Pine Trees Unit Study
If you are familiar with how unit studies work than you already know how powerful of a learning tool they are.
Unit studies tend to break up the monotony of the daily grind that is schoolwork. They generally offer some sort of hands-on learning, making the lesson memorable. You can easily incorporate multiple subjects (math, language arts, science, history, etc) while studying one topic. Another GREAT reason, you can integrate multiple age/grade levels at one time. When you are homeschooling multiple children and various ages, unit studies are a real life saver.
Still, unit studies are time-consuming to pull together. Some of the pre-planned ones are quite long and overwhelming, too. For that reason, I can’t wait to share with you why we loved Creation Illustrated unit studies.
But First… A Little About Them!
Creation Illustrated began publishing their (ad-free) magazine quarterly in the fall of 1993. They are a private, nonprofit, owned ministry dedicated to sharing Biblical truth through God’s creation. Tom and Jennifer Ish, who homeschooled their daughter, wanted to provide quality Christian based reading material for the entire family.
Each of their digital unit studies (PDF) corresponds with one of their print magazines. (Their website states digital magazine subscriptions are coming soon)
What We Received.
Pine Trees is a 16 page downloadable and printable PDF unit study. The website description suggests it’s designed for grades 3-8. The PDF suggests grades 5-8. In my opinion, the “work” is geared for the older grades, but can be adapted to include younger grades.
Another option for younger students is to be your helper. The younger students can participate in listening to the reading and watching videos. They can help you by checking the older students’ work with the answer key. This will involve them, yet won’t overwhelm them.
The lessons include Reading Resources, Educational Videos, Vocabulary & Spelling, Bible Study, Geography, Science, Math, Writing & Penmanship, Art, Puzzle, and Answer Keys. In the Reading and Educational Resources section there was a clickable link for the digital version of the Fall 2017 magazine. This housed the reading resource needed for the unity study. All the links provided for additional reading and videos are provided in the study. Super convenient.
The second unit study we received was “Intricacies of Snow“. This unit study corresponds with the Winter 2018 magazine. As of the time of this review we have not started this unit study yet. Albeit, looking over the study, we are really looking forward to discussing the essay lesson. We do not get snow where we live, so I welcomed the fact that they gave multiple ways to use this portion of the lesson. We can easily adapt this to: what are our favorite snow sports to watch?, would we like to try?’ or even life in the Arctic? We are also looking forward to making snow crystals. A science-type experiment lesson. I’m also planning on making an igloo from sugar cubes (maybe some Lego play in there, too!) since we don’t have access to real snow.
How We Used It and Our Final Thoughts!
Our current grade levels range from 4th to 8th. We easily adapted the work for all levels. The younger age levels can simply verbalize the pages that require writing and research. We did this unit study as a family time study. Therefore, the older child was able to help with the research and discussion.
From a parents view, I enjoyed the Bible Study lesson. We took turns looking up the Bible verses given and figuring out how “Pine Trees” used in that particular verse. They would read the verse, agree on the usage, and I would write their answers.
I also appreciated that the unit study was very thorough, yet did not take a great amount of time to complete. Everything you need is right there at your fingertips. No long planning or searching for extra materials. A nice little break from our “normal” school day.
One of their favorite lessons was the Pine Tree Geography. They were given 9 Pine Tree species to locate and write what country/region they are found. They said it was like a Pine Tree scavenger hunt.
The younger two (ages 9 & 11) enjoyed the word search, while the older (who loves art) enjoyed drawing her favorite tree.
*As a bonus – our children’s grandparents have the rare long-needle pine trees on their property. They were able to observe the characteristics of the tree and discuss what they learned with their grandfather. This was super fun to them!
Look what was just released? The Spring 2018 addition.
What makes these unit studies so *thrifty*? They are super affordable (currently 25% & 30% off) and can be used for multiple students or an entire family at one time. They save you time and sanity by planning everything out for you.
You can connect with them here: