One of the first books I read growing up was Paddington Bear. Being in the Philippines where books are expensive and therefore, not readily available, I was keenly aware that it was a luxury. Even at a young age, it felt like something precious. Getting to share that experience with my children by reviewing Paddington Bear Picture Book Explorers unit from Branch Out World is thus, very meaningful to me.
This is a unit-based study that can be done over the course of several days:
- Day 1 – Exploring the setting
- Day 2 – Exploring the words
- Day 3 – Exploring the pictures
- Day 4 – Exploring Science
- Day 5 – Exploring maths, crafts, and more
Each day is jam-packed with activities like mapping, timelines, and crafts.
On day 1, we read the book together, which of course, meant a million questions. I think this is the beauty of literature-based lessons — you open up conversations and have the opportunity to be led by children’s curiosity.
It just so happened that I just purchased an interactive map puzzle, so we were able to find the locations in it.
Day 2 focused on the words. For some reason, we ended up discussing how important it is to learn the context of literature. It was something that our Pastor often talks about even when interpreting the bible.
We researched more about the author and what could have possibly led him into writing the way he did. Honestly, I’m not sure how much of it stuck considering that my kids are 6 and 3, but I think they get a general idea.
Day 3, 4, and 5 we stretched out over a couple of days because we had music and art classes. Plus some commitments with our homeschool provider, so we definitely took out time.
Our science experiment did not work out the way it was intended. Mainly, because it got mixed in with other ingredients like cornstarch.
Another thing that I liked about this unit study is that I was able to integrate it with our existing lessons. In this case, I used the experiment also as a way to teach the scientific method.
The thing is, we don’t have a lot of luxury when it comes to time, so any integration is an A-plus in my book.
Overall, there’s an earnest sweetness in this product and I highly recommend it, especially for the younger kids. It’s also one of the more fun curriculums I’ve reviewed; mainly, because it has an air of nostalgia.
Other products may offer more in terms of cramming in information, but this has the right balance of form and function. It hits the sweet spot of being just right.
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