an excerpt from the Level One Activity Guide. Read it as an
example of how Level One and Two are organized.
HOW TO USE THE
Teacher Planning Checklist
Coloring Pages and
Narration and Narration Paper
This curriculum was designed to provide the structure needed to feel confident using a living book approach to education. All of the preparation work has been done - book lists, project ideas, coloring pages , even shopping lists for
TO USE THE ACTIVITY GUIDE:
Checklist (back to top)
Each unit begins with a Teacher Planning Checklist that
provides you with a list of everything you need to do to get ready to
teach that unit. Every supply for every project is listed on this page.
You can see at a glance what you need to have on hand to do any or all of
the projects. This checklist will save you a lot of time in preparation
and planning. As you complete each preparation step listed, just check it
off. You will immediately know if there is anything else left to do to
prepare for the unit. Briefly review all the planning checklists for a
study before beginning the study to see if there is anything you wish to
order such as ant farms, tadpole kits, or fly trap plants. This way you
can be sure to have these items on hand when you need them.
Library Lists: (back to top)
There are three
lists for you to use to locate materials at your library: non-fictional
reading, just for fun (fictional) reading, and videos. The resources
listed all pertain to the unit being studied. Chances are you won’t find
every book or movie listed. Try to locate as many as you can. Better yet,
hand the list to your librarian and let her locate them for you. Really!
It’s ok! That is what they get paid to do! I recommend making your library
trip for a particular unit a week BEFORE you begin the unit. Optionally,
you could drop the list off with your librarian a couple of days before
hand and ask them to put the books on hold for you to come back and pick
up. They can also locate books for you on interlibrary loan. Making full
use of your library resource in this way will minimize the amount of time
you have to spend locating books.
Internet Links: (back to top)
Each unit has a list of internet links. All of the links are
suitable for viewing by young children. Set aside some computer time for
yourself to review the internet links listed for the unit. It should take
about 30 minutes at the most to go through them to decide which you feel
your child would enjoy. Some of the links have FREE printable resources
such as puzzles, games, coloring pages, crafts patterns, etc. Others have
fantastic photography, video clips, and live cameras (eg you can watch the
pandas at the San Diego Zoo live!). Make notes on your Teacher Planning
List of the sites you want to go back and visit with your child. For
printable resources, either print them now or make a note on your planning
sheet of which ones you want to print and do so later.
Lesson Plans: (back to top)
have to report what they have covered to someone - the state, a homeschool
covering, or a support group leader. Many states require that you keep
attendance records for the number of days attended. The lesson plans
provide an effortless way to record the work completed by your child. The
‘Day Number’ column is for you to record the chronological day number on
which an assignment was completed (e.g., 152, 154, 156 etc). After
completing an assignment record the Day Number and the Date Done. Then
just turn in a copy of these lesson plans as your science record. The
lesson plans are designed to spend 2 days per week on science. All of
the lesson plans follow the same format:
* Suggested Reading: (if any)
book reading. Enter book name in reading log.
* Complete a coloring
page. Discuss the vocabulary on the page. File in notebook.
Optional: Complete an enrichment activity (project, game, field trip,
Week 1, Day
* Oral review: Review vocabulary.
Discuss readings, referring back to the books to look at the pictures.
* Library book reading. Enter book name in reading log.
a coloring page. Discuss the vocabulary on the page. File in notebook.
* NARRATION DAY Do a narration page about a book or a project.
There is also space on each lesson plan sheet to record any additional work
that you do. Once you become familiar with the pattern, planning your
science time will be easy. It is not expected that you will read a book, color
a picture, watch a movie, AND do a project all in the same day! If
you’ve had time to prepare for a project - great! Do it! If it has been a
busy week and you don’t have time for a project, watch the movie or read
a couple of books. Whatever you choose, just place a check next to the
items you completed and date it. The scheduled lessons are only
suggestions! Make the program work for you. If you don’t like a particular
assignment then skip it! If you would rather do something else for a unit, like
a trip to the zoo or the botanical gardens, then just record that
activity in one of the blank spaces and date it. Most units have only 1 or 2
coloring pages; however, each lesson has an item for completing a coloring
page. This is to give you the flexibility to decide which day to do the
Projects: (back to top)
contains a variety of projects, experiments, or games. Some of the
projects have internet links. It is not intended that you do ALL of the
projects for every unit. Choose the ones that you think your child - and
YOU - would enjoy the most. After all, if you aren’t having fun, you
probably won’t do that project! I highly recommend having the child
complete a narration page to file in his notebook after completing a
project. Consider taking pictures and filing those with the narration as
well. (Narration and notebooks are discussed later in this manual.) When
the year is over the child’s science notebook will become a keepsake.
(back to top)
The reading log provides you with a concrete way to
encourage your child to want to read. There are two things you need to do
to use the reading logs:
1. Purchase stickers to go with the reading logs.
We decided against shipping stickers with the activity guide so the child
can choose stickers that he/she personally likes.
2. Make a copy
for each unit for each child using the curriculum. (36 copies per child)
NOTE: You are granted permission to make
copies to use with your own children only.
have read a book together, record the name of the book in the reading log
and put a sticker in one of the circles. Your child will feel a sense of
accomplishment as the log begins to fill. Set goals and reward your child
when the goal is met. Don’t forget to make copies ahead of time!
Coloring Pages and Vocabulary: (back to top)
The vocabulary for a unit is incorporated into the coloring pages!
Look over the coloring pages before beginning a unit so you will know how
many pictures there are for that particular unit. Some units have internet
links to locate more coloring pages. Alternately, you can choose to do no
coloring pages at all! If your child does not like to color then don’t
Narration and Narration Paper: (back to top)
Narration is a way to measure what your child has
retained and understood. It is also useful for developing vocabulary and
self expression. A child that has become adept at narration will find
written composition in later grades much easier. Narration should be an
easy, enjoyable time. Consider having a special narration box with art
supplies such as paints, markers, colored pencils, glitter, glue, etc that
only comes out at narration time. Allow the child to embellish their
narration pages AFTER they have completed the narration. You are provided
with two narration paper masters: one master has lines and a blank space
for an illustration; the other has lines only for extra writing. You can
choose whether or not to use our narration paper. If you do, you will need
to make copies of each of the masters. I suggest making about 45 copies of
each page. This provides you with one page for each unit, plus a few
extras for those days that your child messes up and insists on starting
Follow this pattern for narration time:
1. Orally discuss
what you have covered about a particular unit, or discuss the project
2. Ask simple questions to spur discussion with your child and
to get them started with their narration.
“Where does it live?”
“How does it work?
“What did you like/not like about
3. Record the
narration (either you or your child, described next)
4. Allow the child
to draw a picture to go along with the narration IF they like to draw
(some children don’t).
5. Let the child embellish their narration
page. You have one of two options for recording the narration. Consider
alternating which method you choose.
One: Have the child dictate to you their thoughts on the
unit in sentence form. You may find that you have a talker that wants to
go on and on. Great! Write as fast as you can to get their thoughts down
on paper! Often times in very early grades a child’s fine motor skills are
not fully developed and handwriting may still be difficult. Taking
dictation of your child’s oral narration is perfectly acceptable at this
stage. If you have a child that can’t seem to get started, make
suggestions: (‘Where did you say the animal lives?’) . If they get going
after you guide them, great. If not, don’t push. It will come with time.
Just try to get one or two good sentences.
Option Two: Write out one or two simple sentences
for your child to COPY on a narration page. Let them help you in composing
the sentences. Sit with them as they copy so you can immediately correct
any spelling, punctuation, or penmanship errors. This is a great exercise
for developing visual discrimination and early language art skills. They
will be gently introduced to rules of punctuation, grammar, spelling, and
penmanship as they complete their copy work exercise for narration time.
You will notice in the lesson plans that there is only one day per week
labeled Narration Day. Please consider doing narration/copy work exercises
when doing other activities such as projects, field trips, and
SCIENCE NOTEBOOK (back to top)
All of the
child’s work should be filed in a 2-inch wide three ringed binder. I like
the ones with the clear plastic inserts on the front that allow you to
insert your own cover. Let your child draw or paint a picture to be used
as the cover. You can either divide the notebook into sections or just
file the child’s work chronologically by date. Notebook time should be
exciting. As was recommended in the section on narration, consider having
a special box that has art supplies such as paints, markers, colored
pencils, glitter, glue, etc that only comes out at notebook time. Notebook
pages should include coloring pages, narrations, artwork, and /or photos
of field trips or projects. From time to time let your child show his
notebook to others. He will feel a sense of accomplishment when displaying
his work for others to see. Grandmas are great for this! At the end of the
year it will be fun to look back at all the exciting times you’ve had