Every year I evaluate where we are with our educational goals, what resources we have, what we would like to accomplish and what I can handle. While I have always loved the idea of real-life learning and field trips, in the past I have not been up to doing them. I think the toddler, the infant, and lack of sleep had a lot to do with my reluctance. 🙂 This year though, we were invited to participate in a farm field trip study over the course of 3 months. Each week we will visit a different type of farm and the rest of the week, do a unit study at home based on that theme. Surprisingly, I felt up to traveling and am excited to be able to create memories with my younger children through this unit. So what is a unit study and what will this farm unit study look like?
Farm Unit Study
A unit study takes a theme or interest, and then carries that theme through all subjects. Unit studies usually incorporate lots of hands-on learning experiences, real books (not textbooks), narration, notebooking and/or lapbooking. There are several companies that create unit study materials, or you can pull together your own resources. For this farming unit, I will be doing both. 🙂
We will be visiting the following types of farms:
- Apple Orchard
- Pumpkin farm
- 1836 Prairie Town and Indian Village
- Honey Bee Farm
- Amish Farm/organic
- Tractor store/traditional farm
- Livestock farm
- Dairy farm
- Fish hatchery
- Sheep farm
- Bison farm
- plus observe an ant farm and ladybug farm at home
My children ages 9, 7, 5 and 2 will be participating in this unit study. Each has a 3-ring binder with notebooking pages, printables and journaling pages. Since it is 3-ring, it is easy to add things when needed. We will pull in a variety of materials and resources. In addition, my 9yr. old and 7 yr. old will continue with their All About Reading (afflink) and Life of Fred math (afflink).
This will be the first time that I’ll be doing a field-trip intensive unit study. This is also the first year I’m not pregnant, nursing or plain tired from lack of sleep:) One of my friends planned all these trips out— all I have to do is drive and show up! 🙂 The timing was perfect for us this year. I like to use the fall to be out and about before the weather gets bad, and my younger children are all big enough to handle longer car rides. Many of these trips will require 2-3 hours driving! We’ll be using that driving time though for some carschooling. We have a stack of audiobooks that we are planning on getting through!
Some farm resources we will be utilizing during our unit study are:
Lots of farm books, pretend play figures and crafts.
Amanda Bennett Horse Unit Study (for the 9yr. old) (afflink)
Various Teachers Pay Teachers Resources such as this farm activity pack
Other free printables from:
Homeschool Share – Farm Fun Kindergarten Kit
Homeschool Share – Various farm-related book units
1+1+1=1 – Farm theme printables
I’ll be sharing what we cover with each unit as we progress through the year. My hope is that you will be able to glean some ideas to use in your own unit study or classroom lessons. Every area has different resources, so check with your local extension office, 4-h club, or library for ideas on field trips or virtual field trips.
It’s a great idea! I love it!