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 to buy? You will need to purchase a physical workbook for each child as well as a Teacher's Guide for yourself. The Teacher's Guides contain all the actual teaching, they are not just for answers, so they are critical to your lessons. Printed books are printed on 32lb. paper and are shipped to you coil bound.
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.