Do you have a book that your kids or you just adore and really want to use it as the base for a unit study? It really isn’t as hard as it sounds to turn any book into a unit study for your homeschool, it just takes a little bit of planning!
Obviously, just reading the book is going to give your child a lesson in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and phonics. But you can get so much more out of your favorite story than just that- Huck Finn, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Little House on The Prairie, Indian in the Cupboard- whatever story you choose can become a week or longer study that you and your kiddo will enjoy.
4 Easy Steps to Turn Any Book Into A Unit Study.
Decide on your book
Chapter books are great for creating a study from a week to a month but even picture books can be used as a springboard for a preschool/kindergarten study, books like Stellaluna, Llama Llamas, and The Snowy Day make for an ideal mini-study.
Grab some paper and a pen (or pencil)
A computer or tablet for researching ideas, and of course the book in question. I try to cover math, language arts, history/social studies, science, and art in each study so I title a piece of paper for each theme, here you will jot down your ideas to use.
Brainstorming as I flip through the book gives me a great list of ideas to choose from.
Search through your story for something you can use- animal study, characters in a different country, sports, etc..
Here are some brainstorm ideas you might come up with:
• Younger children can learn the parts of a book- front cover, back cover, the spine, title, author, illustrator, copyright page, glossary, etc.
• Flip through the book and choose words that your child may need some practice writing, spelling, defining, using in a sentence, or use them to learn cursive. Some great words from this particular book are – tempest, reckless, commended, despairingly, contrived, perceived, and composure (that’s just the first few pages!)
• Make a timeline of the events in the story, add and subtract the days, weeks, months, or years between events.
• Create random word problems for your child based on the skills they need to learn using characters or events from the book.
• Where is the story taking place? Alaska? Europe? Africa? Take some time to research and learn about the city, state or country where it is based.
• Find the location of your story on a map.
• Is your story set long ago? List the differences between then and now.
• Does your story have animals? Learn about the animals in the book.
• Are plants mentioned in the story? Have a botany lesson!
• Create your own book jacket for your chosen story.
• Put together a diorama of your favorite scene from the book.
• If possible, take a field trip to a landmark or city in the book.
Pick your best ideas
Once you are done brainstorming your subjects choose your favorites to put together and you have great bones for a book based unit study to get your child excited about learning! Spread each subject out over the length of your study.
Gather your materials
Once you gather together all of the materials that you have chosen for your book based unit study, you can sort them for each day. Large bags or plastic tubs, or plastic drawer systems can help you keep everything organized.
Grab your book, all art supplies, paper for book reports, lists, recipes, project supplies, tickets for a local landmark from the book and begin your new book unit study!