Thematic Units: Science and Social Studies

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

All units in this curriculum are differentiated and teach the same content in a way that fits grade levels Kindergarten through 8th grade. This way a homeschool educator can run units and activities with children at different grade levels and skill levels simultaneously.


This differentiated, standards-based curriculum can also be helpful to teachers teaching multiple skill levels (especially English Language Development or SPED) and teachers who teach multiple grade levels.


My curriculum can be purchased in a few major bundles. Once each bundle is purchased an educator has all the resources needed to teach every reading, writing, math, or science/social studies standards for grades kindergarten through sixth grade (some literacy resources included up to 12th grade, while resources like the math units end in 6th grade). Check out my Homeschool Curriculum blog to get a description of major bundles.


In this blog, I am going to explain the science and social studies portion of the curriculum. The Science and Social Studies Curriculum is broken down into 4 different resources:


  • Science Thematic Units

  • Social Studies Thematic Units

  • Current Events/News Minute

  • Science WONDERINGS Journal


The thematic units give lots of resource lists that have content that effectively teaches the theme. Each thematic unit can last 10 weeks and teaches EVERY writing standard for EVERY grade level (Kinder through 8th). There are 10 thematic units in the science bundle and 10 thematic units in the social studies bundle. These are meant to be paired with the Reading Comprehension Worksheets for every grade in order to teach reading standards as well as science/ social studies standards, and writing standards.

Look below for more details about each of the four bundles that make up the science and social studies resources.

Thematic Overview:

Digital Learning...No more textbooks! This resource comes with lists of books, websites, STEM, and Art activity ideas and many writing prompts. The differentiated work is meant to be used to teach standards for writing and reading (buy the Reading Comprehension Worksheets for Every Grade and use the reading worksheets with the books in this Thematic Unit and ALL my other thematic Units).

This Unit Includes:

  • Lists of Focus Topics within Weather

  • Book Lists (for ages 1st through 8th)

  • Website Lists

  • Video Lists

  • Career Lists and information related to Unit

  • 20 Narrative Writing Prompts (with small space and large space lines)

  • Informative Writing Packet (3 different levels; to write a few sentences, a paragraph, and an essay)...includes research note page, brainstorm, outline, rough draft, editing, and final draft

  • 5 to 10 Persuasive Writing Prompts (with lists of different writing forms)

  • At least 3 STEM activity ideas and descriptions

  • At least 3 Art activity ideas and descriptions

  • One Unit Calendar to show how to use resources over a 10-week time span

This unit teaches ALL anchor writing standards for EVERY grade AND can be used to teach ALL reading anchor standards (if purchased with the Reading Standards for Every Grade Bundle).

1. The 10 Themes for the Science Units are:


Physical Science/Earth Science:

  • Weather Unit:

  • Space/Solar System:

  • Composition of Earth/Rock Formations:

  • Matter/Energy: Particles of matter, Laws of matter, the law of motion

  • Light and Sound Waves

Life Science:

  • Anatomy: Body functions, genetics, cells

  • Animals: Habitats, food chains, life cycles, adaptations/evolution

  • Plants: photosynthesis, plant life cycles, farming practices/agriculture

  • Dinosaurs

  • Nutrition

2. The 10 Themes for the Social Studies Units are:


Civics/Government:


  • The Job of a Citizen: Civic Responsibility, Occupations, Schooling/preparing

  • Governments: Around the world and in the US

  • Cultures around the World

  • Economics/Sociology: Basic Economics, beginning sociology and psychology

  • City Planning: How city systems work and how to read maps

History:


  • Civil Rights: The fight throughout the world and within the US for civil rights.

  • War Throughout Time: Learn the history of wars throughout civilization. What causes wars and is it ever okay?

  • Ancient Civilizations

  • European History

  • US History: Wars, immigration/westward expansion, Decades Project for the 1900s

  • BONUS: Biography Character Traits Unit

There are also two extra parts to the science and social studies curriculum that can be done weekly or daily:

3. Current Events Minute and Reflection Journal: teaches students how to find reliable news and determine bias, as well as reflect on things that are going on in the world today.

4. Science WONDERINGS Journal: Encourages students to become lifelong learners. To make observations about what they see and research new questions.

Related Questions:


What are thematic units?


Thematic Units are units of study that tie multiple subjects together by focusing on one topic. For example, a teacher could use the theme of weather to teach reading, writing, science, and even social studies or math concepts. The focus for every subject ties in with the topic or theme for the unit.


What does cross-curricular mean?


Cross-curricular is a term that refers to teaching multiple subjects at once. Reading and writing standards, for example, are often paired with science or social studies content. The teacher is applying the student's knowledge of reading and writing to teach social studies. The teacher is also teaching writing through social studies content. In the real world, students will be expected to use skills learned in multiple subjects to complete tasks. If one uses a cross-cutting curriculum allows educators to teach more content while also allowing students to practice applying knowledge.


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