America Mini Unit Study: Day 1

We had lots of errands to run yesterday, and I had planned to “do school” when we got home in the afternoon. However, I started putting things away and moving things around and fell down the rabbit hole of decluttering my house. I know better than to put that mood on hold because it really never happens. So the girls got a day off school.

With the 4th of July coming up this week, we are doing a short unit study on the USA. We started out with Grace’s favorite puzzle. She wanted to do it without any help, so I put Joy to work on a color the flags printable. Grace and I said the names of the states aloud as she put them on the puzzle. (She knows a few, and I helped her with most of them.) We also looked at a world map that shows where Hawaii and Alaska actually should be after she asked why they weren’t attached to the other states.

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Grace got her map out of her room (the big one pictured) and I found a couple more and we studied the maps for a while. I brought out some landmark flashcards, and we found almost all of them pictured on Grace’s map, so she was excited to find them as I told her what they were.

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I showed the girls that the Lincoln Memorial is on the back of a penny. I’m planning to study coins more tomorrow.

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This lasted quite a while, but Grace wanted to do her puzzle again. This time she asked for paper to trace the states. Of course Joy followed.

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After tracing a few puzzle pieces, Grace decided she needed bigger paper and we moved to the floor. Joy was starting to draw on Grace’s beloved puzzle trying to trace the pieces, so I set her up with a large stencil instead.

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Grace handed me her lift the flap states book, and we went through each state and its abbreviation. Then we did our calendar binder (which was exciting since we started a new month!) and a few pages of workbooks. The girls weren’t into workbooks today, but when I gave them the option of putting them away they decided they wanted to keep going.

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We started working on our geoboard. There are lots of ways to make one, but we settled on pegboard and nuts and bolts. Time consuming, but the girls enjoyed working with “tools.” Although we didn’t buy many nuts and bolts and they are more than I want to spend for more. So we may cut up a dowel rod and see how that works. (At some point, despite it being over 90 degrees today, Grace put on a winter coat.) Grace asked me if this was “school” and I said it was just for fun, to which she replied, “it should be a fun part of school! I’m going to call it school.” Well, ok then.

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Grace made a couple of rows and Joy made a square. They did really well skipping spaces without me showing them what to do. Joy discovered that if you start the bolt and then slam the board on the ground it will go in all by itself!

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Grace got the maps back out later and drew out a route for the road trip she thought we should take. (This map works with dry erase markers.) She enjoyed talking about all the landmarks and between all the maps and puzzle there were lots of different pictures for each state. I think she wanted to see everything! She drew lines all over this map.

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After playing for a while the girls asked if they could paint, so we spent quite a while at the kitchen table. Watercolors are Grace’s favorite.

Joy’s paintings:

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Grace’s paintings:

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(And yes I know those paintings had nothing to do with the USA, but the girls love animals!)

And no USA study is complete without watching this video at least 100 times. Grace has had the states memorized for some time now thanks to this catchy tune.

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