Free lessons and printables

Free Poetry Unit for Elementary Students

Blow bubbles, eat gummy bears and write poetry. What better way to introduce young children to this often underappreciated art form?

free homeschool poetry

 

I have been teaching my own children about poetry with these lessons for several years and have even taught it at our homeschool co-op. I enjoy it because the lessons are engaging and active and only require students to sit still in short bursts. It introduces poetry from several well-known authors like Emily Dickenson, Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost. Children go outside, blow bubbles and imagine themselves as a stegosaurus. In other words, they simply play with a litte bit of purpose. Then they come back to share their discoveries while you write down their ideas, help them organize it and add a line yourself to help tie their masterpiece together.

And what poetry unit is complete without a poetry journal? I make these beautiful journals with scraps of scrapbooking paper for all of my poetry students, whether or not they are related to me. In class, I print off the definitions and previous week’s poem for them to glue in while they provide illustrations. For my own children, I just take the dictation directly into their journal unless they are old enough to copy it themselves (or write their own poetry while the younger ones work with me!) The book drill she is using is tres cool (Grace is the reason I bought one myself and love it) but you can also use a simple hole punch and a wider yarn or ribbon.

You can see most of a sample lesson I shared earlier this year in my post, Bringing Beauty Into Your Home Through Poetry. And if you would like all twelve lessons, simply subscribe to our mailing list! You can choose to receive our weekly newsletter or to only be notified when special offers like these are available.

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How to Create a Low Cost Elementary Art Curriculum . . . Plus a Free Printable!

Art is one of those things that seems to slip to the backburner in our homeschool. But it’s that time of year again! We are almost two weeks into the new year and calendars are going on sale. Why would this get me excited?

Create your own elementary art curriculum

Because sometimes, without even trying too hard, I can score some good finds and broaden the selection of art for our lessons. This has me dusting off my plans and sharing them with you!

One of the core principles of my homeschool lessons is, “Here a little, there a little.” I firmly believe that children learn more through exploring concepts one at a time, ideally in the course of conversation when they are most curious and most apt to be paying attention. Really paying attention, because they want to know.

And that’s why I collect art calendars whenever I can find them. I then carefully disassemble them, storing them carefully in a folder. This gives me 12 examples of an artist or a style. So far, I have Monet, Japanese block prints and some Australian photographers to begin my collection. Now I just need . . . every one else! Actually, one of the most fun things is to just let your children go through the sale calendars and pick one.

ansel-adams

They don’t need to know it’s school.

For the next part, if helps if you have a frame, but matboard will do. Or even something you make yourself. Then hang up one example near where your child plays. The idea is to gain familiarity with frequent, self-directed study of the artwork because it just happens to be there. Then sometime, when your child is calm and snuggly (maybe between books during family read aloud), take down the piece of art and just talk about it.

That’s it. Let your child tell you what he sees, what she feels, what she thinks. The tricky part is responding using the correct terminology. I am so not an artist. My most basic art studies left me woefully unprepared to discuss things like movement and balance. In a picture. Where nothing moves, and even Dali’s melty forms never fall.

But I’m learning. Right alongside my children. I have a list of art principles from our county’s 4H curriculum, but they are also available online. For each piece of art, I pick one or two and we just talk about them.

I take it slow, because that’s how children learn. I want to teach art so that they learn to really appreciate art, both for the skill of the artist and for the beauty and ideas it puts into the world. And so we “read” art, much like we read a favorite book.

After discussing the art, I hang it up for at least another day before pulling out another one. (Well, that’s the idea anyway. I have a chronic lack of wall space at the moment so this is one of my goals!)

Then comes the fun part. Playing with the art concepts you are learning. For this, you have to have a basic set of supplies and an internet connection. I google things like, “elementary art projects with Monet” but here is an excellent list of art projects sorted under 13 different artists. They all encourage exploration of materials and concepts, making art low stress and enjoyable with no need to replicate the great masters, making them beneficial to all skill levels without causing frustration.

This semester I’m going to add a section to their binders about artists to encourage a little research along with our art exploration and so they learn more about each of the artists on their own. I’m all about creating the least amount of work for me so I took a little time to create a basic outline for them to fill out and they can research a different artist each month.

Free printable artist bio

Even better, I’m sharing it with you! Just click here for your free artist biography printable or on the image above to print off your own copy! I have more planned for the future as I get our homeschool back on track so consider subscribing to my email list or following me on facebook so you don’t miss any!

Free Garden Unit Study Download

Today, I am offering all my readers a free e-book: Developing Christian Character Through Gardening.   Just click to open, and feel free to share the link to this free resource with your friends!  I only ask that you link to this entry rather than directly to the download so I can get “paid” through the small amount of traffic that might generate!  Thanks! And while you are planning your garden, consider learning a little about the honeybee with Share the Buzz: A free lesson guide about honeybees!

Developing Christian Character Through(1)-min

When Jesus taught, he often used object lessons drawn from the everyday experiences of His audience: drawing water from a well, making bread, a wedding celebration, the harvest, etc. These experiences were an integral part of the culture of Jesus’ day, giving His listeners practical examples of the spiritual principles He was teaching. Today, however, even such simple tasks as making bread or sowing seeds can be as foreign to children as the spiritual lessons they were intended to illustrate.

This unit focuses on how Christian character is developed through studying the parable of the sower. Children are given an opportunity to help plant a garden and tend it through the harvest, while the parent takes time to draw spiritual applications from the work being done, “here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10) Although the foundation of this lesson rests on the parable of the sower found in Mark chapter 4, take some time before each session in the garden to reflect on what you will be doing and an appropriate verse to guide your children toward a more spiritual discussion.

Let me know what you think, and enjoy gardening with your children!

Free gardening unit study

This week I am offering all my readers a free e-book: Developing Christian Character Through Gardening.   All you need to do is click on the link to download!  I have offered this e-book before, but just recently edited it, clarifying a section and checking the links to make sure they all still lead where they are supposed to lead.  Just click to open, and feel free to share the link to this free resource with your friends!  I only ask that you link to this entry rather than directly to the download so I can get “paid” through the small amount of traffic that might generate!  Thanks!

 

Developing Christian Character Through(1)-min

When Jesus taught, he often used object lessons drawn from the everyday experiences of His audience: drawing water from a well, making bread, a wedding celebration, the harvest, etc. These experiences were an integral part of the culture of Jesus’ day, giving His listeners practical examples of the spiritual principles He was teaching. Today, however, even such simple tasks as making bread or sowing seeds can be as foreign to children as the spiritual lessons they were intended to illustrate.

This unit focuses on how Christian character is developed through studying the parable of the sower. Children are given an opportunity to help plant a garden and tend it through the harvest, while the parent takes time to draw spiritual applications from the work being done, “here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10) Although the foundation of this lesson rests on the parable of the sower found in Mark chapter 4, take some time before each session in the garden to reflect on what you will be doing and an appropriate verse to guide your children toward a more spiritual discussion.