Day - A Unit Study
March is definitely a
transition month. The weather changes, winter sports come to a
close, tired homeschooling parents begin to burn out, students get
bored and restless as they long for a spring break... March is a
great month to mix things up a bit and do something different - for a
week, at least!
This month we bring you a
unit study that you can add to your studies or replace them altogether
for a fun and lighthearted change. Take some time to enjoy each
other and this lifestyle we call "homeschooling". Feel free to
pick and choose from these activities we have listed or do them all.
Read through the lesson plan a few days ahead so that you can
determine whether you need any supplies from the store. Have
MONDAY - March 9th
Read a biography of St.
Patrick. There are several sources that you can find by
searching online or taking a trip to the library. We are rather
biased in our recommendation of a good biography on the life of St.
Patrick because we publish one in our book,
What Really Happened During the Middle Ages.
Written by Jennaya Dunlap, this story is geared towards 3rd through
8th graders and can be read in one sitting. For a longer
historical, though fictional, book on the life of St. Patrick, you can
read Flame Over Tara.
On this day, begin to do
some research using either the Internet or your library's card
catalog. Pick a topic for a report which can be in the form of a
paper (for older students), or a lapbook (for younger students).
For more information on lapbooks, read this
article (scroll about halfway down the page). Some topics
for research could be St. Patrick's Day Traditions, Irish Legends &
Folklore, History of Ireland, Celts, Potato Famine, Immigration of the
Today is just research day,
so print out interesting pictures, articles, etc. and tuck them inside
a file folder so that you can begin using them on Wednesday.
TUESDAY - March 10th
green day! Today, we'll do some
activities surrounding the color of green. Here are some ideas:
1. Flip through old
magazines and cut out pictures to make a green collage. This can
be done as individual pictures or as a group poster.
2. Take a walk, gathering
and naming as many things in nature that are green that you can find.
Or find a quite spot outside and draw a scene highlighting the things
which are green.
3. If you have young
children, read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and then make
this meal using some food coloring to dye your eggs green. If
your children are older, plan a green meal, which includes lots of
veggies and other foods which are green. Brainstorm with each
other for ideas. Perhaps this is a good day to try pistachio
4. Experiment with color.
Pour water into a clear glass. Let your students add drops of
blue and yellow food coloring to create various shades of green.
Record the number of drops to make the colors.
5. Make green flubber!
WEDNESDAY - March 11th
Today, we learn a little
more about the history and geography of Ireland with some map and
If your students keep a
running timeline of events that you study together, add some
significant dates from Ireland's history today. If this is not
an exercise that you regularly have your students do, then pull out a
clean sheet of paper and create either a horizontal timeline or
vertical list of events. This timeline can be added to the
report or lapbook which your students will be assembling later in the
week. Here are a few key events that you can add, but also check
out these two sites listed below for an indepth timeline of Ireland's
BC Celts begin to arrive in Ireland, from central Europe.
BC Arrival of the Gaels
200 Beginnings of High Kingship at Tara
Arrival of St. Patrick to help convert pagan Gaelic Kings to
795 The Vikings begin raiding Ireland
Brian Boru becomes High King of Ireland
Rory O'Connor becomes High King of Ireland
King Henry makes his son John Lord of Ireland
1394 King Richard II leads an army to subdue
1556 Queen Mary
sends English people to settle land confiscated from Irish rebels in
Laois and Offaly. Mary is the first monarch to successfully 'plant'
English settlers in Ireland.
1593-1603 The Nine Years War
1610 The first Protestant settlers arrive
1660 Charles II becomes king
1740-1741 A severe famine affects Ireland
1807 Famine in Ireland
potato blight causes a potato famine. Perhaps 1 million people die.
Many more emigrate. The population of Ireland falls dramatically. The
famine is at its worst in the West and Southwest of Ireland.
1919-1921 The War of Independence. The IRA
fights a guerrilla war against the British.
1972 'Bloody Sunday' in Derry. Fourteen people
are killed when the British 1st Parachute Regiment opens fire on
1998 The Good Friday Agreement is signed
For a more extensive
timeline of events, visit
To learn a little about the
geography of Ireland, we suggest you look at some maps of Ireland.
Here are two maps which you can print out and have your students
Map 1 - St. Patrick
Map 2 - Ireland Divided
(For more World History
outline maps like these, visit our map products
page. To explore timeline options, visit our
timeline products page.)
- March 12th
Listen to some Irish music today as your
students begin to assemble their lapbooks or write their report.
Writing is a complex skill, but to simplify the process here, have
your older students read back through the material they collected on
Monday and begin to highlight points of interest that relate to their
main topic. Then have them write an outline or rough draft for
their report. The final draft may be written tomorrow in their
best handwriting or typed on the computer.
For the lapbooks, follow the
instructions on this website -
www.scrapbookingtolearn.com and use the maps and pictures they
have created this week. Also include recipes (see Friday),
vocabulary, drawings of St. Patrick, leprechauns, photographs of
activities, etc. Be creative. For a colorful shamrock to
include, follow these directions. Using some green construction
paper, fold lengthwise and cut out three hearts. Glue hearts
onto white paper, points together to form a shamrock and then glue on
a stem cut from the green construction paper.
FRIDAY, MONDAY & TUESDAY - March 13th - 17th
Tuesday is St. Patrick's Day! On
this day, the 17th of March, in the year 461, St. Patrick died after a
life of dedication bringing the Gospel of Christ to Ireland.
Either Friday or Monday would be a good day for your students to
finish up their reports and/or lapbooks. Embellish with green
trim or illuminations drawn from hand.
Over the weekend or on Tuesday evening, enjoy an Irish boiled dinner of
corned beef, potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Bake a loaf of Irish
Recipe here. Top off your meal with cupcakes frosted with
green frosting (use food coloring, of course, for the desired shade of
In conclusion, here is an Irish blessing
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Blessings to you on your
Johnson and her husband Todd operate
Knowledge Quest, Inc.,
a company which specializes in the publishing of maps, timelines and
historical biographies. Their mission for the company is to help make
the subjects of history and geography enjoyable for both teacher and
students. They have created and published over 20 history and
geography resources. Terri’s Blackline Maps of World History
have been widely recommended in the homeschool community and beyond.
Knowledge Quest, Inc. won the “Excellence in Education” award granted
by The Old Schoolhouse magazine for best geography company two years
in a row. Terri resides in Gresham, OR with her husband Todd and
their six children whom they teach at home.