December Planning: Holidays & Curriculum

December comes and goes so quickly with the holidays and family. Below we’ve highlighted some of our favorite well-known and wacky holidays to help you get a head start on planning.

 

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – December 7

Attack on Pearl Harbor

 

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.

 

International Monkey Day – December 14

A Trip to the Zoo

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!

 

Bill of Rights Day – December 15

The United States Constitution

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.

 

Christmas – December 25

12 Days of Christmas Fun

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.

 

New Year’s Eve – December 31

New Year’s Celebrations

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!

November Planning – A Look Ahead at the Holidays

While planning for November, we’ve listed a few well-known holidays, as well as some unusual holidays that you can tie learning into. Which holiday are you looking forward to most?

November 11 -Veterans Day

World War I Project Pack

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 3rd-8th grade classroom about the history of World War I. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and the world suddenly changed. The First World War had begun. Make your lesson planning easy with the 101-page World War I Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 10-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 22 Hands-On Activities, 18-page Research Guide, and an Answer Key. Students will be introduced to the countries involved, causes of the war, weapons used, and the battles fought. There is also a detailed timeline of events, short biographies of important people, and much more!

 

World War II Project Pack

With this unit study you will be able to teach your 6th-10th grade classroom about the history of World War II. For twelve long years the world was in turmoil as the Allied countries fought against the Axis countries in World War II. Make your lesson planning easy with the World War II Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 14-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 30 Hands-On Activities PLUS 1 Extension Activity, a 26-page Research Guide, and an Answer Key. Upon completion, students will understand the causes of the war, weapons used, the decision to drop the atom bomb, secret codes, and how the balance of world power shifted as the war came to a close.

Attack on Pearl Harbor Project Pack

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.

 

The Vietnam War Project Pack

November 13 – Peanut Butter Day

The Peanut Project Pack

With this unit study you will be able to teach your elementary grade classroom about the peanut. The peanut, a member of the legume family, is an annual warm-season plant that originated in South America. Students can learn about this fun and nutritious food with The Peanut Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. Make your lesson planning easy with the 8-page Research Guide and 12 hands-on activities PLUS 2 extension activities to help students learn about types of peanuts, the peanut plant, peanut growth cycle, peanut uses, and fun peanut facts.

November 23  – Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Project Pack

https://www.handsofachild.com/thanksgiving-curriculum.html

With this unit study you will be able to teach your multi- grade classroom about Thanksgiving. Every year Americans look forward to the fourth Thursday of November and enjoy the feasting and good times with their families. But Thanksgiving is not just about eating all that wonderful food. Make your lesson planning easy with the Thanksgiving Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 7-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 17 Hands-On Activities, a 12-page Research Guide, and an Answer Key. Introduce your students to the history, people, symbols of the holiday, recipes, and more!

 

The Pilgrims Project Pack

https://www.handsofachild.com/the-pilgrims-curriculum.html

With this unit study you will be able to teach your elementary, middle school and high school classroom all about Pilgrims. Have you and your family ever moved to a new house or maybe even a new city or state? Have you ever imagined what it would be like to move to a new country? This year as you celebrate Thanksgiving, think about those people long ago who moved to a new country in search of freedom – think about the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child is complete with a 10-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities, 11-page Research Guide, and Answer Key to help your students study the history of the Pilgrims.

Monthly Holiday – Harvest Month!

Harvest Festival Project Pack

https://www.handsofachild.com/harvest-festival-curriculum.html

With this unit study you will be able to teach your early elementary classroom about celebrating autumn. Autumn leaves are falling and it’s time to celebrate the harvest! Your preschoolers will absolutely love the Harvest Festival Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. We have included a total of 15 Hands-On Activities; three activities for each day of the unit to help you and your student celebrate autumn! This is a thematic unit focusing on skills and concepts needed for school, there is no research guide included with this unit. This unit covers the following concepts: the letters L, P, S, R, A, and B; matching, symmetry, and sequencing. Tracer font or cut and paste answers are provided for this unit.

The Benefits of Hands-On Learning

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.

From Scholastic:

“Busy Hands, Busy Brains

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.”

From Demme Learning:

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.”

 

From UChicagoNews:

Learning by doing helps students perform better in science

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!

October Planning – A Look Ahead at Holidays

While planning for October, we’ve listed a few well-known holidays, as well as some unusual holidays that you can tie learning into. Which holiday are you looking forward to most?

 

October 9 – Columbus Day!

Christopher Columbus Project Pack

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!

 

October 11 – National Fossil Day!

Fossils Project Pack

 

October 16  – National Dictionary Day!

Words, Words, Words

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.

October 31 – Halloween!

Five Little Pumpkins Project Pack

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.

 

Monthly Holiday – Fire Safety Month!

Firefighters Project Pack

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.

 

5 Summer Activities that Double as Education

Visit a Botanical Garden

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.

Science Museum

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.

If you’re looking for curriculum to tie-in to this activity, check out our numerous lapbooks.

Water Science Experiments

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.

4 Fun Ways to Incorporate More Activities with Your Curriculum

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:

  • Drawings

  • 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.

Curriculum Perfect for the Spring Season and Warmer Weather

Spring has sprung and warm weather is officially here (and summer is fast approaching)! Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite curriculum that ties in with the season.

 

May Day & Other Spring Festivities Curriculum

We may have passed May Day, but this curriculum goes over some other fun spring festivals and the history behind them.

 

In the Garden: Flowers and Insects Curriculum

The beginning stages of having a garden is understanding how they work and the life in it. This curriculum is filled with all the information to get your little one from the books to the garden planting their own.

 

The Four Seasons Curriculum

With it being the middle of Spring, and we’re close to Summer, it’s the perfect time to teach about the different seasons, why we have them and what they bring.

 

Going to the Park Curriculum

Whether you live in a small town or big city, chances are you have a park close to you. Parks are great places to get some fresh air and exercise, meet your friends, and have some fun!  Make your lesson planning easy with this project pack, which is all about things to do at the park, nature at a park, park and playground safety, playground science, and an introduction to state and national parks.

 

Exploring Nature Curriculum

Pair your outdoor adventures with this curriculum! Whether you hike, kayak, camp or explore your garden, this is the perfect curriculum to learn about the nature you encounter!

The Best of… According to You!

With the hundreds of lapbooks and note packs in our shop, it may be difficult deciding which one will be next in your curriculum. Using your reviews, we’ve put together a list of the most popular curriculums we have to offer!

For the student who knows or shows interest in a career in veterinary science:

“My daughter intends on being a vet and she loved this curriculum. It gave a lot of insight and contained so much information. It allowed her to learn more about her career choice and it gave her some incentive to do some research!!” by Elaine

“My daughter loved learning about animal care and veterinary science. I even learned something new.” by Tracie

 

Our top-rated curriculums on the English subject:

“This is the first lapbook i have bought from this company and I will definitely be buying some more! A great practical way to learn and my daughter loves the whole secret agent thing so this was perfect for her.Would definitely recommend.” by Patrice

“My girls are teens and we did this and they loved it. I learned some new things, also.” by Suzan

“My daughter has learning issues and hates (maybe I should say HATES) English – this pack helped her very much……..though English is still not a favorite ;0)” by Denise

“LOVE IT! We used this when my daughter was in third grade and are doing another one-using the same kit as I bought the CD combo- now that she is in fifth and is advancing more in grammar. Easy to us with our grammar program and great review. Can’t recommend it enough. Well worth it. THANKS!”

 

“This was the first lapbook our family ever used and we were hooked! We loved every part of of this unit. We printed all of our minibooks on white paper and my daughter would color them while I read. Thank for such a great product!” by Rebecca

“We really enjoyed the Little House in the Big Woods lapbook! It helped my daughter focus to have hands on projects for each chapter. We have a better appreciation for how much work they did back then. The more lapbooks we do…the more we want to do! Thanks so much for your lapbooks!” by Heather

“This was the very first lapbook that we did. My 9 yo dd is really into the books and wanted to do a lapbook on one. I had no idea what I would be getting from the company. HOAC did NOT disappoint. We used it along side reading the book aloud which was perfect. My 2 younger children really enjoyed it as well. It caused us all to dig deeper into the book and really think about the story. There are mini books about bee sting treatments, celebrations, difference between then and now and many more.” by Kristi

 

For the student interested in learning about why certain holidays exist and what they mean:

“I have really enjoyed the variety of activities put together in this lapbook. I also appreciate the fact that it can be used for different ages and abilities. Thanks for putting this together!” by Jennie

“In my opinion, Hands of a Child products are always top notch! This is no exception. Very well laid out. Super easy to follow instructions on construction of the folders, as well as the activities. Can easily adapt for multiple levels.” by Susan

“This was a very easy and fun way to teach what St. Patrick’s Day is all about and how it came to be. My 10 year old really enjoyed this.” by Carol

 

“A very simple lap book about Thanksgiving. This is for grades 4-8 but my first grader enjoyed this as well as my 6th grader. Easily adapted for the younger child. I had my first grader draw mostly pictures on the worksheets instead of writing. Thanksgiving discusses why the Puritans left England, their journey to the New World, Native Americans, the first Thanksgiving, a timeline, lots of recipes and symbols and how Thanksgiving became a national holiday.” by Kristina

“This is our first year homeschooling and so I have been trying out many of the different methods of teaching to see what fits in best with our lives. I have to say that LOVED this HOAC unit study. It was very easy to follow and I really liked that it had detailed instructions on what to do with the printables for the lapbooks. (especially helpful to me since I had never seen a lapbook before!) I felt that the information in it was complete and my children ages 6 and 7 had a great time doing the lapbooks. They both asked if we could keep doing homeschooling this way from now on! (which of course made me ecstatic!!) I had a day by day lesson plan in it which was invaluable to me. I have a 6 yr old, a 7 yr old and then a toddler. All of them have special needs so my time is extremely limited. It was a really big help to be able to spend my time actually teaching them rather than preparing the lessons. All I had to do was look at the lesson plan and then print what we needed for the week. I did cut some of the things out ahead of time since my children have some fine motor issues. I have tried other unit studies also but this HOAC format was perfect for us, I will definitely be purchasing more unit studies from HOAC! Thanks for all your hard work putting these together so that people like me can utilize them. It has been a blessing for sure!” by Jessica

 

“Very simple yet thorough lap book. Lots of good, detailed information on Christmas symbols. Now that my kids and I know the history of each symbol it really makes us think and reflect each time we see a candy cane, poinsettia or receive a Christmas card. We decided to create our own Advent calendars after reading about their origins in this lap book. We included special messages for each family member in ours.” by Kristina

“My kids and I learned so much about the symbols of Christmas! There were some projects that my younger ones had a hard time either cutting out or putting together, but it brought us closer so we could help one another. I helped my smallest cut out everything. He got to color it in and glue it on. Now they are keepsakes that we can bring out each year to remember Christmas. Thanks for a great study!” by Elizabeth

 

For the science lover:

“My son worked on this last year and loved it. He’s my science nut 🙂 He took the finished project to his merit badge counselor and earned a merit badge too! I love when that happens. Thanks for the great product.” by Kristin

“We loved this animal classification lapbook. I have some samples on my blog at http://myfatherssheep.blogspot.com/2011/04/wb-30-animal-classification-lapbook.html if you would like to see how we made the lapbook and completed the study. They really came out understanding animal classification when they were done. Finish the lesson with a fun field trip to the zoo & see if they can identify the different animals :O)” by Rachel

 

“This was the first lapbook we completed in the Habitat series. After completing this we can’t wait to work our way through the remaining lapbooks. Ocean Habitats begins by explaining the difference between and ocean and sea. Then it breaks into each ocean along with a few facts about each. You will learn about each layer or zone of the ocean, ocean currents and finally ocean life. It gave very general information about ocean life so I had my daughter, age 11, do research on an animal who calls the ocean home. Animals just make learning more fun. She researched the ocean zone in which the animal lives, how the animal helps the ocean and how we can protect this animal and its environment.” by Kristina

“I was afraid this was going to be “too much” for our boys, but it was great! One day I will realize that HOAC Project Packs really are easy to customize to your kiddo’s level. The boys enjoyed looking for vocabulary words as we went through. Our 9 year old was the “note keeper” of the project and our 6 year old was our “illustrator”. We tied in Creatures of the Deep and will be revisiting our Ocean Habitats when we do the Pirates pack.”

 

For the pirate enthusiast:

“My boys LOVED this lapbook! They like coloring and thought it was fun to paste/brad and color the pirates onto toilet paper rolls. We used eye patches to make it more fun. I liked the color by number and learning activities included. Anything with pirates and parrots will be a hit!” by Melissa

“Oh my, did my co-op class have fun doing the pirates lapbook! This is a great topic for boys. They had to move our classroom because we were being too noisy talking like pirates! On our last day I had them search the building for hidden treasure. They loved it!” by Lynda

“What a great time we had with this! While my olders (12, 10, and 8 were doing Pirates, the 6 and 2 year olds were able to tag along on the journey with this project pack. We all had pirate names and positions on the crew. It is one of our most favorite studies!” by Vicki

“Great unit to start out with. We spent a week on this unit, and the boys said it wasn’t long enough. I done this with a 1st & 2nd grader. They had so much fun creating a pirate, pirate ship, flag, etc! All the activities were fun & informative. Most activities the boys could do all on their own. My boys enjoyed this unit so much, and I was told I have to get more! We’re looking into doing Blackbeard and the Pirates lapbooks from HOAC also. I shouldn’t say looking into … we will do them! Thank you HOAC for adding such fun to our lives by providing great material for our children to learn from!” by Angela

 

There are even curriculums that get you prepared for your next vacation:

“We completed this lapbook just before our vacation to Disneyland. Although we are regular visitors to the Magic Kingdom, this lapbook gives a lot of info and would be perfect for someone who has never been there, as well as great memories for someone who has.” by Sara

 

Any of these catch your eye? What have been your favorite curriculum topics you used so far?

Tying Literature into Your Curriculum

Reading literature is such a vital part of a child’s education. The books read can impact a child’s entire life. With that being said, how do you know you are choosing the right books for their age and reading level? How do you know they are truly grasping the message of the book?

Below are just a few books to start with for different age and grade levels. Some of the books have corresponding lapbooks that can enhance the reading experience and engage them with hands-on activities.

 

Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd Grade

 

“Kitten’s First Full Moon” by Kevin Henkes

“Kitten’s First Full Moon is an acclaimed modern classic, from one of the most celebrated and beloved picture book creators working in the field today. This memorable character and her suspenseful adventure are just right for the very youngest child. It is Kitten’s first full moon, and when she sees it she thinks it is a bowl of milk in the sky. And she wants it. Does she get it? Well, no . . . and yes. What a night!.”

 

Amazon Book

Curriculum

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“The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter

“The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a British children’s book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter that follows mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he is chased about the garden of Mr. McGregor.”

 

Amazon Book

Curriculum

 

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“Strega Nona” by Tomie dePaola

“Strega Nona—”Grandma Witch”—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical ever-full pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. Big Anthony is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden, but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, he recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results.”

 

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Curriculum

 

3rd through 6th Grade

 

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“Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

“This beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family begins in 1871 in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, but it is also exciting as they celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night Laura and her family are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle to send them off to sleep.”

 

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“My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George

“Terribly unhappy in his family’s crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude-and danger-of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.”

 

Amazon Book

Curriculum

 

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“The Twenty-One Balloons” by William Pene du Bois

“Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. But through a twist of fate, he lands on Krakatoa, and discovers a world of unimaginable wealth, eccentric inhabitants, and incredible balloon inventions.”

Amazon Book

What are some other books you have on your reading list?

Top 5 Lapbooks of February

February has officially graced us with its presence, and with it brings brand new monthly planning. Below, we’ve listed the top 5 lapbooks for February that both celebrate history and teach valuable lessons.

1. Study a President

Study a President Lapbook

This means any President! Use this lapbook with the 18 hands-on activities to learn about important dates, country of origin, family, early life and occupations, election and office facts, impact on national history, qualities and characteristics of the president, and more. Better yet, tie it in with some important dates this month: Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is February 12, George Washington’s birthday is February 22 and President’s Day is February 20.

2. Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child

Valentine’s Day is more than just “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue,” but do your children know that? Teach them all about the history of the day, Saint Valentine, the symbols, etc. with this lapbook.

3. Great Inventors and their Inventions

Great Inventors and Their Inventions Lapbook by In the Hands of a Child

Do you have a mini-inventor on your hands? Grab this lapbook and learn about the greatest of our time, such as Johannes Gutenberg, Galileo and Benjamin Franklin. Better yet, you can tie this in with Thomas Edison’s birthday on February 11.

4. America’s Civil Rights Movement

America's Civil Rights Movement Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child

Not only is it Black History Month, but it’s also Rosa Parks’ birthday on February 4. This is a great time to teach your children that every citizen is entitled to their own civil rights, however there are those in the past who have had to fight for these rights. This lapbook covers the years 1954 through 1968.

5. The Cardiovascular System

The Cardiovascular System Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child

Today, February 1, is Healthy Heart Day. Teach and show how the complex cardiovascular system works.