The kids are starting on another independent research project. Last semester the kids did a biography research project, but this semester they are doing a portfolio project. That’s just a fancy way of saying… a bit of this and a bit of that. They’ll do both non-fiction and fiction writing selections, art projects, geography and habitat projects. And they’ll also watch a number of videos and/or movies. You’ll get a better idea if you look at DD’s portfolio project choices below!
I am having yet another surgery on my ear on Wednesday (March 19th) and I’ll be writing a bit more about that tomorrow. But because of this and the long recovery/rehab afterwards, I wanted the kids to have a project that they could work on independently. Their grandparents have been with us since my 3rd surgery a couple of weeks ago (March 4th). They will be working with the kids a bit so they’ll help in a general way (trips to the library, helping find supplies, rounding the kids up to actually work on their portfolio projects).
My hope is that the kids have a lot of fun exploring topics that are of interest to them.
DD decided she wanted to learn about animals. I came up with a whole bunch of project ideas for her to choose from. She’ll select a number of projects from each category–writing, geography & habitats, and art. She chose 3 animals to focus on: the mountain lion, grey wolf and coyote. I also ordered some DVDs that she and ED can watch like Discovery Channel’s Living with Wolves and White Fang.
Here are a couple examples of activities she can choose from the writing portion:
- ________ Write a speech or a letter to the president on why your animal needs protection in the wild.
- ________ Menu: Create a humorous menu at a restaurant where your animals would like to eat.
If you are interested, you can download this packet. There’s also a sheet for her to list the books and videos she watches (not pictured below).
By the way, here is an example of a “clay map” mentioned above. This was a clay map we made of ancient Greece and the Mediterranean Sea.
Maps can also be made of graham crackers like the map we made of England, Scotland and Whales. You’ll find the recipe for homemade graham crackers here.
Usually, I don’t share our downloads/material until we’ve tested them out. This time I’ll have to come back to tell you how successful this was! DD and LD have loaded up on books and started doing some reading, but have only just begun delving into their projects… gathering resources at the library and just beginning to do some reading.
Oh–and LD’s topic is World War II. Since we’ve never covered the World Wars, he’ll only cover some of the surface topics. I’m happy to share that if anyone is interested, but it just barely touches the surface with topics such as how WWII began, Allies vs. Axis powers, weapons, famous battles, the concentration camps and so forth. Click here to see the post and to download the WWII Portfolio Project.
If your kids are interested in learning more about animals, you might be interested in these packets:
Animal Unit: In this unit the kids learned a lot about animal classification – both of the characteristics of the five vertebrate groups and also of many of the invertebrate groups. They explored the differences between insects and spiders, wild vs. domesticated animals, animal tracks and more. Learn more about it here: Animal Unit: Vertebrates and Invertebrates
Biology Unit: This was the unit we did directly after the Animal Packet going into more depth about biomes, habitats & ecosystems, biological interactions (predation, commensalism, etc.), and feeding relationships.
Related Posts that Might be of Interest:
- Biography Research Project
- Free Units on Pets and Pet Diseases
- Free CDC Lesson Plans: Science Ambassador Project: West Nile Virus and other topics
- Free Engineering Units: Grades 3-5, 6-8 From the Museum of Boston on topics such as urban landscape, engineering insulated homes, rockets, air drop packages and more
- Free Writing Workshop Resource Pack
- Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop
- How Do I Help the Kids Start Writing?! 5 Lesson Ideas