In this unit, your child will explore why weather in the environment changes. She will learn how scientists measure the weather, and she will even build her own weather tools. Throughout the unit, she will keep a daily log of the weather in her environment.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the Tornado literature unit.
In this unit your child will learn about a variety of different types of maps, the parts of a map, and how to use maps. She will learn about resources found in the environment and how resources are used and conserved. She will also explore farming in the U.S. For her final project, she will create her own island environment.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, Sarah, Plain and Tall.
In this unit your child will explore how the sense of sound allows us to better understand our environment. He will explore the parts of the ear and how they work together to help him hear and interpret sound. He will also explore and create wind, stringed, and percussion instruments.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, Who Was Helen Keller?
In this unit, your child will examine the life cycles of plants, insects, and animals. He will appreciate the role that each of these actors plays in the life cycle of others and be able to graphically illustrate this role using food pyramids and energy webs. He will design a new species that is specifically adapted for its environment.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, Poppy.
The Water Cycle
In this unit, your child will learn about the unique properties of water. She will follow a drop of water as it falls from the sky, flows across the land, provides life for animals and plants, and makes its way back to the clouds. For her final project, she will teach your family, friends, and neighbors about the water cycle.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, Charlotte’s Web.
The Rain Forest
In this unit, your child will explore the people, plants, and animals of the tropical rain forest. He will discover rain forest products in his own home and gain an appreciation for the relationships among living things in the rain forest.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest.
Dirt and Plants
In this unit, your child will follow the life cycle of a plant and experiment with various soils and environments to grow plants. She will explore the layers of the earth and the interdependence that exists among living things and the earth. She will also invent a new species of plant and describe its habitat and relationship with other living things.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, Little House in the Big Woods.
Ecosystems and Ecology
In this unit, your child will explore how changes in the environment and the actions of humans influence the natural world. He will classify resources according to their renewable nature and discuss ways to conserve natural resources. He will also create an ecosystem diorama that demonstrates the interdependence of living and nonliving resources.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit Native American Animal Stories.
Magnetism and Electricity
Explore magnetic force and observe ways that magnets and electricity are used in daily life. Create your own circuit and experiment with a variety of materials to determine whether they are insulators or conductors. Recognize the correlation between magnets and electricity.
This literature unit can be used independently but is designed to be taught in conjunction with the literature unit for Ben and Me by Robert Lawson.
Forces of Nature
In this introduction to physics, explore force and motion. Perform experiments that demonstrate the laws of motion. Illustrate each of the different forms of energy. Understand the force of gravity. Explore the forces involved in natural events such as earthquakes and volcanoes. Create a slideshow or poster presentation to explain the various forces of nature.
This unit can be used independently but is designed to be taught in conjunction with the literature unit for The BFG by Roald Dahl.
Rocks and Minerals
Examine the similarities and differences between rocks and minerals utilizing streak, acid, hardness, and magnetic tests. Create your own crystals, identify minerals on labels, and gather rocks from your area. Simulate the role of an archeologist, looking at different types of fossils and then going on your own dinosaur dig.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit Holes.
Examine a variety of different adaptations of animals in different environments – including the desert, ocean, and rainforest. Explore the habits of nocturnal animals and experiment with the role that camouflage plays in an animal’s survival. Select a habitat and design a new species of animal uniquely adapted to living in it.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for Abel’s Island.
Work, Tools, and Simple Machines
Experiment with the six simple machines. Identify examples and uses of simple machines in your home and community. Understand that the simple machines combine to form complex machines and inventions. Solve real-life problems using simple machines that do work.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
Experiment with the characteristics of light. Design a solar powered car. Follow the chain of energy as it passes through the organisms in a habitat. Learn to identify potential and kinetic energy in its various forms. Build your own calorimeter to discover the number of calories in a variety of foods.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for The View from Saturday.
The Living Seas
Dive into an ocean adventure. Explore the amazing diversity of marine life. Understand the forces behind waves and currents. Recognize the effects that the oceans have on global and regional climate. For the final project, take on the role of a marine biologist and teach a class about oceans in motion.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for The Cay.
Travel the globe in search of geographic and biological diversity. Recognize the difference between biomes and ecosystems. Appreciate the role that each organism plays within its niche. Research the biomes and ecosystems that can be found within your state. Create your own book to present biomes around the globe.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for My Side of the Mountain.
Technology and Invention
Follow the course of invention throughout history as you learn about famous inventors and how their inventions changed the world. Identify simple machines and examine their use in complex systems. Imagine the future of inventions and draw your own Rube Goldberg machine.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Blast off on an adventure through our solar system. Explore the Sun, each of the 8 planets, and our own Moon. Learn about the history and future of space exploration.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, A Wrinkle in Time.
The Human Body
Gain an appreciation for the amazing machine that is our body. Explore each of the main systems that provide us with energy, life, movement, senses, and defense. Appreciate the value of good nutrition and learn how to give your body what it needs to be healthy. Throughout the unit, your child will create models of each of the main systems that will be put on display for the final project.
Although this unit can be used independently, it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit Independent Study.
Weather and Climate
Explore different kinds of weather. Build tools to measure weather conditions and keep a weather journal. Learn about weather maps and weather forecasts, and try predicting the weather in your area. Conduct demonstrations to model air pressure, weather fronts, and lightning. Investigate global and local climates and climate change. For the final project, give an oral or written presentation highlighting what you've learned in the unit.
Our Changing Earth
What does the geography of your environment look like? Does it have mountains, cliffs, sandy beaches? Do you know how the rocks and soil beneath your feet formed? These were all formed by the slow rock cycle -- changes that rocks go through as they move around both inside the Earth and on its surface.
In this unit, you will learn about changes in the Earth -- fast changes like volcanoes and earthquakes and slow ones like rain wearing away tiny bits of rocks. You'll also learn about the three types of rocks and how they fit into the rock cycle.
Force and Motion
How do Tour de France bicycle racers improve their aerodynamics, the way the air pushes against them, in order to go faster? How do Olympic gymnasts put their bodies intentionally off-balance in order to create motion? How do skateboarders defy gravity to do tricks in the air? In this unit, you will explore the laws of physics that affect life on Earth, specifically how they affect people’s performance, from famous athletes to you and your friends, as you do individual sports.
In this unit, you will find out about elements, which make up all matter on Earth, including living beings and non-living things. You will explore how you can change matter in your environment using heat, water, and air and find out about characteristics of metals, metalloids, and non-metals both in individual elements and when they are combined with one another. For the final project, you will explore mystery elements and try to figure out what each one is.
In this unit, you will learn about chemical and physical changes that affect the world around you and your own body. You will discover how digestion changes the food you eat into nutrients that your body can use, and you will determine if different parts of digestion involve physical changes or chemical ones.
Learn how to use a microscope and how to classify life on Earth using some of the characteristics of organisms and the cells that make up different organisms. Find out how plants and animals are different, even at the cellular level!
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, The Tree That Time Built.
In this unit, you will investigate the properties and importance of water found throughout the Earth. Through reading, critical thinking, and hands-on activities, you will develop your understanding of the Earth's water, its traits, its distribution, and its importance to all living things.
You will also learn about pollution and be challenged to consider what you can do to conserve water and protect water quality.
This unit will introduce you to the properties of Earth's atmosphere and how atmospheric systems interact. You will learn about the layers of the atmosphere, atmospheric pressure, and weather systems.
The unit ends with a discussion of the stewardship of the Earth, as it relates to carbon emissions, air pollution, and the need to maintain the sustainability of the atmosphere. The final project asks you to consider how you can create a sustainable environment — with minimal long-term, negative effects — by designing a sustainable city.
In this unit you will explore the part of the planet right under your feet (and quite a bit below). You'll learn about the soil in your state and investigate rocks in your area.
You'll also explore how the slowly moving plates that make up the Earth's crust interact with one another to form mountains, cause volcanic activity, and trigger earthquakes.
Ecosystems and Ecology
Learn about ecosystems and the relationships among the plants and animals that live there. Explore how matter and energy move through an ecosystem and what important roles sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide play in the survival of an ecosystem's inhabitants.
Discover how plants and animals adapt to changes in their environment and even how an ecosystem is able to recover from a catastrophic disaster like a volcanic eruption.
Earth Cycles and Systems
This unit explores the importance of the cycling of water, carbon, and nitrogen on Earth and how those cycles affect ecosystems and the organisms that live in them.
You will also explore the relationships among organisms in an ecosystem by examining food chains and food webs.
Finally, you will apply what you have learned to real-life applications by researching lawn fertilizers and designing a sustainable farm.
Force and Motion
Why do things move in certain ways? And how can you make them move faster or slower? These are questions that engineers wonder about when they design cars and spaceships and roller coasters. The key to understanding them lies in three laws of motion discovered over 300 years ago.
In this unit, you will learn about different types of forces and how they cause objects to move in certain ways. You'll also learn about how different machines make use of forces and motion to help people get work done.
Light and the Eye
Find out how the human eye works, why we see colors best during the daytime, and why the sky appears blue! You'll also explore how animals' eyes are different from our own and build a tool that uses lenses to change how or what we see.
The Solar System
In this unit, you will learn surprising facts about the solar system, like the fact that there are 13 planets--4 terrestrial ones, 4 gas giants, and 5 dwarf planets. You will also find out how mankind has used technology to explore our solar system, and to understand Earth's place within the solar system.
Technology is everywhere in today's culture and you are about to go on a journey to learn how technology impacts your everyday life. Through meaningful activities and inquiries you will be asked to think conceptually about the significance of technological design. As you progress through the various unit lessons, you will learn about the importance of problem-solving and how necessity and nature have led to some of the most significant technological discoveries. In different lessons, you will learn about experimentation, engineering, and modeling, as well as learn about technological design as a problem-solving process that has found inspiration from a variety of places.
In this unit you will explore various types of energy and the evidence of energy in your environment. You will also observe and learn about the relationships that exist between matter and energy.
The lessons are crafted so you can look at how energy is transferred and can deepen your knowledge of how our needs for energy influence our actions. As you explore these ideas, you will look for cause and effect influences that impact matter and energy interactions.
This unit covers the structure and properties of matter. You will explore atoms and their components, and you will create atomic models to help you better understand the organization of those components. Next, you will learn more about elements and their properties as well as how the periodic table of elements organizes them.
The unit also examines the differences among the various states of matter and how those states influence properties such as density, volume, and solubility. The final project builds upon your knowledge by asking you to survey items in your home and consider how matter and its properties influence the items' structure and function.
Learn about the nature of atoms and elements in this unit on the chemical and physical properties of matter. Find out how chemical reactions alter substances, and discover the names of important chemical processes like combustion and oxidation. This unit also explains how the pH levels of acids and bases are measured, and it defines the main terms used to describe the physical and chemical properties of matter. You will learn how scientific arguments are created using claims and evidence, and you will end the unit by exploring the difference between synthetic and natural substances.
For the final project, you will be able to practice your ability to evaluate evidence and make value judgments about the nature of chemical substances. The project asks you to play the role of a drug-company CEO who must analyze a pharmaceutical drug and make a case to investors for why the drug should or should not be produced.
Energy and Matter
In this unit you will explore different forms of energy, how energy is transferred from one object to another, and how it can change form. You will also consider whether energy from the Sun and wind could be harnessed to supply power to your home.
This unit covers the scientific field of Biochemistry: the study of chemistry related to the functioning of living organisms. You will first learn about the types of molecules present in organisms, such as carbohydrates and proteins, which are known as biomolecules. The unit goes in-depth to explain how the biological processes of an organism are kept in equilibrium and what occurs when that biochemistry is disrupted. In addition, you will explore the ways in which the immune system works in fighting off pathogens and other conditions that affect the normal functioning of a living organism. This unit also discusses food intake and health and provides you with the opportunity to keep a journal that tracks your daily intake of food.
For the final project of this unit, you will use your food journal to analyze and compare your own food intake with a healthy diet. This will allow you to create a recommendation sheet for dietary changes based on your discoveries.
Microbiology and Cell Theory
The human body is made up of trillions of cells, and in this unit you will learn about this most basic and microscopic unit of organisms. You will begin by learning cell theory before exploring the various parts of plant and animal cells. The unit then moves into more a detailed description of each cell type including eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. You will also come to understand each stage in the process of cell division known as mitosis. The unit ends with an explanation of how diseases are spread and how they negatively affect the health of cells.
This final project allows you to rely upon your knowledge of infectious disease to examine microscope slides of microbes and diagnose the presence of a specific illness. You will create a model of the microbe you are researching and share your ideas on how to prevent its transmission.
Genetics and DNA
In this unit, your child will learn how cells use DNA to pass information about inherited characteristics (such as flower color) to new cells. She will use Punnett squares and pedigrees to track and predict genetic changes over time and explore how factors such as mutation, adaptation, and natural selection ensure diversity. Finally, your child will learn about cloning and the controversies associated with this process.
In this unit, you will explore living organisms and the relationships they have with their surroundings and the rest of the world. This will include learning about biotic and abiotic factors in an environment and various ecological relationships such as mutualism and symbiosis. In addition to studying how different organisms obtain their food, you will also study plant reproduction and photosynthesis. For your final project you will investigate a plant or animal of your choice and present your findings in a booklet or slideshow presentation.
A Dynamic Planet
Take a journey through time. Experience the slow movement of the earth beneath your feet. Appreciate the forces responsible for the diversity of life on the planet today. This unit covers the history of geologic change on Earth and introduces children to the theory of evolution.
Human Body Systems
In this unit, you will explore the human body. Each lesson will cover one of the nine systems in the human body and their main organs. This includes the muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. You will also learn about how the human body grows and maintains development. For your final project, you will create a presentation through PowerPoint of poster board demonstrating your knowledge of the human body.
Health and Nutrition
In this unit, you will learn facts about the human body and social relationships. You will learn healthy, productive ways to handle conflict and unwanted situations concerning alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. You will learn how to be a smart consumer and how to maintain a healthy body. For your final project, you will design a Personal Wellness Plan specific to your emotional and physical health. As part of this plan, you will set personal goals and design an action plan to help you reach those goals.