Elementary Science – Unit Study 1 – Classification

Implementing a science curriculum is hard!  Teachers and parents are pressed for time.  We have to teach math and reading and sometimes, we find very little time left for science.  Science seems to take a lot of time.  Parent-teachers have to read, plan, prep, perform, question, and assess.

My curriculum units are designed to ease that prepwork.  Using scientific concepts highlighted by Bernard Nebel, Ph.D. and his three-volume science curriculum titled Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding,  I have constructed a scripted curriculum for parent-teachers to follow.  The curriculum is currently available as unit studies. Each unit consists of two parts – the activity guide (the lessons) and the notebook pages.

I have chosen to develop these unit studies following the educational philosophy of Understanding by Design.  I took a graduate course in this philosophy which basically states that units should be developed around the end assessment and what the child should be able to do.  In this light, I have designed these units around student production.  What can the student create, perform, or present that can demonstrate to someone else, that the student truly understands?

I have also incorporated many classical education methodologies, including copywork and narrations.  Susan Wise Bauer’s works have also influenced my unit studies, particularly how she has developed her Story of the World Activity Book.  Jessie Wise’s, Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading has also been truly helpful in developing scripted science lessons.

This first unit study focuses on organization which is the foundation to classification.  Organizing is truly the first step in doing science and humans like to organize things!  It helps us to understand, remember and critically think.  Scientists like to organize information in order to search for trends, patterns and understanding.  In this unit study, your students will be introduced to the concept of organization and how this helps in every day life.

Instructional Methodology:  Classical Model of Education

  • Copywork
  • Narrations
  • Hands on activities
  • Performance products
  • Project-based learning
  • Interdisciplinary – ELA and math activities included

 

Activity guide includes:

  • 6 lessons
  • 1 enrichment activity
  • 1 assessment

 

Student Notebook pages includes:

  • Components that are required to complete the lesson
  • Components to help construct notebook pages

 

Materials needed to complete this unit study:

  • Activity Guide (the lessons)
  • Student Notebook Pages
  • The Usborne Science Encyclopedia, 2015.
  • A collection of coins
  • An assortment of beads
  • Spiral 80 page notebook (see The Student Notebook)
  • Camera/smartphone (for taking pictures of students to put in notebook)
  • Art supplies (high quality colored pencils, scissors, tape, etc.)

Click to download a copy of the Unit Study 1 – Objectives

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