May is a fun month. As the weather warms, we can start incorporate more outdoor curriculum and activities, as well as just spend the day outside. Here are a few of our favorite holidays to celebrate in the month of May!
May Day is a celebration of the beginning of spring, fertility, political protests, organized labor, and it is also a saint’s feast day. It is celebrated in many countries and historians date May Day festivals back to ancient spring festivals. With this unit study you will be able to teach your elementary to middle school classroom about the history of May Day.
May the Fourth be with you! Celebrate Space Day and the popular Star Wars trilogies with Space Exploration! Throughout history people have wanted to know more about the world beyond their neighborhood, including the sky above them. Thanks to space exploration, we are able to explore beyond our planet! With this Space Exploration Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, your student will learn the exploration timeline, exploration tools, exploration vehicles, early space stations, astronauts, space centers, moon landings, and future space exploration.
There are millions of different kinds of mothers in the world and some have become famous. With this unit study you will be able to teach your K-3rd grade classroom about Famous Mommies throughout world history. Students will be introduced to Mary (mother of Jesus), Abigail Adams, Marie Curie, Queen Elizabeth II, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Michelle Obama, as well as famous make-believe mommies. Have someone you would like your student to learn about? Have them research and put together their own mini-study.
Every day consumers face a variety of financial situations and it is good for everyone to have the skills to handle them. Teach your students about income, deductions, banking, shopping, eating out, investing money, borrowing money, credit, common household expenses, taxes, budgeting, and money management. For those not quite ready for this curriculum, we recommend the Teach Me About Money Curriculum!
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Learn about two branches of the military and the men and women who fought for our country, served for our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
March and April are full of exciting holidays and the changing of seasons. Below we’ve listed the top 6 days to celebrate with lapbooks! What holiday are you looking forward to as we transition to Spring?
A season is a period within a year that has a certain type of weather and characteristics. Introduce your students to the four seasons including the causes of seasons and each season’s characteristics, weather and more.
This Caldecott Medal-award winning book tells about a series of events that lead to a theory of why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears. This hands-on pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading, 15 Hands-On Activities, and a 7-page Research Guide with story summary, page-by-page discussion ideas, and introductions to mosquitoes, West Africa, and Folktales.
Easter is the most important Christian holiday of the year. On this day, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Students will be introduced to the Story of Easter (including an Easter timeline), celebrating Easter, common symbols of Easter and more!
A tree is a large woody plant with a single trunk (sometimes a group of trunks) that supports a leafy crown of branches. Like all other plants, trees need water, soil and sunlight to grow. This unit includes a 6-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 12 Hands-On Activities PLUS 3 Fun Extension Activities, and a 7-page Research Guide to help students complete a project about the types of trees, parts of a tree, types of leaves, tree life cycle, importance of trees, and conservation.
With so many holidays to celebrate in February, it can be hard to keep up. We’re here to help you plan it all out–with a little twist. For the year 2018, we want to tie in important and fun dates with our curriculum, activities and maybe even some educational YouTube videos to tie it all in. So let’s get started with our top 5 for February!
Every citizen of the United States is entitled to his or her civil rights. Throughout history, however, many people have had to fight for those rights. Teach your students how some Americans fought for their civil rights from 1954 to 1968. Students will be introduced to events leading up to the Civil Rights Movement, key events during the movement and Civil Rights leaders.
Activity: Create mini-research project banners about one of the many important leaders in Black History. Banners can include: pictures, words of wisdom, and well-known or little-known facts. This gives your student the opportunity to get to know important people in history beyond the surface.
One of the most important systems in the body is the cardiovascular system. Introduce your students to this complex system made up of the heart, blood vessels, and blood.
Activity: Breathe In, Breathe Out Model Lungs. Amber Hockman with The Fantastic Five gives step-by-step instructions on how to create model lungs to recreate how we breathe every day. Check it out at here.
Libraries have a lot of books, but they also have a lot of other information and resources. Teach your students about the types of libraries, common areas inside a library, library rules, how to find a book, librarians, book classification systems, the parts of a book and more.
It’s the Year of the Dog! Chinese New Year is a large holiday, and although it isn’t celebrated on January 1, it marks a brand new year. This curriculum studies the traditional January 1 New Year, but also the Chinese New Year.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your early elementary classroom about the holiday Presidents’ Day. This pack includes a 6-page Research Guide and 15 Hands-On Activities that cover the history of the holiday, brief biographies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who can be president, where the president lives, and some of the responsibilities of the President of the United States.
Presidents’ Day was designated a national holiday in 1885 to observe George Washington’s birthday. Although it was meant to honor only Washington, many people honor Abraham Lincoln and other presidents on this day as well.
Activity: Create mini-research project banners about one of the U.S. Presidents. Banners can include: pictures, words of wisdom, and well-known or little-known facts. This gives your student the opportunity to get to know important people in history beyond the surface.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your middle and high school classroom all about the attack on Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941, is a day that many Americans will not forget. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, it is a day that will live in infamy. On this historic day, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii, forcing the U.S. to enter World War II. Make your lesson planning easy with the Attack on Pearl Harbor Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This unit includes a 6-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities PLUS 1 Fun Extension Activity, 10-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. Students will learn a brief history of World War II, the events of the attack on Pearl Harbor, damages and casualties of the attack, the aftermath, memorials, and more.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 3rd-6th grade class about animals at the zoo. With the A Trip to the Zoo Graphics Pack Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, your student can study the trip to any zoo. Simply choose a zoo to visit and then use the 17 Hands-On Activities and Reproducible Graphic Templates to complete a study on that zoo. This Graphics Pack contains a 3-day Planning Guide, Related Reading, a brief Research Guide explaining types of zoos, purposes of zoos, where zoo animals come from, zoo management and animal care, zoo rules, and comparing animals in the wild to animals in captivity plus vocabulary words your student might encounter during his or her own research needed to complete a study on a visit to the zoo!
With this unit study you will be able to teach your middle school and high school classroom all about the United States Constitution. The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787. This was the day that a new government was formed in the United States, the same government we have today. Make lesson planning easy with the United States Constitution Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This unit includes a 9-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities, an 8-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. Students will learn about Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, the Articles of Confederation, structure and content of the Constitution, the Constitutional Convention, U.S. citizens and their rights, and much more.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your early childhood classroom fun activities that correlate to the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. The 12 Days of Christmas Fun Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child includes a 12-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 24 Hands-On Activities, and Supply List to help your students celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas. This unit includes both religious and secular based activities that correlate to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 3rd grade and up classroom about the history of New Year’s Celebrations. January 1 is the first day of the new calendar year in the United States as well as in many other countries around the world. People in America celebrate New Year’s Day with parades, football games, special foods and other customs. Many cultures celebrate New Year’s Day on other dates as well. This pack includes a 12-page Research Guide and 16 Hands-On Activities to introduce your students to early New Year’s customs, celebrations in the United States, celebrations around the world, New Year’s resolutions and rituals, and much more!
Which one is your favorite? Is there a holiday we missed that you love celebrating? Comment below or comment on our Facebook page!
It’s no secret that hands-on learning is a way to fully immerse students in their education. Our curriculum is built upon this, and we would like to share with you why. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the larger reasons hands-on learning is vital in education through research gathered from larger associations and organizations.
As students put projects together, create crafts, or use familiar materials in new ways, they’re constructing meaning. “Kids learn through all their senses,” says Ben Mardell, PhD, a researcher with Project Zero at Harvard University, “and they like to touch and manipulate things.” But more than simply moving materials around, hands-on activities activate kids’ brains. According to Cindy Middendorf, educational consultant and author of The Scholastic Differentiated Instruction Plan Book (Scholastic, 2009), between the ages of four and seven, the right side of the brain is developing and learning comes easily through visual and spatial activities. The left hemisphere of the brain—the side that’s involved in more analytical and language skills—develops later, around ages 10 and 11.
When you combine activities that require movement, talking, and listening, it activates multiple areas of the brain. “The more parts of your brain you use, the more likely you are to retain information,” says Judy Dodge, author of 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom (Scholastic, 2009). “If you’re only listening, you’re only activating one part of the brain,” she says, “but if you’re drawing and explaining to a peer, then you’re making connections in the brain.”
Multitasking in the classroom is not a negative when it comes to hands-on activities such as coloring, scribbling, or cutting with scissors. Indeed, even adults benefit from the “busy hands, busy brain” phenomenon: Recent research has shown that people who doodle during business meetings have better memory recall. A report in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology demonstrated that volunteers who doodled during a dull verbal message were 29 percent better at recalling details from the message. Researchers suggest that engaging in a simple hands-on task, such as cutting out a shape with scissors, can help prevent daydreaming and restlessness during a learning experience. If adults in business settings can benefit from mnemonic tricks such as doodling, then students should certainly be encouraged to try these strategies.”
“Well-designed, hands-on activities in the classroom foster connections to real-world situations and increase learner engagement. This commingling of the classroom and the rest of life is called hands-on learning. When students make connections between the concepts in the classroom and concepts in the real world, more parts of their brains are activated, and the knowledge gained more easily transfers to long-term memory. This style of teaching and learning also fosters the growth of critical thinking and problem solving skills – skills that many employers say they view as high priorities in new hires. Another perk to hands-on learning is that it makes both teaching and learning fun again. School time is not simply a time to “buckle down” and “do work” but an extension of the full lives that your kids are already living.”
The study, published online April 24 in Psychological Science, comes from the Department of Psychology’s Human Performance Lab, directed by Prof. Sian Beilock, an internationally known expert on the mind–body connection and author of the book How the Body Knows Its Mind.
For Beilock, the findings stressed the importance of classroom practices that physically engage students in the learning process, especially for math and science.
“In many situations, when we allow our bodies to become part of the learning process, we understand better,” Beilock said. “Reading about a concept in a textbook or even seeing a demonstration in class is not the same as physically experiencing what you are learning about. We need to rethink how we are teaching math and science because our actions matter for how and what we learn.”
With all of this being said, if you focus on hands-on learning, why do you do this? What are some of the reasons behind why you choose a tactile learning environment? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page!
With this unit study you will be able to teach your K-12th grade classroom about Christopher Columbus. Your student may be familiar with the saying, “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”but what else does he or she know about this famous man who is credited for discovering America? Teach your students about this famous explorer with the Christopher Columbus Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. Make your lesson planning easy with the 7-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 17 Hands-On Activities, 8-page Research Guide, and Answer Key about the man, his travels at sea, his famous voyage in 1492, and how Americans celebrate that voyage today. What a great way to learn the history of this famous explorer and his travels!
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 2nd-5th grade classroom some basic tips for using a dictionary and thesaurus. There are over one million words in the English language. Luckily there are two very important tools that can be used to find and understand words: a dictionary and a thesaurus. Make your lesson planning easy with the Words, Words, Words Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, which contains a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 15 Hands-On Activities, and a 10-page-page Research Guide. Students will be introduced to the parts of a dictionary, parts of word entry, and how to lookup a word, types of thesaurus’ and how to use a thesaurus.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your early elementary classroom the poem, “Five Little Pumpkins” in our fun loving Five Little Pumpkins Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. We have included 20 Hands-On Activities that gives you and your child 5 days of hands-on activities to celebrate pumpkins and more! This is a thematic unit focusing on skills and concepts needed for school. There is no research guide included in this unit. This unit covers the following concepts: the color orange, numbers 1-5, circles, square, the letter “P”, sequencing, and graphing. Tracer font or cut and paste answers are provided for this unit.
Every year fires injure and kill thousands of people and cause damage to property. Firefighters are people who are trained to put out fires quickly and safely. With this unit study you will be able to teach your K-3rd grade classroom about the types of firefighters, what firefighters wear, firefighter equipment, types and colors of fire trucks, how to become a firefighter, a day in the life of a firefighter, other things firefighters do to help people, what happens when you call 9-1-1, and the history of firefighting. Make your lesson planning easy with the Firefighters Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This unit includes a 6-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 15 Hands-On Activities PLUS 2 Extension Activities and 1 Fun Bonus Activity, and an 11-page Research Guide.
Back to school planning can be daunting, especially with so many options and subjects out there. How do you know which ones will be best to start with? How will you incorporate these with activities. Below, we’ve listed some of our more popular curriculum from most of the subjects we offer. Whether you want to start with Economics, The Arts, or a little of both, these lapbooks are sure to get you started in the right direction. Each curriculum notes the age group and what is included.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 4th-7th grade classroom about law and government. Throughout the world, there are different forms of government that establish and enforce laws for the people who live within the boundaries of each nation. Make your lesson planning easy with the World Governments Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This unit includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 15 Hands-On Activities, 5-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. Students will be will introduced to roles of government, types of laws, how U.S. laws are made, national and state laws, and careers in law.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 2nd-5th grade classroom about globes and maps. How do you find your way around the world? Globes are the most accurate world maps. Flat maps, though not as accurate, are easy to store and take with you when you travel. Teach your students about these two important models of the Earth. Make your lesson planning easy with the Globes and Maps Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, which includes a 10-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities PLUS 4 Fun Extension Activities, 11-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. Students will be introduced to globes (invention, longitude and latitude, twenty-four hour globes) and maps (map projections, types of maps, parts of a map, and reading maps).
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 3rd-6th grade classroom about the history of the battle at the Alamo. There have been many famous battles throughout the history of the world. One famous battle in the U.S. was the Battle of the Alamo, a critical event during the Texas Revolution. Make your lesson planning easy with the Remember the Alamo! Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 16 Hands-On Activities, an 8-page Research Guide, and an Answer Key. Students will be introduced to the events leading up to the battle, the history of the San Antonio de Valero Mission, the Texas Revolution, the events of the siege of the Alamo, Texians who fought at the Alamo, and the aftermath.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 2nd-5th grade classroom some basic tips for using a dictionary and thesaurus. There are over one million words in the English language. Luckily there are two very important tools that can be used to find and understand words: a dictionary and a thesaurus. Make your lesson planning easy with the Words, Words, Words Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, which contains a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 15 Hands-On Activities, and a 10-page-page Research Guide. Students will be introduced to the parts of a dictionary, parts of word entry, and how to look-up a word, types of thesaurus’ and how to use a thesaurus.
With this unit study you will be able to introduce your 4th-8th grade classroom to geometry. Geometry is the mathematical study of the properties of points, lines, planes, angles, and shapes. Make your lesson planning easy with the 7-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 22 Hands-On Activities PLUS 2 Fun Extension Activities, 10-page Research Guide, and Answer Key. With the Introduction to Geometry Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child, students will be introduced to points, lines, planes, angles, and shapes as well as measuring shapes and the importance of geometry.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your PreK-2nd grade classroom about plants. Plants may not travel, but their seeds sure do! In fact, a traveling seed is one of the ways that new plants begin! Introduce your student to the science of plants with the Traveling Seeds Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. Make your lesson planning with the 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 14 Hands-On Activities, and 5-page Research Guide about plant anatomy, pollination, growth, photosynthesis, and plant uses.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 2nd-4th grade classroom about two incredible women: Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. Throughout U.S. history there have been many people who worked to ensure freedom and equality for all citizens, including Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. Teach your students about these two remarkable women and their role in freedom and equality. Make your lesson planning easy with the Freedom & Equality: Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading, 15 Hands-On Activities, and an 8-page Research Guide. Students will be introduced to each woman’s personal life, her role in freedom and equality, and important events in history during her lifetime.
With this unit study you will be able to teach your 6th-10th grade classroom about Broadway Musicals. Located in New York City, Broadway Musicals have been a part of the New York theatre scene throughout history. Make your lesson planning easy with the Broadway Musicals Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 13 Hands-On Activities, an 11-page Research Guide and Answer Key to introduce your students to the history of the longest-running Broadway Musicals: The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Chicago, Les Misérables, The Lion King, A Chorus Line, Beauty and the Beast, Rent, Mamma Mia, and Miss Saigon.
While a botanical garden is beautiful to walk through, it also provides a lot of learning opportunities for your student. The most obvious one is to learn about the plant life. What are the flowers and plants? What do they do? Even learning how a plant grows could be interesting to younger students.
On another note, there is an abundance of birds and insects at a botanical garden that may interest your student. Why are certain insects there? What do insects do to the plants? What about the birds?
This is very simple, but also a great hands-on way to learn over the summer. If you want to tie it into a curriculum, our recommendation would be our In the Garden Project Pack.
Bring a Camera Everywhere
Most people already have a phone on them with a camera, but learning how to operate a camera can be fun. Have your student carry around any type of camera all day and take pictures as they go. While they are taking pictures, they are learning about how to zoom, focus, what all of the nodes and buttons are used for, as well as what to look for that is a good “shot.”
At the end of the day, look over the photos and maybe even talk about the printing process and what goes into the developing of a photo.
If you’re looking for curriculum to tie in to this activity, we have them for every age group here.
This one is a no-brainer. Science museums are chock full of fun and amazing learning opportunities. Check your local science museum for any events they have over the summer. They usually hold mini-summer camps and classes.
Trip to the Zoo
The zoo is full of learning experiences for your student. You can teach about the types of zoos, purposes of zoos, where zoo animals come from, zoo management and animal care, zoo rules, and comparing animals in the wild to animals in captivity. There are also endangered species and why they are endangered. They can learn more about animal classifications and why animals look differently from others.
There are so many amazing science experiments involving water. Below I’ve listed a few that link to some great blogs with the full projects written out.
The blog Rookie Parenting has an entire section with water science experiments. It includes the properties of water, capillary action, water density, refraction, surface tension and the freezing point. The greatest part is that most of the objects needed to conduct the experiments can be found in your home.
Another blog, Brain Power Boy, is a great resource for water science experiments. The great part about this blog is that it’s all about how to have fun with water and science. There are also some ground rules that Sheila lists out that are very useful and great to remember.
Have any summer activities you tie in with education? Let us know in the comments below or by heading over to our Facebook page.
It’s vital that you incorporate something hands-on or outside of a textbook within your curriculum. Whether that be something as simple as going to the grocery store to have your student add the total amount and other activities or putting together a grand experiment, you want it to be a mix of fun and educational. Below we’ve listed 4 fun games and activities that you can incorporate with our curriculum to help you take education to the next level. Have any other fun ideas? Let us know on our Facebook page!
1. Let’s Take a Trip!
The Plan: Did you know that in our geography section there are numerous states, countries and destination locations that can be learned about? Let your student choose from any one of them themselves or choose a location that may not be on the list. Then, when the curriculum is completed, take a trip! No, we’re not telling you to pack your bags and take a road trip (unless you want to!), but to have your student plan out a trip virtually.
The Details: Pick a location and a specific amount of time you’d be going on the trip for. Have your student map out the time it takes to get there (flying or driving), what cities or activities to go to and the amount of time it takes to do these activities. This allows them to utilize geography in a way that is very realistic. For example, if you pick the state of California, you won’t necessarily want to climb the mountains of Big Sur and walk across the San Francisco Bay Bridge on the same day.
2. The Stock Market
The Plan: The stock market is such a complicated system and always changing! Use the Stock Market curriculum to teach your 9th to 12th grade students all about what it means to go public as a corporation or what it means to have stock in something.
The Details: Give your student a certain amount of funny money they can invest. Allow them to research and decide where they’re giving their money, how much and what they hope to see come back or multiply. Have them track these changes over the time you give them.
3. Bringing Stories to Life!
The Plan: Pick a book, short story or poetry to read. Along with all of the normal activities and curriculum with that literature – have your student re-tell the story in an inventive way!
The Details: Utilizing items and crafts around the house, have your student re-tell their favorite part of the literature. This may be in the form of:
Lego block building
Furniture, toys and stuffed animals
A poster board, glue and tons of magazines…
Whatever medium chosen, let it be their decision. Watch them as they bring the story from words to life.
4. It’s Science.
The Plan: Some of our curriculum is a Project Pack, which include quite a few hands-on activities. One of the most fun project packs is Kitchen Science. This project pack takes what’s in your kitchen and teaches how there are similarities between a kitchen lab and a science lab.
The Details: Within the project pack for Kitchen Science is a fun extension activity, along with the 15 other hands-on activities. Finish it, grab a photo and share it on our Facebook page or tag us on our Instagram.
You may be guilty of it, and most importantly, almost everyone is guilty of it.
What is it you may be guilty of? Scrolling through Pinterest for hours.
You may look up recipes, everything you’re interested in or fun ideas for the kids. The thing is, it’s not just a social media platform, but also a search engine. This search engine can be used in a powerful way to aide in homeschooling.
Here are just a few ways it can be used:
Create new boards for themes or units. Then, whenever you find something browsing Pinterest, blogs or just through Google, you can Pin it to that board to go back when you are about to start that theme or unit.
Use the Pinterest Search Engine. Do what you may already do, but streamline it by searching for things you may need help with. Not sure what crafts to go along with your curriculum on Consumer Math? Search “consumer math crafts” and you’ll get hundreds of ideas that others have tried and tested for you. You can use this in any way, even for things like “homeschool organization.”
Who you follow will show up on your overall feed. So be careful. Not every Pinterest account you follow will be ONLY what they pinned that caught your interest. To combat that, follow specific boards.
Create a board for each child. As you know, each child learns differently and is at a different level of education. Why not use a Pinterest board to pin things you know one child would like versus all of them?
Join group boards with other homeschoolers! Usually the collaborative efforts of all will show some pretty great content.
Showcase your students’ amazing work! Why not use it the other way around and show everyone what you’re doing? You may be able to inspire others, but it also doubles as a tracker as well.
Extra general Pinterest tips:
If you don’t want a board to be public, you can make it “Secret” so that you can only see it (or whomever you would like to add).
You can easily pin the same pin to multiple boards, move pins from one board to the next or even delete pins if they don’t work.
If you try something out from Pinterest, you can go to the pin and click the checkmark. This allows you to write your own notes on the particular post, such as “Will do it again,” “Made these changes,” or even “This didn’t work.” You can go back and look at those anytime.