Monday, September 30, 2013

Seeds & Plants Unit

Seeds & Plants Unit 

This year we are lucky enough to be part of a homeschooling co-op. This is fantastic news for me because my older children are getting the opportunity to learn from other adults and build friendship with like minded families and children. Selfishly , it also relives me from teaching Jr.High science !
In return , I am teaching unit studies to a group of children between Gr.1-3.
Unit studies are such a great way to combine different subjects into one theme which hopefully makes learning much more interesting !
You can check out other posts to find units such as our; Bird Unit , Bees UnitJack & the Beanstalk Unit. Mini- Beaver Unit, Humpty Dumpty Egg Unit Community Helpers Unit and Owl Unit.

Normally when I plan a unit study I make sure that I include components of writing, math, science and art. For this post I will show you some of the hands on activities I had them do along side their reading and written work.

Variety to explore

On our first day I let the children use plastic knives to cut into a variety of fruits and vegetables. They learned that seeds come in different sizes and in varying amounts.
How many plants could they grow from the seeds of just one fruit? How many fruits would just one plant grow?
We ordered the seeds from smallest to largest and compared the number of seeds found in the fruits.

 On our next day our hands on activity was to learn what plants need in order to grow and to pot a plant.
For the books
After our activity we  made a page for our notebook with the information we learned. 

Identifying the parts we eat  

 On the last day of our unit study I bought a variety of plants. I tried to include as much of the full plant that I could so that they children could see which part they usually eat. We were also able to talk about how we could make use of more of the plant so we were not being wasteful.

nuts, grains and herbs are parts of plants we eat too !

A basic illustration to show parts of the plant  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Quiet Book Pages 

I have always wanted to make my kids a quiet book. Now that my fifth is nearing three years old I thought "now or never" !
I haven't used any templates, just freehand.
I hope you can get some inspiration from my pages and come up with some great ways to make your book work too  !


Laundry Day
Carrots are planted and harvested 

Barn door opens and closes

Tuesday, June 4, 2013



There's a lot of buzz about fine motor activities for young children online. I started to really focus on it when I had a struggling writer. I became intentional in providing opportunities every day to strengthen the muscles need for writing. Eventually it became obvious that his motor issues extended beyond the scope of normal and we've since been exploring other information to help him. Another blog, another day.
HOWEVER, every child needs to practice fine motor skills. It plays a huge part in handwriting but also every day activities like tying shoes and using scissors. I have compiled a group of activities that we often use and hopefully I will continue to add to them as we come up with new ones !


finger writing in sand
When you use the coloured sand you can change it up to go along with any theme you are working on. Watch out for little cuts if you decide to use salt ! Another good alternative is cornflour.
Scooping and pouring

working the pincer grasp
 Movements requiring the thumb, index finger and middle finger to be touching are excellent to get their hands ready for the pencil grasp.
vary your tools

not just for Easter
 Promote muscle development in the wrist as well as the arm and shoulder by having children write, draw and do activities on vertical surfaces.

Your classics are still new to your kids !

Mix it up for different seasons or colours
 Initially make the scissors "talking puppets" and just cut through the air. You can practice saying "fast" or "slow".
It is really helpful to cut a variety of materials. Start with a stiffer card stock , old playing cards or straws that require almost no control of the assisting hand.
an open ended experience

Stretching and strengthening


So many transferable skills are learned

A balancing act

Squeezing water filled sponge cubes

changing the angle can often help
 You can use a laptop board as a vertical writing board !
Change it up

Button snakes can be made for different themes too

Pour anything

scraps for weaving