Chipmunk and I have tried several ways to make sure we cover Science, Social Studies and History. From all-in-one curriculum to notebooking pages,lapbooks, and unit studies, and a simplified “Let’s just read it approach.”, we’ve done it all. We have started her Fifth grade year and I am going into this year confident that she knows what she needs/wants and is aware (maybe too aware) of events and aspects that are covered in these subjects.
This year we will return to unit studies as curriculum for Chipmunk’s Science, Social Studies and History. The unit studies will alternate between Social Studies/History and Science every six weeks and each will contain a S.T.E.M. lesson plan to enhance the unit. The first six weeks we will be working on the history of animation and film. I compiled this unit study using various online resources, my own experiences and a few books that are highly recommended to help teach this topic to children.
As you may have guessed our first unit study will contain a lot of hands on activities and video watching. The history of animation of film is actually a personal request from Chipmunk, but I feel she is more than capable of understanding the information presented to her. By the end of the unit she will be able to mix the various forms of animation and make her own 2 minute film. I can’t wait to view it!
After our first six weeks of school is completed we will take a one week break and jump back into school mode the following week and begin working on The Human Body. Chipmunk loves the six weeks on one week off school schedule I have developed. It’s great for both of us. This allows us to give our brains a break from all that information cramming and just relax. We have followed this schedule for 2 years and I have seen a huge improvement in how much of her learning is retained throughout the school year. No more forgetting what she learned at the beginning of the year!
Below is a table I have created breaking down Science and Social Studies unit studies by grade. This has allowed us to have a more relaxed approach to subjects that are not the three Rs but are considered core subjects.
|KINDERGARTEN/!ST GRADE||2ND GRADE||3RD GRADE||4TH GRADE||5TH GRADE|
|Families and Neighborhoods||3 States of Matter||Structures||Weather||Natural Resources|
|Animals||The United States: American Revolution||Solar System||Light and Sound||The Gold Rush|
|Forces||Plants||Plants||Famous Explorers||The Fur Trade|
|Early 2nd Language Development (Throughout the Year)||Continue 2nd Language||The United States: Civil War||Native Americans||US Government|
|Continue 2nd Language||Continue 2nd Language||Transcontinental Railroad||Continue 2nd Language|