Tag Archives: unit study


“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” asks Indiana Jones, and this homeschooling mama is asking that too!  I know some people who have pet snakes and enjoy them and others who have extreme fear of them. Growing up in Kentucky, I’ve even heard rumors of snake handling in churches! Personally, I’m in more of a basic “just avoid them” category.  Honestly, I’d rather avoid a snake study but  “July 16 – World Snake Day” was marked on our list of  Special Days in July  , which means it’s an interest study request. I don’t want to say no to an interest study, and it’s been a while since we did an animal research project, so …

Here’s my collection of cross curriculum snake themed resources to share with you for when you find yourself facing a snake study.

Snake Facts Slide Show

Image Gallery: Snakes of the World

Labeled Anatomy Diagrams:

Live Science Article – Why We Fear Snakes

Importance of Snakes in the Ecosystem

Snake Bite First Aid

Pet Snake Care

Bible Verses about Snakes

Snakes in Religion  search results

Read Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

Snake Mythology

Snake Vocabulary Word List

Word Snake Game

Snake Jokes and Riddles

Printable Worksheets and Activities

Snake Unit Study and Lapbook Printables

Snakes Notebooking Printable Pages

Songs About “Snakes”  (Heads up! Not all will be appropriate for families)

Snakes in Art – Statues, paintings, pottery, drawings, and more, from ancient to modern day, and from all over the world. (Again, Heads up! Not all will be appropriate for families, but you can easily choose which pieces suit your study.)

Step by Step How to Draw a Snake

25 Exceptional Snake Crafts

Printable Snakes and Ladders Game  – “When you download the game, you will get a printable board and a set of question cards. With every move the player has to answer a question in order to stay on their new position. This game comes with the questions of the World of Knowledge game. But you can create your own set of questions. But you can also play it without any questions, just roll the dice and have fun!”

I couldn’t find a “snake” math resource so I’m thinking I can use some printable math task cards for the above Snakes and Ladders game.

There’s hundreds of thousands of snake related videos on Youtube and I’m sure we’ll watch a few of them.   Since we’re fans of “Good Mythical Morning” I have this one saved for ‘fun?‘ and a crazy PE idea (not real snakes but maybe a rubber one or two).

I’ve already been to my local library’s website and put some snake books on the hold shelf. We don’t have a zoo in our area, but we do have nature centers and pet stores, so I think a field trip can be easily planned to wrap up our snake study.

betty jo









South Korea and the 2018 Winter Olympics



The 2018 Winter Olympic Games  have begun!  And, Winter Olympics based homeschooling has begun, too!  The links below are the cross curricular free resources we’ll be using as we explore South Korea and the 2018 Winter Games.

Brief History, Geography, and Facts of South Korea               https://www.ducksters.com/geography/country.php?country=Korea,%20South


Printable South Korea Maps –                                                                                  http://www.freeworldmaps.net/asia/southkorea/

Country Notebooking Printables –                                             http://www.notebookingnook.com/freebie-country-study-notebooking-pages/

South Korea Video Tour –                                                                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq5_J9nArE8

Learn Korean Phrases                                                          https://www.fluentu.com/blog/korean/korean-travel-phrases/

Korean Food and Recipes                                                                          http://www.easykoreanfood.com/

Olympic Games Official Website – Sports, Athletes, Photos, News, Schedule, History, and More   https://www.olympic.org/

Olympics Themed Math –                                                                                              https://www.yummymath.com/2018/winter-olympics-pyeongchang-february-9-25/

Bible Verse/Winter Olympic Coloring Pages  –  https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/collections/winter-olympics-sunday-school-childrens-church

Bible/Winter Olympic Discussion Questions                                              https://whatsinthebible.com/the-sochi-winter-olympics-2014-five-questions-to-engage-your-kids/

2018 Educational Kit from the Olympic Museum –https://www.olympic.org/museum/visit/schools/teaching-resources/lesson-material/experiencing-discovering-the-og-special-pc2018#

Non- Commercial Use Free Clipart (enter “olympics” into the search bar)                          http://clipart-library.com/

Music of the Olympics                                               https://learn.musicinourhomeschool.com/courses/15-minute-music-lessons/lectures/1074732#/questions/1

Olympic Themed Interactive Games   http://www.primarygames.com/socstudies/olympics/olympics.htm

How to Draw Soohorang (the tiger mascot) video lesson              https://www.artforkidshub.com/how-to-draw-soohorang-pyeongchang-winter-olympics-mascot/

Writing Prompts                                                               https://theeducatorsspinonit.com/2014/02/winter-olympic-writing-prompts-after.html


Olympics Printable Worksheets – Wordsearch, Crossword, Anagrams, True/False Quizzes               https://www.historyonthenet.com/worksheets/olympics-worksheets/

Science of the Winter Olympics Video Playlist                                    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB6B38A6C0540EEB6

How It’s Made Videos :                                                                                                                                  Skating Rinks

Ice Skates

Hockey Pucks

Curling Stones



Gold (Au79), Silver (Ag47), and Bronze (Copper-Cu29)  Information from this Interactive Element Chart                                                             http://humantouchofchemistry.com/pages/periodictable.html

Gold, Silver, Bronze Element Videos                                                                http://www.periodicvideos.com/

Winter Olympics Inspired Crafts, Games, and Activities                                https://tipjunkie.com/winter-olympic-activities-and-crafts-for-kids/

I hope we ‘Win the Gold’ with Winter Olympic learning!

betty jo



Has your family taken a bit of time to learn about bridges?  We did and it was an awesome, multi level, and cross curricular study!  With the Brooklyn Bridge opening May 24, 1883 , and the Golden Gate Bridge opening May 27, 1964, May is a great time to learn about bridges.  However, if bridges in May doesn’t work for you, the third Saturday in October is “Bridge Day” and “Historic Bridges” is one of the themes for the month of November! Of course, you don’t need a special day to learn about bridges and can add a study as your calendar allows.   Below are the links to the online resources we used.  And, remember to check with your local library for bridge books and movies.

Bridge Building Video – Learn some of the important differences between arch, suspension and cable-stayed bridges


Bridge Facts


Photo Gallery of Bridges Around the World


Virtual Tour of the Golden Gate Bridge –


I didn’t give the boys any instructions, but just gave them the supplies from the following projects, and told them to build!  We tested them with weights (stacking cans of food), and with our remote control cars.

How to Make a Strong Paper Bridge –  http://www.ehow.com/how_6321787_make-strong-paper-bridge.html

Build a Bridge Challenge with Recyclables And Materials from Around the House –  http://inspirationlaboratories.com/science-at-home-strength-of-materials/

Spaghetti Bridge Engineering Project –  https://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=collection/wpi_/activities/wpi_spagetti_bridge/wpi_spag_act_joy.xml

Build It Big – Bridge Challenge Interactive, Photo Gallery, Forces Lab, Meet the Engineers  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/bridge/index.html

Bridge Quotes and Idioms Explained –  http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/bridge

And for family reading, we picked up a copy of  Bridge to Terabithia, and the movie, too.  We think it’s interesting to compare books to their movies.


Bridge to Terabithia Lit Guide, Summary, and Quiz –  http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/terabithia/

And if you’re learning about bridges this October, don’t forget to include the bridge from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!

Field trips were fun and easy with this study.   We took an up-close look at a few bridges in our area.

images     th  1f8114af468c53fafe2f61083402bf4d  Greenway Bridge2

I hope you enjoy the bridges study as much as we did!  Oh, by the way, the pretty stone bridge crossing the lake in the above photo was a construction project my husband worked on years ago.

betty jo



New Year’s Resources

happy-new_-year-12-31-10Though my family is still on winter break from usual homeschooling lessons, I’ve been planning and  collecting ideas and links for a New Year’s study to start next week.  Below is what I’ve found.  I hope you find the resources helpful for your New Years lessons, too!

Looking Back at 2015 and Looking Ahead to 2016 Printable – (This is what my family is using for our yearly traditional time capsule.  Each of us will fill one out and place in a bottle to be packed away with our Christmas decorations.  We’ll find them next December when we get the decorations back out.)  http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/2014/12/free-family-new-years-resolution-printable.html

Top News Stories of 2015 (parents of younger kids should view privately before sharing with the kids because there’s quite a few bad news stories) http://abcnews.go.com/US/year-review-13-biggest-news-stories-2015/story?id=35852690

Find out the “Most Searched, Most Watched” (again, parents should view first) of 2015  http://www.ourlittleearth.com/2015/12/most-searched-most-watched-this-year/

“New Year” Bible Verses –  http://www.openbible.info/topics/new_year

Bible Based New Year’s Crafts and Activities –  http://www.christianitycove.com/?s=new+years

New Year’s Interactive Games –  http://www.primarygames.com/holidays/new_years/games.htm

New Year’s Games – Fun for families, friends, and co-ops –  http://www.howdoesshe.com/15-fun-new-years-eve-activities-for-kids-or-adults/

“Lucky” Foods and Recipes for New Year’s –  http://www.rd.com/food/fun/7-lucky-new-years-foods/

New Year’s Activities and Printables (lots of printables!) –  http://activityvillage.co.uk/new-year

How to say “Happy New Year” in other languages – http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0923039.html

New Year Traditions from Around the World – http://www.123newyear.com/newyear-traditions/

New Year’s History Articles and Videos – http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years

Movie Clips and New Year’s Music from the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-2k7hKvaW0

Happy New Year Songs Playlist – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIAVVo9m5AI

Times Square Ball History – http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/about-the-new-years-eve-ball/history-of-the-new-years-eve-ball/index.aspx#.VobXKFJecx0

Times Square STEM Activity – http://jdaniel4smom.com/2015/12/new-years-ball-drop-stem-challenge.html

Times Square Math Challenge –  http://www.yummymath.com/2015/the-times-square-ball/

Be on the lookout for more January resources and lesson ideas coming soon!







betty jo


The Super Bowl


With a husband and four boys, one would think we’d have a football fan or two around the house.  That’s not exactly the case, though. Most of the football season is ignored, however the Super Bowl does spark some interest.  And, where there is a spark of interest, there’s learning!

Here’s some resource links for Super Bowl related lessons:

Player profiles, Super Bowl history and more from the Super Bowl Website –    https://www.nfl.com/super-bowl

Biblical Truths from Football  –  http://kidsintheword.net/5-biblical-truths-you-can-teach-your-kids-from-football/

Football Music – lesson plans and songs  http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/multimedia/series/AudioStories/touchdown-songs.aspx

Football Science Video Collection –  http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/football/index.jsp

Football Rules –   http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/beginnersguidetofootball

Football Vocabulary Word List  –  https://myvocabulary.com/index.php?dir=theme&file=theme_list&theme_id=51

Football Themed Writing Paper –   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Football-Writing-Paper-370666

Superbowl Related Math Activities for older students or for family math  http://www.yummymath.com/?s=super+bowl

And More Football Math –  http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lesson.aspx?id=872

Super Bowl Printables, Crafts, and Activities – http://www.dltk-kids.com/searchresults.html?q=superbowl

Super Bowl Party Games – http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/super-bowl-sunday/

Kid Friendly Super Bowl Recipies – http://chefmom.sheknows.com/articles/822383/kid-friendly-super-bowl-foods


Commercials are a favorite part of the Super Bowl for many viewers.  Youtube has several collections of them.  I’m not including a direct link to any of them because some of them are not children or family friendly, even though my search term was “super bowl commercials kids and pets”.    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=super+bowl+commercials+kids+and+pets

Write your own commercials with this Persuasive Writing Guide with Printables!   https://go.sadlier.com/school/teaching-persuasive-writing-advertising-super-bowl-lesson?utm_campaign=08Q_18_SP_NAT_FB_GfW_Child&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paidsocial

Wishing you Super Learning!

betty jo




The topic of earthquakes came up back in August when we studied skyscrapers, then again in September as part of our disaster preparedness studies.  Since we live close to the New Madrid fault line, and the boys were interested, we took a bit of a detour from our regular lessons to focus on learning about earthquakes.  As to be expected when the boys pick the topic of study, it was fantastic.  Below are the online resources we used as we researched, experimented, and learned about earthquakes.

Earthquakes explained, facts, and information  http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-earthquake.htm

Extensive list of earthquake related vocabulary words and their definitions http://www.brighthubeducation.com/science-homework-help/53594-earthquake-vocabulary-words/

17 Bible references to “earthquakes”  https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=earthquake&qs_version=NIV

Live Earthquake Map and Stats  From Around the World (Even now that our earthquake study is over, we’re still checking this site daily.  We’re amazed at the seismic activity that goes on everyday!)   http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com/

Information about the most severe earthquakes on record past and present    http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0001767.html

I hadn’t planned on making a lapbook with this study, but Z asked if we could.  So of course we did, and it turned out wonderfully.  We made a few booklets on our own and printed off some of these resources too.   earthquake lapbook printables  http://www.homeschoolshare.com/earthquakes.php


Great “What To Do” video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a7T9Uf-JB4

“Deadliest Earthquake”  Documentary (B and I watched this together without the younger boys.  There’s some rather disturbing images shown.)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jphpezyM7JA   (Sorry, but the link doesn’t seem to be working, so you’ll have to “copy and paste” it)

Old Zoom video instructions of how to make a seismometer.   Ours turned out great!  http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ess05.sci.ess.earthsys.seismometer/making-a-seismometer/

And here’s printable instructions for the Zoom seismometer if you need them  http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci/seismometer.html

Hands-on activities and projects.  One of these even involves Oreos!  Yes, I’ll buy Oreos in the name of “science”!  http://www.exploratorium.edu/faultline/activezone/activities.html

This interactive “Stop Disasters” game was tough!  We were set up as city managers and assigned the task of building, upgrading, and educating the people on safety. We were given 25 minutes to get our city in order before an earthquake hit.  The first time through the game, we were fired!  And that was the “easy” level!   http://www.stopdisastersgame.org/en/home.html

We took this online earthquake quiz twice.  Once before our study and again when we were finished  (we did much better the second time)  http://www.softschools.com/quizzes/science/earthquakes/quiz273.html

And of course we had to find some earthquake jokes for J –

Q: What do cows produce during an earthquake?   A: Milkshakes!

Q: What did the ground say to the earthquake?    A: You crack me up!

Q: What is an Earthquakes favorite song?   A: “Shake, Rattle and Roll!”

Actually, not “Shake, Rattle and Roll” but this one was our song through our earthquake study  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA6oZ4YgKCA   ((Sorry, but the link doesn’t seem to be working, so you’ll have to “copy and paste” it)

betty jo


It’s Unanimous For Strawberries!

At the beginning of each month I go through the special days listing, and check off what I think we should add to our studies.   I also give the list to the kids and they check off the topics that interest them. (https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/04/29/special-days-in-may/).  Rarely does a monthly theme interest all of us, but the May food theme,  STRAWBERRIES,  was unanimous!

This close to the end of our school year, I really won’t have the time to develop our own strawberry study, but can not just ignore the fact that we all want to explore this favorite food.  This is where my friend, Fran, comes in!   (http://www.franw.com/)  She has developed and published an e-book appropriately named Strawberry Craze. 

Strawberry+Craze+Cover+SampleStrawberry Craze is a 91 page study and activity guide.  Fran has graciously given me a copy and I’m so excited!  It is covers subjects across the curriculum and has something for all ages.    She gives the instructions for crafts, gardening, and science experiments.  She has included a list of questions for research projects and little known facts and trivia.  Strawberry Craze has math, health, and language connections, too.  And recipes!  Not just a couple of yummy desserts to try, but recipes for lip gloss, scratch-n-sniff stickers,  shampoo, and play clay,  just to name a few.

Strawberries have been added to the top of my weekend shopping list!  And will probably be repeated on every grocery list in between now and when we are able to pick our own from our garden.

Now is the right time to pick up a copy of the e-book for yourself.  It’s being offered for only $2!  To find out more and take a peek at some sample pages click here  http://www.franw.com/2013/09/strawberry-craze-ebook.html

Oh, by the way, Fran gave me Strawberry Craze just because she’s my friend.  The e-book gift was not given to me for the purpose of this review.  The review and recommendation is completely of my own doing.

betty jo