What Are Themed Units?
Themed units are lesson plans that all relate back to the common obvious theme, that ultimately leaves the student a well rounded expert on the subject matter. Math, Literature, Science, and Social Studies all teach around the theme.
Why Do Themed Units?
Themed units allows the students not only to learn everything they can about their current favorite subject of the week, but also tackle those humdrum objectives without losing interest from those sterile boring textbook rudimentary routines. Themes of their interest bring learning to a new level of interest, immersion, and focus.
You can tell me how it was, test me in how it was, or you can involve me.
How Do I Choose the Themes to My Themed Units?
This is the beauty of it, my kids pick what they are most interested in! I can also tailor a lesson to match something they are going through, like when B was struggling with Bullies.
How Long Should Themed Units Last?
Themed Units are a series of anywhere from 3 days to 3 months on a single topic. I like to stick to no shorter than a week and no longer than a month, so to hold their attention.
What is a Typical Daily Schedule in a Themed Unit?
- Basic Outline:
- Warm Up that Provokes Independent Free Thinking on the Topic (keep it fun)
- Discussion On Themed Subject Matter
- Activity in Themed Subject Matter
- Math/Reading in Themed Subject Matter
- Break (Lunch/play/rest)
- Creative Concept with Theme
- Let’s Get Creative
- Example: Egypt
- Build a pyramid out of the Legos on your desk (15 mins)
- Discussion on Pyramids with Factual Picture Book
- Why Pyramids?
- How were they built?
- What are some legends associated with them?
- Nat Geographic Video on Pyramids.
- Math: Measuring Angles/Volume/Area of the Pyramids
- Reading: Reading Comprehension Passage on King Tut
- Georgia O’Keeffe and her unique painting styles of desert landscapes
- Using warm and cool colors paint an image of the Sahara.
How Do I Develop The Theme Concept?
- We are in the age of information! At first I load up on research from wikipedia, expert sites, various lesson plans on pinterest, and even the reading material picked for the unit.
- From there I think, what are the objectives we need to conquer, and how can this theme get us there, or vise versa, what is the theme and what objectives can it help boost our understanding of.
Sometimes our plans change as our information develops, Frida Kahlo turned from a one day visit to a three day so to explore further her personal definition of “happiness” and “home” as depicted in the book we read: Me, Frida.
What Resources Should I Use?
Again, what an amazing day and age of information is at our fingertips. Resources are boundless, my initial go to’s are:
- This Website, or contact me
- PBS Kids
- Area Hot Spots like museums that explore the topics hands on.
- …and ofcourse a classic, the Library.