Monday, October 13, 2014

Weird Stuff!

Miss L's most favorite unit study ever.  This unit focused on her love of "weird stuff" as she calls it, the unusual and unexplained things in our world.  We used a variety of books and materials.  Since she's so in love with the topic, some of the things on this list were not specifically used for this unit study, but have been hits here and easily could have been included had we not already done them. Her interests skew toward medical mysteries, mythical animals, and similar oddities so we went more that direction than UFOs.

Read aloud:
Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder
This is not a book marketed to children.  I started reading it to her on a lark and had my doubts that she would comprehend it and/or that it would hold her interest, but she surprised me and really did enjoy it.

Strange Mysteries from Around the World, Seymour Simon.
This book is written at her reading level (approximately 4th grade) so we could easily read it together and use it as a base from which to jump off into more detail.  This book was originally written in the early 1980s, so it was interesting to compare some of the information in this book with newer information from other sources.

Supplementary books:

Documentaries (all available on Netflix):

Projects/Hands On/Field Trips

  • Made a mythical creature fossil out of bones from an owl pellet
  • Made a fairy mummy and/or Fiji mermaid out of small novelty halloween skeletons and craft supplies
  • Found an unknown baby animal on the lawn, tried to identify it.  Took it to a local museum to get it positively identified and preserved.
  • Visited the website of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.  True?  Fake?  How can you tell?Can you fool others with your own creation?
  • Curated her own exhibit of "weird stuff" in a curio cabinet and made a companion guidebook
  • Visit museums like Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, Ripley's exhibit at the science center, other small local oddity shop/museums.

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