How To Put Together A Unit Study | Geology

You can see all the materials we are using for this unit, by clicking here. I’ve included links to all the books, kits and projects, as well as pictures of each, a small description and grade level.

Here’s the process I go through when I put together a unit:

First I decide what we are going to study. I use the Waldorf curriculum from Live-Education as our default curriculum, so if I’m at a loss, I can always refer back to it as inspiration. You can choose a topic you are interested in, or you can expand on something in your current curriculum and turn it into a unit.

Next, I figure out what materials I already have that I can use for the unit. I check our personal library, our games, or other materials. Occasionally, I check the local library, but often, I find it easier to own our own material.

After I figure out what we have, I figure out what we want. I love Rainbow Resource and Acorn Naturalists. They have some of the most inspiring material available. I fill a cart or wishlist with everything I want, then I whittle it down.

Once I receive all my material, I sit down with it and a pad of full sticky-back Post-its and a pencil and begin the preliminary lesson planning. I look through all the materials and figure out which books I’m going to read to the kids, which books they are going to read to themselves independently and when we are going to do projects. I figure out which supplements or materials I’ll need and make a mental note to collect or buy them. I also check to see if there are any field trips or other activities or classes that might enhance the unit. I also figure out how long the unit is going to take. Either I set a number of weeks and work the material into that set amount of time, or I decide how many weeks I think the material will take to cover.

Finally, I take all that planning and transcribe into my weekly lesson plan. I use an Excel spreadsheet for my lesson planning. I’ve used the same format for many years, and while it makes sense to me, I think there might be other formats that work as well or better. I usually write up and print out my weekly lesson plans the Sunday before the week begins, so that if there are changes that need to be made or if we don’t get to something, I can easily roll it over to the following week, rather than change all the subsequent weeks.

Week 1:

002

Week 2:

004

Week 3:

007

Week 4:

018

Week 5:

026

Week 6:

030

Additional Material for 9th grade:

023

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9 thoughts on “How To Put Together A Unit Study | Geology

  1. I love all of the materials and ideas that you share. Thank you! I am trying to find and order a book that you list for your week 5 unit study–Planet Earth. Is there an author listed? Or can you give me the ISBN number so that I can find it? That particular book looks like exactly what I have been searching for. Thank you again.

    1. Hi Janna! The Planet Earth book is by Ian James and illustrated by Andrew Farmer. ISBN is 1-84084-412-4. I compiled a list of books with links to each book/project. While I get most of my supplies from Rainbow Resource, you can find resources for this unit from so many vendors. Have a great unit!!

  2. Salaam Hana – Great resources & videos! Thank you for sharing…your lessons are always inspiring and motivating! I had a peek at your lesson plans and noticed you are using an Islamic option for English & Grammar. If you can please share what you are using for that, as well as what resources you are using for seerah (I also saw on your lesson plan ;), I would appreciate it – JAK!

    1. Salam Tasha! Jazak Allah Khair for the kind words and encouragement!! I’m writing my own curriculum for grammar (grades 5-8) using the book Companions of the Prophet vol 1 and vol 2 by Abdul-Wahid Hammid as the text I read aloud to the kids. I then created a grammar, writing and spelling program inspired by the text. It is still being edited, but you can see what I have so far by clicking here. As for the seerah, we are you the book Revelation by Meraj Mohiuddin. I am making a study guide to accompany it as well. You can check it out here. I’m open to feedback if you have an suggestions 🙂

      1. wow, mashaAllah! When do you find the time to make all that?! I am definitely going to look into getting those books to use with your programs! They seem to be popular books since they are out of stock at many of the stores. I have 5 children ranging from 2-9 so I don’t have a ton of time to research projects, so we love to replicate the ones you have on your website…the kids and I love them so please keep them coming 🙂 I also look forward to your videos – I find them helpful and motivating so please also keep those coming 😀

        1. Salam Tasha! I’ve been working on some of these things for years; it’s only now I’m sharing them 🙂 with your kids being young and close together, I think it’s great you’re looking for material that suits your needs.

  3. Hello! (: I really like how you do your history and science units/Main Lessons but I’m a little confused when looking at your lesson plans linked above, do you always do history even when your main lesson is for science? And vice verse if the main lesson was for History you’d still do something on a smaller scale for science?

    I’ve been watching your new videos as well and it seems you do history units in the winter and science units in the Spring pretty much? So I had thought that meant you stopped doing one or the other depending on which subject was your main lesson.

    I’m drawing from you for inspiration for our own science and history studies so I’m curious if you still do one of the subjects on a smaller scale while the other one is your active main lesson or you just exclude that smaller subject until you get to the season/lesson block when you make it a main lesson.

    Thanks for be such an awesome person!

    1. Hi Chey, yep, you got it. We do history in the winter and science in the spring. We don’t usually overlap main lesson blocks, but naturally there’s a bit of science in history and history in science, but for the most part we stay pretty focused on the main lesson block on hand.

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