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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review of an Appalachian Trail Unit Study

We use a lot of unit studies during our homeschooling adventures.  One of my favorite parts of using a unit study is that you can adjust it to fit each child.  I was excited when The Old Schoolhouse Magazine gave me the chance to review their Appalachian Trail Unit Study.  As soon as I received this unit study I was impressed at how in depth it was.  It offered a lot more instructional ideas then other unit studies I’ve used.  Because my children are younger I decided to pick one to three activities from each subject within the unit study and get started.

First up was English/Writing/Spelling section.  My kiddos decided to study and write about some of the animals that can be found on the Appalachian Trail.  We are huge animal fans in this house so anything animal related is always their first pick.  We discussed and learned a few facts about each state that the trail is located in.  I also gave them some spelling words that tied in with the unit; hiking, trail, animal, rock, backpack, outside, and nature.  The Unit Study listed eighteen different activities you could do for these subjects and they were all great.  If you have older kids there are some really interesting options.

Next we hit the Math section.  There are ten math activities to choose from and we decided to make a bar graph of the visitors who had been on the Appalachian Trail and we also planned a detailed menu of a three-day hike.  This was one of my kiddos’ favorite lessons!!

From there we jumped right into Science where we picked several of the twelve options.  I mentioned we loved animals before so of course the kids insisted on doing all the animal related activities.  We studied and made posters for three different types of mammals found on the trail, we learned about the birds usually seen on the trail and even practiced some bird calls, we studied the different types of insects and discussed how to treat insect bites and which insects to avoid.  Our last Science activity was the house favorite and probably got a little more in depth then we intended but with four boys that tends to happen.  We learned all about the snakes that could be found on the trail and how you should treat different snake bites.  The boys spend hours looking a gruesome snake bite photos online!!

We grouped together Geography, History and Art.  We made lots of maps and painted pictures of different areas along the trail.  The Unit Study gave you nine options for Art, five options for History and over fifteen options for Geography.

The Unit Study also contained lesson ideas on Home Economics, Physical Education, Hiking Tips and it even provides a book list.

I loved this Unit Study and can’t wait to do some more like it.  If you are a Unit Study fan be sure and check out the Appalachian Trail Unit Study  from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and read some more reviews by the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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