Saturday, September 6, 2014

Diving Into Habitats: Back yard! Unit 1 Intro

Here we go!
I thought I would share the curriculum I am building as it unfolds, this way I have a place where the whole journey is well documented and others can dive into habitats as well!
The great thing about this curriculum is that it is a launching point for lots of exploration. I am gathering my frame from the One Small Square books. I am also challenging us to think of the habitat from all angles and all areas of our square: up high, on top, down low, inside, underneath, down below. From that place I am looking for *all* the creatures we can find in the habitat. From there we can all draw our own unique finds of living books and well illustrated resources with that in mind.

This week was mostly an introduction to habitats.
  • What is a habitat? (common elements for all creatures: shelter, food, water)
  • What senses do you use to investigate a habitat? (introduction/review of 5 senses)
  • When we discover a new animal in our habitat how do they see the world? Do they have a nose like us? Touch like us? Eat like us? See like us?  What do they do?
  • We explore human habitats- up high, down low, inside, and outside.
  • We explore the life cycle and food cycles in our gardens

 I am also hoping to take another gap year (a break from our history spiral) when my youngest (doing Pre-K right now) is in the K-2nd grade range. Eventually this curriculum has the potential to be a K-6th grade options, exciting stuff.

As it stands now this curriculum is ideal for Pre-K-2nd grade. 

A binder for each student
Notebook page dividers (4-6 depending on how detailed you wish to be)
A magnifying glass for each student (Dollar Tree!)
Notebook paper
Glue sticks
Glass Jars
Flash Light
A cookie sheet 
Library Card

Notebooking Options

For my 1st grader I broke down her note book into the categories of
We used a page divider for each category and during rest and quiet times she worked at decorating each page with drawings and stickers of each divider.

For my Kindergartener- who is easily frustrated and has some sensory challenges- I used a more simple format:
Bugs (her preference, whatever)

Curriculum Core Book List (Links further down)
  • One Small Square Backyard by Donald Silver
  • DK Animal Encyclopedia
  • Secrets of the Garden Food Chains and the Food a web in our Backyard by Kathleen Weidner Zoedeld
  • Alphabet Art: With A-Z Animal Art and Fingerplays by Williamson Little Hands Series)
  • Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals (great sneaky hand writing and letter shape practice!) 

Week 1 Book List
One Small Square: Backyard  by Donald Silver (Core Curriculum, we own)

DK Animal Encyclopedia  (core curriculum, we own)

My Five Senses by Aliki (Library Loan)

Ribsy by Beverely Cleary (Audio Book, Library Loan)

Secrets of the Garden Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard by Kathhleen Weidner Zoefeld

Were also Using Heart of Dakota's "Little Hands to Heaven" Pre-K/Kindergarten curriculum for Bible and part of our Alphabet Theme. I have another 2 year old in my care during the school week, and the Finger Play ideas and Bible related projects are awesome! We're reading through Egermier's Childrens Story Book daily in line with the HOD resources.

Other Resources I shared on another post.

Okay Onwards to
Backyard Unit W1/D1
Backyard Unit W1/D2
Backyard Unit W1/D3
Backyard Unit W1/D4
Backyard W1/D5

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