This mini unit is our very first novel study! This means it does, for the first time, have a required book: Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker.
Please note there is some controversy over this book, which you can research on your own to see what you think. Rebecca strongly believes that to not teach our kids the history of racial slurs and the atrocities of slavery and racism is the very definition of "whitewashing". She believes that our kids will never understand the impact of their words if they don't understand the historical context and the pain they are rooted in. Because of this, racial slurs, racism, and the history of slavery are core themes of this unit that are approached again and again with tact and gentleness and discussion and an amazing narrative that will help give it all meaning. The story is so well written, your kids will be moved by the incredibly courage of Julilly and likely shocked by our not-too-distant past. As a family you will have amazing, and hard, discussions, to build a strong foundation of equality and justice. No child is too young for this book study, there is something for every single member of your family in this, and it is one that I greatly hope you never regret doing!
This unit is recommended for all ages as the reading is short and easy to digest and understand. Throughout this unit, students will also be choosing a unit project to work on (there are options given in the Teacher's Guide) including a book report, essay, diorama, or character profile. We have also created an optional add on for this unit giving daily instruction on how to write a book report, adaptable for all ages from writing a paragraph to an essay style book report for high school!
This novel study is rich, with rich discussion prompts and deep discussions to be had. It pairs perfectly with a cup of tea or hot cocoa and some scones as you analyze some great writing and learn about history in the process!
What's Included? You can purchase a leveled bundle with one student notebook of your choice and the Teacher's Guide, or the full family bundle that includes all levels with the Teacher's Guide. If you have more than one child you are buying for, it is more economical to get the full bundle to re-use in the future with your kids at older levels. All digital bundles come as an instant download in PDF format for you to print at home.
How long are units designed to last? Each unit is designed to be 4-5 weeks. Our main units and most of our mini units include 20 lessons and can be done as a 4-day school week (lasting 5 weeks) or a 5-day school week (lasting 4 weeks) to offer flexibility. You're in control! Set a schedule that works best for your family and your pace will dictate how quickly you complete any given unit.