Monday, May 14, 2012

5 Days of Literature Unit Studies ~ Choose


Welcome to my part of the 5 Days Blog Hop sponsored by The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. This week I will be giving you MY step-by-step instructions for building a Unit Study from a piece of literature. Typically I do this with my 2nd grader. However, the steps can be done with any level of education and any piece of literature from picture books to classic novels.

I imagine that many homeschool moms WANT to do unit studies, especially from a book they are reading with their children. But it feels overwhelming! Where do you start?

I will walk you through two unit studies I planned this winter. The first one was on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and the second was on Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.

And there will be a Giveaway at the end of the week! I will be giving away the Classic Starts book and read-along cd of The Secret Garden and copies of all of my resources I used for my unit study. You will receive an entry for each comment you leave this week. If you leave a comment each day, you will receive a total of 5 entries.

Now, onto the series!

The first step of creating a unit study on a piece of literature is to choose the piece of literature. Where in the world do you start?

I typically will chose a piece of literature based on a request by my child, an upcoming play or movie, an upcoming community event, or a national event I heard about on the internet.

For The Secret Garden, it all started with a posting for auditions for the play to be performed by our local community theatre. The play wasn't going to take place for several months, so that gave us plenty of time to plan the unit, read the book, and do all the activities. Then we ended our unit by going to see the play.

For Charlotte's Web, I read on the web (no pun intended) that it was the 60th anniversary of this classic. Since we only had a few weeks of school left, it was the perfect way to end the school year. I had to put that unit together in a hurry. But with the steps you will learn in the next four days, it was a snap!

I also saw that Ice Age 4: Continental Divide will be premiered in July. This gave me the idea to seek out some literature on the continental divide, plate tectonic, and Paangea, and plan a unit.

I am always keeping my eyes and ears peeled for fun things going on that can be linked to a good piece of literature. By doing this we have had the pleasure of living out some beautiful classic stories!

Check your local newspapers, city blogs, library bulletin boards, theatre postings, movie trailers, and other homeschooling blogs to find your inspiration.

Leave a comment for a chance to win my The Secret Garden materials, and check back tomorrow for the next step in planning your unit!

You have also GOT to go to the TOS Blog to see what other amazing series are being highlighted this week. I have several I want to read!


  1. I am so excited about this topic :)

  2. Great choices! You can find some good resources for plate tectonics on under second grade science (you have to sign up but it's free). Pangaea is under 1st grade.

    Great post - looking forward to seeing part two!

  3. I'm looking forward to reading all of your ideas in this series! Great thoughts about finding inspiration for literature unit studies :)

  4. Both books are on our list of favorites! We read both last summer, but plan to re-read again this summer and include more activities to go along with them.

    So glad you stopped by my blog and mentioned your series topic. I haven't gotten around to all the blogs yet so I hadn't seen this. I will be following along!

  5. We love Charlotte's web. We would love to do a lapbook/unit study about it! :)

  6. I am so excited that i found this blog series!


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