Funtastic Unit Studies Review

8/02/2015
Funtastic Unit Studies Review
For this review for Funtastic Unit Studies, I present a neat book called Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers.

We were able to choose which unit we wanted for this review, so I chose a unit that would tie in naturally with our summer learning.

Yep! I chose the Beginning Plants unit to use with Bo for our row of The Carrot Seed.

This unit includes 8 sections. I'll share our experience with each.



Introduction

We did several fun activities like giving my little one various vegetables and fruits and asking him what part of the plant they are from. Some great suggestions are given in the study - like celery for stems, broccoli for flowers, lettuce for leaves, carrots for roots, etc.


Then we made a vegetable platter to eat with dip, and I had Bo guess what vegetables are on the platter, by giving him hints that include what part of the plant it is.

Seeds


We read The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carl. For our activity, we choose to go on a scavenger hunt for seeds.

We soaked a bean seed in water, learned about seed coats, and then examined the embryo inside (the baby plant).

Then we talked about seeds that people eat, and made a "seed snack" -  we made peanut butter at the health food market. Bo got to see how peanut butter is made by grinding shelled peanuts in a grinder. He loved this!

Roots


Bo learned how roots help keep a plant in place and take up water and nutrients from the soil. Then we pulled up a dandelion by its roots so he could see what roots look like.

Next, we planted a bean seed in a plastic container so that Bo could watch the roots grow.


Stems

We tied this lesson in with our study of The Runaway Bunny. I showed Bo the cross section of a tree and talked about the parts of the tree. We got to see bark, sapwood, heartwood, and pith up close in nature via trees that beavers were working on chopping down.




Leaves

We collected different types of leaves to make a leaf rubbing.

Flowers

We collected some flowers to dry.


Growing Plants

Our activity was to experiment to prove that plants need water to grow and we used brother and sister's bean sprouts from an experiment they were doing for Botany.

Another activity was to start a vegetable garden. We planted carrot seeds for our row of The Carrot Seed.

Another fun activity was to grow a new plant from something other than a seed. We grew a plant from a sweet potato!





We've had so much fun watching this grow!

We also regrew lettuce from the base of a romaine lettuce head (it wasn't really enough to eat, so we fed it to the rabbit, but neat to watch it grow).

Review 

For the review, I asked Bo a series of riddles to quiz him on what he learned, such as: I start with the letter "W" and plants need me to grow" (Water).

Thoughts:
  • great information
  • awesome activities
  • worthwhile experiments
  • easy
  • fun
  • great for unit studies
  • needs more literature suggestions, but loved that I could add in my own

I also did some of the activities from the Plants II unit with Malachi and Eliana for our study of Botany.

This study tied in nicely with our lesson on leaves - we took our learning of stomata, light and photosynthesis, respiration, and plant adaptations to the next level. I shared the chemical equation for photosynthesis and respiration - maybe a little advanced for and 8 and 10 year old, but neat to be able to show them exactly how a plant takes carbon dioxide and water + light to make a sugar molecule and oxygen!

We also reviewed the parts of a flower made a clone of a house plant. We just this week transplanted it with the original and it is doing great.

Thoughts:

I loved that there was a Beginner Plants (ages 4-7) and a Plants II (ages 8-13) in this book. It was really fun to be able to make learning a family event. I chose these units because they tied in nicely with our summer learning, but there are a lot of great units in this book:

Topics for ages 4-7:
  • Senses
  • The Human Body
  • Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
  • Animals
  • Insects and Their Kin
  • Fun with Magnets
  • Stars and Planets
  • Health
  • Beginning Plants
  • Animal Ecology

Topics for ages 8-13:
  • Insects
  • Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
  • Atoms and Molecules
  • Matter
  • Chemistry Fun
  • Weather
  • Force and Motion
  • Simple Machines
  • Light and Color
  • Plants II

Each lesson contains: materials needed for the unit, information on the topic, activities to do, black and white diagrams and illustrations, review questions and/or test questions, and an answer key. 

This is really a great collection of science units that are ideal for unit studies or to enrich your science curriculum with hands on activities. I'm excited to have this as a resource for our homeschool (since we love unit studies so much!).

Interested in seeing what units my Crew mates reviewed? (I am!)

Crew Disclaimer
Do you love unit studies? Check out the Beginning Plants (ages 4-7) or Atoms and Molecules (ages 8-13) free sample units to see if you might like Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers

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