I have some super fun hands-on unit study guides for homeschool to share with you! They make great spines for unit studies with lots of background information, hands-on project ideas and more!
In our eclectic Charlotte Mason style homeschool, we often use the unit study approach for teaching history and science topics. Why?
- We can learn together.
- We can incorporate various learning styles, hands-on activities, real learning and learning projects easily.
- We can immerse ourselves in the time period through living literature.
- We can cover a lot of educational ground in a relatively short amount of time.
Hands-On Unit Study Guides for Homeschool
One resource I’ve used over and over again as I plan our history studies are A Kid’s Guide Books.
They are super for background information, hands-on ideas and project ideas – and have become the “spine” of my units many times. In other words, I’ve used these as my main unit planning books many times over.
As you learn more about each book below, you’ll notice varying age recommendations, but each of them are very adaptable for almost any student from K-8. My library has a copy of most of them, but they’re very reasonably priced if you need to buy them.
The books I’ve used and recommend are…
Ancient Egyptians and their Neighbors
Want to speak Hittite? Hold out a glass and ask for “wa-tar.” This activity book for children ages nine and up shows what life was like among the Nubians, Mesopotamians, Hittites, and their neighbors the Egyptians from around 3100 B.C., when Upper and Lower Egypt became one kingdom, to the death of Queen Cleopatra under the Romans, in 30 B.C. Projects such as building a Nubian irrigation machine, creating a Mesopotamian cylinder seal out of clay, making kilts like those worn by Egyptian boys and men, and writing in Hittite cuneiform help young readers to connect with these ancient cultures and see how profoundly they have influenced our own.
Old Testament Days
More than 80 projects drawn from archaeological evidence and Bible descriptions make Old Testament days come alive in this activity guide for children ages 5 to 12. Children can enjoy a desert picnic of dried figs, goat’s milk cheese, and lentil stew, or make a loose tunic like the one young Isaac wore on his family’s trek to the Promised Land nearly 4,000 years ago. They can make a painted throwing stick or a wooden paddle doll like the ones Moses might have played with in the Pharoah’s palace, and build toy instruments like those the Israelites used to celebrate their return to Jerusalem in approximately 538 B.C. Games, recipes, crafts, and more!
Classical Kids – An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome
Travel back in time to see what life was like in ancient Greece and Rome while having fun with hands-on activities such as making a star gazer; chiseling a clay tablet; weaving Roman sandals; making a Greek mosaic; creating Roman jewelry; throwing Greek pottery; casting a vote in a Roman-style election; and much more. Learn how these civilizations contributed to our present-day world by participating in art, math, cooking, science, and geography activities. Interesting facts and trivia are included throughout. Helpful illustrations explain project steps.
Days of Knights and Damsels
Kids can re-create a long-ago world of kings, castles, jousts, jesters, damsels, magic fairies, and Robin Hood—all they need are their imaginations, materials they can find at home, and the activities in this book. Dressing up in a coat of armor made from plastic milk jugs, whipping up a batch of curds and whey, writing secret messages in invisible ink, and telling time with a sand glass made from soda bottles are just some of the fun projects. Every activity is illustrated, and sidebars highlight colorful facts about life hundreds of years ago.
More Than Moccasins – A Kids Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Life
Kids discover traditions and skills from the people who first settled this continent, including gardening, making useful pottery, and communicating through Navajo codes.
Colonial Kids – An Activity Guide to Life in the New World
Young adventurers can learn about the settling of America while enjoying activities like stitching a sampler, pitching horseshoes, making an almanac, churning butter, and more.
Westward Ho! An Activity Guide to the Wild West
Join Lewis and Clark on an expedition; journey into the woods with fur traders; or ride a wagon train to the Oregon Territory as you learn how the quest for gold led to a feverish migration. Experience the excitement of resettlement following the Homestead Act, and ride off to a roundup during the cowboy era. Your students will explore the West with activities such as sewing a sunbonnet, panning for gold, cooking flapjacks, singing cowboy songs, and more. Helpful illustrations are included to explain project steps.
The same company that publishes these hands-on history books (Chicago Review Press) offers science, geography and drama selections using the same hands-on unit study guides format. You can check out all those books here.
You might also like learning more about Using the Unit Study Approach in Your Homeschool.
What are some of your favorite unit study planning resources?
-Originally published July 2010, Written by Cindy, eclectically Charlotte Mason mom of 3. You can find her blogging at Our Journey Westward.
Thanks for the review, Cindy! I have and love several of these books. I would recommend buying them only because then you don’t have to keep checking them out at the library, because you will use them over and over. I’m planning on buying the Knights book for our Middle Ages study this school year.
(ps…i think there might be a problem with your link to chicago press??)
.-= Alicia´s last blog ..Help- =-.
I also like Lewis and Clark for Kids and Hands and Hearts History kits.