During the early years of our homeschool existence, we used unit studies exclusively. These days, our very eclectic selves pull from a variety of resources, but I am still very unit-study-minded. I love when something can me taught in a very cross-curricular kind of way, whether I plan it that way or it just happens. This week, it’s just happened, and it’s been fun!
We’re just getting into the Renaissance (which I am going to learn to spell without spell check before the year is over!) in history and we’re studying astronomy in science. We’ve found ourselves learning about the life of Prince Henry the Navigator, which is really cool because do you know what the early explorers used as their primarily navigational tool?
That’s right! The stars.
So, we’ve had great fun studying the constellations and studying the phases of the moon, while reading about how Prince Henry loved to pick the brains of astronomers, navigators, sailors and so forth. In light of our studies, I chose to skip our regularly scheduled art lesson on Wednesday and, instead, do some theme-related painting. The kids could either choose to paint a few of the constellations — adding some glow-in-the-dark acrylic for a fun effect — or try their hand at The Starry Night, by Van Gogh.
They all chose to paint constellations, with Megan and Josh painting the lines to show them while Brianna painted only the stars themselves. I tried my hand at A Starry Night.
We really had a great time tying our history and science together (which I think may happen a lot during this particular time period). Some resources you may enjoy, if you choose to look at some of these themes, are:
Prince Henry the Navigator by Leonard Everett Fisher
The Glow-in-the-Dark Night Sky Book by Clint Hatchett
Constellations by Chris Sasaki
The Moon Seems to Change by Franklyn Mansfield Branley
The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson
Have you had any studies lately that have fallen together in a fun, unit study kind of way?