study besides reading a book though I have used that hook before to get my boys’ interest piqued in our unit study. Most children will engage when you open your unit study with something that is not expected like a hands-on project.
I have used many different ways to introduce a unit study that moved me outside of the box or in this case the book.
6 Creative Unit Study Beginnings that Stick
Take a look at this last of ways to introduce your unit study that spark an interest in any hum drum unit study.
- Instead of doing a whole lapbook, just do one small minibook. When we studied the Native Americans, we started by creating a pop up book. Instead of a boring quiz on what my boys knew or didn’t know about the Native Americans, we made an interactive mini pop up book.
- Begin your unit study with a field trip. Sure, you can save it for the end, but if you have enough places to visit, try to make it your first event too. The field trip sets the mood for learning that topic and for my boys they could recall what they already experienced by the place we visited. One year, I did a fall unit study with the boys and instead of reading about what fall is, I took them to a field trip where we could pick our own pumpkins and experience hands-on about fall.
- Begin with an easy science activity. We tested out some plants when we began our Amazon rain forest unit.
- Begin your unit with a game. And if you can’t find one on the topic you are studying, you can create an easy one based off the basic games like Go Fish, Battle or even trading cards. You are only limited by your imagination.
- Begin your unit study by listening to music or even doing a drawing, illustration, art or craft.
- Begin your unit study by creating a meal or favorite dish.
I hope you have enjoyed this step by step series in helping you to ease down the unit study trail. As you can see, I feel a unit study is a superior way to teach a child though I never claim it is easy.
Sometimes it is flat out hard, but I always focus on the rewards. I always look at my return in investment. When my sons learn research skills early and have a say in what they want to learn with my guidance, I feel it gives them a mastery of material that would otherwise take us a few years to learn.
Doing my part in the process too by using living books, choosing topics they are enthusiastic about and working hard alongside them, keeping it all about hands-on when I would rather it be hands off at times, I have tried to reduce education boredom.
One of the biggest payoffs though is when my oldest son who is now graduated and doing college level work tells me Thank You. His thank you comes from a place deep down inside because he knows I could have chosen a little easier path and some years I had no choice. But where possible, I always tried to bring our learning around to a central theme or topic.
It’s true small ideas give a huge payoff.
Did you come up with a theme or try one or two unit studies?
Hugs and love ya,
Did you see these books that help planning unit studies a little easier?
Did you miss any blog posts in this series?