It seems I am constantly behind the ball when it comes to planning ahead for holidays etc. I have missed out on several opportunities to do some fun things with the boys!
I am looking for Jan - Dec theme ideas of what we could study and different resources etc. For instance- Easter is in April so I want to plan a mini unit regarding Easter. Please share what you do each year for themes/mini unit studies. Thanks!!
We did the names of Jesus study...it is a great one. We made a notebook, and for the Alpha and Omega I printed out a sheet with the letters of the Greek alphabet and the kids wrote their own names in greek.
There is a symbols of Christmas study that looks neat too.
As for other days/ themes, we haven't done much beyond just discussing why we celebrate that day and making a note on our timeline about when the day originated (4th of July, for example). We do read theme related books around holidays like Thanksgiving though.
For something like Thanksgiving you could do an indian study...and let the kids make indian artifacts and costumes, or dress up like indians and prepare a feast for daddy at the end.
I am currently planning monthly themes for my kindergartener. The theme I am planning for the December is Christmas Around the World.
I plan to include world geography, foreign language (how to say Merry Christmas in several languages), cooking traditional foods, creating decorations, and studying different cultures. I am using Christmas Around the World Coloring Book from dover for my 5yo to color. However, an older student could do more advanced
decorations from different parts of the learn or learn carols in the traditional language. Literature choice- A Christmas Carol perhaps. There are several web sites about Christmas traditions from other cultures.
In January, I am going to do a monthly theme around Time. I am going to teach my DS to tell time and learn about the calendar. With older students, you could study how the calendar came to be, where the days of the week got their names, how clocks were created, and the importance of an accurate clock to determine longitude. A&E did a movie called Longitude about just that and there is a book by the same name. I could get the author for you if you are interested. Field Trips- a clock repairman's shop. Also for life skills, you could teach time management and create student planners for the year.
Hope I was helpful
We have done little studies of the seasons...only 4 of those a year instead of 12....
Sumi....the names of Jesus is a great idea! I've been thinking about doing a books of the bible lap book with the boys ... still thinking on this one as I'm not sure I want to add to our already full schedule.
Let's see...just brainstorming a minute:
May-flowers (May day), gardening, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day (what/whom are we supposed to be remembering?) & do a family tree
June-summer, insects, weather
July-anything related to our nation's history, beaches & lighthouses, take a pretend vacation somewhere.
Not sure if that's what you needed?
I am not necessarily wanting to do a new theme for all month long- just a day or two to a week depending on the occasion. I want to do the Easter study the week leading up to Easter Sunday. I missed the first day of spring- we could have done something about that etc.
January -- Winter (clothes, activities, snow, snowmen, hibernation, animal migrations)
North Pole/South Pole & Arctic/Antarctic Habitats & their animals
Also we do a manatee field trip because that is when they migrate inland here
Colors: blue, gray, and white
February -- Groundhogs (story, watch, study shadows), Valentines (tied with drawing/ making hearts, studying forms of love, family vs friends, feelings)
Australia & the Outback, Soil Habitat (tilling month for us), worms, ants, etc.
Colors: red, pink
March -- St. Patrick's & Ireland unit, Spring (tied to weather, wind, rainbows, kites), new plants lead to our botany study (flowers, plant parts, trees), bird observations, farm field trip (spring babies)
South America & Forest/Rainforest Habitat
Colors: brown, green
April -- Arbor Day, Easter, Earth Day, Recycling, Ecology, continue plant, tree & bird studies, Zoo field trip
Africa & Savanna/Grassland Habitat (big animals also leads to stories about giants & Dinosaurs)
May -- May Day (happiness & peace), Memorial Day (role of Military, remembrance), role of Mothers, Start of Beach Days!
Oceans Around the World, Sea & Shore Habitat -- fish, shells & water experiments (solid, liquid, gas)
Colors: blue hues -- ocean, sky, etc., Cool vs Warm Colors
June -- Fathers (role of, appreciation of), Flag Day (make flags/discuss significance of stars/stripes), Summer, temperature
Pond Habitat, amphibians, tadpoles (frog life cycle)
July -- Independence Day (Birth of America, founding fathers, Patriotism), This is also inside-science experiments month due to extreme temps & thunderstorms)
Desert Habitat & reptiles
Colors: red, white, blue
August (Vacation month, traveling) -- Endangered Species, Landforms, Review Habitats as we see them, Dinosaurs
September (Vacation month) -- Labor Day (Community Helpers), Harvest Moons
Insect Habitat (another tilling month for us), how ants and bees all work together like a family, but also worms, general insects, caterpillars, butterflies, spiders
Asia & Himalayas, Mountain Habitats
October -- Columbus (cultural exchange between American & Europe, exploring, the west), Fall (leaves, leaf rubbings, photosynthesis), Halloween (pumpkins, ghosts, scary stories)
Colors: Yellow, Red, Orange
Europe & the variety of habitats
November -- Elections (purpose, go to polls, mock election), Thanksgiving (Native American study, Pilgrims, being thankful, turkeys, harvest), camping
Colors: Red, Brown
North America & the American prairie, grass & farm lands
December -- Christmas (meaning of, evergreen trees, all kinds of crafts and baking), New Years (time, seasons, aging, phases of life, starting fresh)
Colors: Green, Red, Silver, Gold
If you want more details, I'd be happy to provide.