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Funtastic Unit Studies Review

Ready Set Go!  It is time for school you know!

Yes it is time for school to start and we have a fun Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers created by Funtastic Unit Studies to tell you about.  I am sure you will want to include this fun curriculum in your learning adventures this school year.

Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers

 

Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers

Large book, 201 pages, Soft Cover
For Kids ages 4-13
Retails $16.95

Units Studies:

There are 20 Unit Studies in this curriculum. The first ten chapters are for younger children ages 4-7, while the second ten chapters are for children ages 8-13.  Each chapter is filled with fun hands on science activities that teach science concepts built around a specific theme.

20 UNIT STUDIES:

Our Senses
The Human Body
Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
Animals
Insects and Their Kin
Fun with Magnets
Stars and Planets
Health
Beginning Plants
Animal Ecology
Insects
Microscopes and Invisible Creatures
Atoms and Molecules
Matter
Chemistry Fun
Weather
Force and Motion
Simple Machines
Light and Color
Plants II

Materials needed:

At the beginning of each lesson is a list of the supplies needed to complete the learning activity.  Activities are designed to use common household items, so you won’t need to buy lots of expensive scientific equipment or chemicals.

The END GOAL is to have FUN learning science and relating it to real life.

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How We Used This In Our Home.

After looking through the curriculum, we decided to begin with the unit study on learning about Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life.  This chapter has 6 sections and involved about 15 suggested activities and a video plus a materials list.

  • Dinosaurs
  • Herbivores and Carnivores
  • Fossils
  • Extinction
  • After Extinction
  • Recommended Movie

The curriculum is flexible and depending on what projects you do, you can adjust the unit study for the skill level of your kids.  We love unit studies and I have learned over the years, any unit study can be adjusted as needed.   So I decided to make this unit study interesting for all of ages of kids in our family (15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 3) and do this together.  It was perfectly suited to do this with so don’t think you are locked into a certain age range on a given subject.

We did a range of projects and included some simple activities for the younger kids and some more complicated activities for our old kids too.  We completed 10 of those suggested in the book and added about 10 more of our own including creating a lapbook to keep of our fun learning adventure, learning to create our own Dinosaur Zoo in Minecraft and care for their needs in a virtual setting, creating a Dinosaur Feast, taking field trips, and watching several more dinosaur videos.

First we gathered our supplies and read over the lesson in the book.  The lesson is basically 8 pages of activities ideas and supply list.    Next we planned out several activities to reinforce the learning adventure.  Here is some of the fun stuff we did.

Videos:

Through out this study we watched several dinosaur movies and documentaries.IMG_7852 - Copy

Videos We watched:

The Magic Schoolbus Stegasaurus.

Located this video on Youtube.com

The Best of Discovery Channel Dinosaurs

Located a whole list of Discovery Channel’s kid friendly dinosaur videos on Youtube.com

MineCraft Dinosaurs

Located a video “How to create your own” dinosaur worlds and zoos like Jurasic Park.

A Trip Back In Time To The Beginning

This is a video we made of our visit to the Creation Museum to see dinosaurs last summer.  Link is posted below under “field trips”.

Flash Cards

I found Dinosaur Flash Cards for $1 and bought a couple of sets to learn with.  The set came with 50 different full color illustrated dinosaur cards.  This was such a great buy and worked perfect for our learning adventure.

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These had many facts about each different kind of dinosaur on the back of the card.   We practiced learning the different kinds of dinosaurs and categorizing them into plant eating herbivores, or meat eating carnivores.

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Then I found a free set of dinoaur fact flash cards online to use in our lapbooks.  We printed them, colored them, wrote each dinosaurs name on them, and cut them out, and created a pocket to keep them in the lapbook.  You can play games with them and organize them by type or size or by what they eat etc.

Math and Measurement

We took Measurements in the yard to see how big the dinosaurs were and then charted the lengths and heights on graphing worksheets.  Our flash cards with lengths and heights of different dinosaurs were portable to take outside and came in handy again!

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Dioramas

We created dinosaur dioramas based on what we learned.

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Changing Prefixes and Suffixes and Invent and Draw Our Own Dinosaurs

The kids learned a list of 15 prefixes and 14 suffixes.  For example: “Dino” means “terrible” and “saurus” means “lizard” so dinosaur means terrible lizard.   They wrote them out on index cards and learned how combining the two parts gives the description of the kind of dinosaur being described.  Then they made up their own new dinosaurs and drew them and colored them based on what they named them and thought they might look like.

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Computer Science Skills VIRTUAL Dinosaur Zoo

The kids created a dinosaur world on MineCraft based on what they learned in the video tutorial.  They built facilities, and had to feed them, water them, keep them safe,  etc in the  “zoo” system they built for them.  They have all kinds of dinosaurs you can raise and care for with different kinds of needs.  Also safety is an issue as you might need to escape from them if your character gets into a situation where you could be eaten. In the tutorial, the fella drops his gear into a pool and in the pool is a large scary croc-dino and it eats him every time he goes in to get his gear / tools so he can progress in the game.  Anyway, it is really fun and creative.

Be a Paleontologist:  Sandbox Dinosaur Dig & Sensory Bin Dino Dig

We did an outdoor dig and a smaller scale sensory bin indoor dig while pretending to be Paleontologists hunting for dinosaur bones.  I printed out a T-Rex skeleton printout with labels of various bone structures for them to figure out some of the main bones.  I buried various animal toys and pretend bones in sandbox for my kids to find.  IMG_7706

For the indoor bin I buried a complete  3D wooden dinosaur puzzle in a mixture of beans and lentils (a mess-free way to represent dirt and rocks).

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On top we made a diorama of animals and a stream and pretended a shepherd (played by Woody from Toy Story) discovered a bone near the stream and a Paleontologist (played by a Lego mini-figure) came to search for the skeleton.

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Tools: Brushes of different sizes, tweezers, and magnifying glass.  The Lego mini figure also has a pic ax for chipping ways at rocks and dirt too.

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Using a brush to clean off the bones.

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Using the magnifying glass to identify the bones.

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I will post a separate story with more details and also the re-constructed dinosaur they made with the bones they discovered.

Lapbooks

We created lapbooks with lots of fun printables and activities.

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I researched the coloring pages and worksheet printables from various sources online.

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I will post a separate story with their completed lapbooks.

Fossils and Cooking

Making Fossil Cookies

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Our guests left their tracks!

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They also took a few hungry bites!

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Several more fell into our pit and got stuck and left their fossilized imprints in our dough forever.  Now we will always have a record that they were here.

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Creating our own fossil imprints.

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Making Dino Poop Protein Balls

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Isn’t every kid fascinated with poop?  Well, maybe not, but making edible Dino poop is a lot of fun!   Dissecting this is fun too.  You find “undigested” stuff in their poop (oats and nuts).

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Making Dino Speckled Eggs

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Edible Dinosaur Speckled Eggs are yummy and a lot of fun to make too!  You can hide baby dinosaurs inside to “hatch” too.

Making food for carnivores and herbivores.

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The book suggested making a stegosaurus out of a bagel, cream cheese, apple slices, and carrots.  But we didn’t have bagels on hand, so we made up our own idea for dinosaur themed snacks.   We set out a whole bunch of supplies and the kids designed their own dinosaur feast. They had to come up with herbivore meals and carnivore meals.  They used a paper plate and a knife to create their designs.  They decided to make dinosaurs out of the ingredients based on the category.

Herbivore Dinosaur Plate

We made a stegosaurus with apples, peanut butter, carrots, and olives.  Then made a poop location with celery and blueberries, and a pretzel nest with grape eggs.

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We also made a parsley, olive, strawberry tree and a pile of broken pretzel branches for our dinosaur to eat.

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Carnivore Dinosaur Plate.

We made a T-REX with cheddar and string cheese and pepperoni, a half eaten victim of ham, string cheese pepperoni and pretzels, and a nest of pretzels and grape eggs.

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Dino FEAST!

The kids had a lot of fun playing with their dinosaur food feast.  They invited their dinosaur toys to the party too.

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Science Field Trip #1:

We went to Brown County State Park.  This was a great hands on adventure of exploration. There are two lakes, a couple of mineral springs, campgrounds, horseback riding, and miles and miles of hiking trails and streams to explore.   The park covers 16,000 acres.

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Our explorations pertaining to our Dinosaur Science Unit Study involved:

  • Looking at different ecosystems: forest, grassland, water – streams.
  • Looking at different geological formations and rocks.
  • Looking for fossils. Searching for signs of prehistoric life.
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Brown County State Park

We enjoyed taking our shoes off and walking through one of the streams exploring the most of all.

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It was a fun way to cool off from the heat and humidity of the day.

Hunting for fossils

This was so much fun.  All of the kids really enjoyed themselves.

Science Field Trip #2

Our second field trip got postponed and we are planning to go back again in a few weeks.   We are going to the Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky.  This is considered the birth place of American vertebrate paleontology.  There is a salt marsh there that many prehistoric animals died near by as they came to lick the salty water, and to drink and eat vegetation.  However, because it is so marshy and somewhat like quick sand, many of these prehistoric animals got stuck and died there.  Thousands of bones have been found.  There is a life size display behind the museum, and then many thousands of fossils inside the museum.  We have been to see this before but only saw the display outside and we followed a nature trail that meanders through the marshy landscape.  But we are planning to go again and visit inside the museum.  The indoor museum was closed last time we were there.  They are open 10-4 pm daily and for some reason, the museum was closed the day we went.

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Big Bone Lick State Park features life size mammoths, mastodons, sloths, and bison.

Science Field Trip #3

We took a virtual field trip of a real life field trip we did last summer.  We looked through some pictures and videos we saved from that trip.  We call it the Trip Back In Time To The Beginning and you can watch the video posted below.  We visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky and made a movie about the dinosaurs around the time of creation.  It was a lot of fun to go back through our pictures and watch the video of the fun day we had learning hands on about dinosaurs.  They have many life size dinosaurs and skeletons and even some robotic diorama’s set up and you feel like you are right there walking with the dinosaurs.  We also have pictures saved from another field trip from an actual dinosaur dig site we got to visit and museum at the Natural History Museum ad Gray Fossil Site in Tennessee, and our field trip to Dinosaur World in Kentucky.  Someday I hope to make videos from the pictures of our trips to those sites too. The kids really enjoy watching their pictures put into a video like this and tying it all together.  And YES my kids really like dinosaurs!!!

Resources and FREEBIES:

Helpful articles for Homeschoolers:
http://funtasticunitstudies.com/articles/

Two free pdf units from the book:
http://funtasticunitstudies.com/science-unit-studies-book/

More freebies:
http://funtasticunitstudies.com/lessons-and-activities/

This is a fun and easy to do science curriculum and we highly recommend adding Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers into your science studies.

Funtastic Unit Studies Review

Be sure to check out what other families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using Funtastic Unit Studies.

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