Do you ever find yourself stumbling into a unit study?
This recently happened in our home. Finding one sweet book about Benjamin Franklin at a used book store led to asking the librarian to help us find further Ben Franklin resources, which led us to more and more resources.
Unit studies often snowball like that and I LOVE it!
Our simple Ben Franklin Unit Study has been a lot of fun.
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Keep The Unit Study SIMPLE
I don't like to plan too much for a unit study because then I feel like a failure if we don't accomplish it all. Less is more, and sometimes a few beautiful resources go a long way.
Honestly, our unit studies kind of plan themselves - I let my children lead me into what interests them. (and the rest is history!)
Books About Ben Franklin
Ben and Me - This sweet book is told from the perspective of Ben's mouse, Amos. It's so informative, humorous, and satirical. I found that BOTH my sixth and second grader loved it. This is what started our interest in Ben Franklin.
Electric Ben - Our local librarian recommended this book to us - it had just arrived at the library. It is a picture book, but full of hundreds of details and appropriate for upper elementary and even some middle grade students. We read several pages each night and finished the book in a week.
Ben Franklin and His Magic Squares - One of the most fun things to do when studying Franklin is Magic Squares. This book shows what they are all about and tells why Franklin was led to develop them in the first place. This book was a thrift store find and I think it was a lucky find at that!
You can also find Magic Squares to play on the computer.
Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin - Kids love to learn about inventions, and this book is a great picture book for just that.
Who Was Ben Franklin?: This series of books is always a go-to for me when helping kids learn about a historical figure. They are short, sweet, and can be used as a read aloud or read alone.
Hands On Inventions
Kid Inventor, Basic Electronics Kit - This kit was handed down to us (by my same friend who initially loaned me all those great homeschool books!). I am so thankful for this. The kids have been having lots of fun with it.
Snap Circuits - Doesn't it seem like all homeschoolers should have a set of these? I think it's a law or something. We have two sets and use them often!
Snap Circuits RC Rover: This is especially fun if your child likes Snap Circuits.
ZOOB Inventor's Kit: ZOOBS are such fun for kids -- this inventor's kit is great!
Using Notebooking Pages new copywork feature I am making copywork pages of Franklin's most famous quotes.
Music - The Glass Armonica
Of course we gravitate towards Franklin's musical invention, the Glass Armonica. We read a great article from PBS about his invention.
This is a wonderful video to watch, too:
We've been listening to Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn - three composers who wrote music for the Glass Armonica. This has gone along quite nicely with our SQUILT Music Appreciation studies - specifically Volume 2, The Classical Era.
You could continue to let this Benjamin Franklin unit study expand and expand.
For now, we have gotten our feet wet with Ben Franklin, and when we get around to that point in American History to study him we will be ready to go DEEPER.
At this young age I think it's about cultivating a curiosity and a love for great figures from history, so that one day my children will want to find out MORE and be able to converse intelligently about that person and their place in history.