Monday, March 29, 2010

Expedition Australia: a Download-N-Go

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7

Expedition Australia

Last week we took a trip across the Pacific ocean, to the "sun-burnt land", down-under, the outback: Australia. Of course, this trip was made from our dining room, when we did our first Download-N-Go unit from Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse. My first impression was WOW. There is so much material here! Links, worksheets, drawing pages, maps and more. Priced at only $7.95, It is intended for a one week study, but I am convinced you could easily take a month or more with the materials provided.

We squished our study into a week, but I would have loved to have gone longer. The study is divided into days, but not really into lesson plans, so to speak. Instead, they are laid out for the child and parent to read and research together, with all the subjects neatly melding into each other in a gentle sequence. Targeted for grades K-4, I think if you had older children you could easily modify it a bit so that they could join in the fun.

I was delighted to find that we were going to study social studies, (In the form of holidays, geography, and language differences) science (Australian animals), math (temperature, time and currency) Literature (poetry) and art (drawing). The unit includes lapbook components, and then we stapled the worksheets together and added them, too.

Learning about Continents

CJ's Worksheet about Lollies

Worksheet about Kangaroos

Bop's Kangaroo

Time and Temperature Worksheet

We learned about continents, maps, the temperature and time differences of the hemispheres, and some funny Australian words (Do you want to come over for a barbie? ) Bop loved the chance to draw animals in some ready-made backgrounds and frames, and CJ liked the colorful worksheets.

There was one slight drawback to the Download-N-Go, and that was the way the links and reading was combined on the same pages with the art work frames. I though it would make a neater presentation if they were on pages of their own. This did not detract from the quality of the unit, and I would not hesitate to buy another one.

Overall, the entire unit was very professional, easy to use and fun. I was surprised over and over again at how in-depth and complete it was. So which will be our next Download-N-Go? Well...that is a hard choice, but Spring Surprises looks awfully tempting this time of year. Whale Tales, Kite Capers and Pizza Party are all just as tantalizing. And all of the Expedition... units are fascinating, I am sure! With all of these choices, how can you pick only one?

Our Lapbook (not all of the animals or places were done at this time)

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