My children and I recently had the privilege of using our first Amanda Bennett "Download N Go" unit study, "Autumn Treasures." We received this unit free of charge in exchange for an honest review. No financial compensation was received.
DNGs are week-long, topical unit studies designed with K-4th grade students in mind. They are, however, adaptable for use with older students (DS11 participated in several activities), as each unit offers a wealth of information via embedded internet links -- enough to satisfy the curious cravings of any inquisitive student. Daily book suggestions, lessons, activities, and lapbook ideas provide the parent with all that's necessary to conduct a thorough topical study. Books can be accessed through the local library, and do not need to be the exact titles suggested. The fact that these unit studies can be downloaded immediately means that studies can get under way right away with minimal preparation.
"Autumn Treasures" (available for $7.95 at The Schoolhouse Store) was a nice way to ease into our school year, though I think I would have preferred to do it a couple of weeks later, when the leaves are more colourful, apple and pumpkin picking are fully in-season, and it really is fall.
We began our unit by printing the pages we would most likely use, and going to the library to find as many of the suggested books as possible. Oddly enough (shoulda known!), the shelves were picked clean. (Those public school teachers -- I tell ya! ;-) (For the record -- I do love 'em -- I used to be one, and I'm married to a principal :-D ) We did manage to scrounge up a few books for most of the daily topics, which include:
Day 1: What is Autumn?
Day 2: Science Secrets of Autumn
Day 3: People and Places of Autumn
Day 4: Time for Tips and Treasures of Autumn
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Autumn
Here we are enjoying a little read-aloud of one of those books on Mom and Dad's bed:
Even the dog wanted to be in on the reading, though he did decide to catch a little shut-eye while he listened ;)
In our study of leaves and their changing colours, we did an experiment suggested by one of the unit links, which involved lots of fun snipping and smushing:
We drew the chlorophyl out of three different types of leaves. It's always fun when experiments work!
And everyone enjoyed the simple activity of leaf rubbing, though we didn't use the unit's page designated for that task:
(The great thing about homeschooling is -- we don't! :-)
"Autumn Treasures" has directed our attention to many of the wonderful things there are to learn about fall, and because we couldn't complete every suggested activity in the five-day time frame, we still have lots of material to use to satisfy our cravings for more knowledge and experiences. It has also reminded us of all the things we look forward to as the season sprawls before us -- decorating with corn stalks and hay bales and gourds, picking apples, making and eating apple and pumkin pies from scratch, cider with whipped cream, Thanksgiving celebrations . . .
What's your favourite part of fall? What creative endeavours does it inspire in you?