The Curiosity Files: Blue-Footed Booby, published by The Old Schoolhouse, recently.
This downloadable unit study, aimed at ages 8 to 13, is part of The Old Schoolhouse's "The Curiosity Files" series: a group of unit studies that focus on unfamiliar, zany, and strange things of nature that are fascinating to kids and show the beauty of God's creativity.
This type of thing is right up my 4th grader, Karate Kid's, alley! He recently watched and loved the Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution series and loved it. Plus, he thought the name was hilarous! So, we went through this study of the blue-footed booby in place of our regular science this week.
The study begins with "Everything You Never Wanted to Know About the Blue-Footed Booby". We read together but he could have easily read it on his own too. I appreciated the conversational tone and entertaining writing style. This section gave us basic facts about the bird and pointed out how several of it's characteristics defy evolutionary theory and instead point to a deliberate design. It's followed by a basic comprehension quiz called "Let's See How Much You've Learned". Next were several suggestions to take the study further for older learners. We enjoyed looking up the other species of booby using the web links provided.
After this we read through and discussed the brief, but thorough, bible study about wisdom. The study is based on the fact that the booby's name comes from the Spanish world "bobo", meaning "stupid". Apparently early explorers assumed the bird must not be very intelligent because of it's friendly, clumsy manner. This human definition is contrasted with the biblical concept of wisdom. We had some great discussion prompted by the verses and questions included here! My one small quibble is that I wish they'd used something other than the KJV for the verses. I love the majesty of the KJV, but for a discussion like this, I would've preferred something with a bit more contemporary language, like the ESV. I had to paraphrase and explain a few uncommon terms so that he would understand what the passages were getting at.
The rest of the unit consists of sections covering math ("Figure It Out"), writing, spelling and vocabulary, creative and hands-on projects, and much more, nearly 100 pages of content in all. There are even lapbooking and notebooking pages! Each section has several options. For example, the math section has activities ranging from simple word problems and multiplication facts to looking up other birds and animals native to the Galapagos Islands, finding their lengths, and listing them in order from largest to smallest.
The Blue-Footed Booby is well-written, covers a broad range of subjects and difficulty levels, and is just plain fun! It was perfect for my ten year old. He was engaged and motivated throughout the activities we did. His almost thirteen year old and five year old sisters listened in and enjoyed parts also. We liked it enough that I'd like to download the rest of the series. Karate Kid can't decide whether he'd like to do Zombie Fire Ants, Red Tide, or Puffer Fish next! These units are just right to use every so often as a "break" from our regular studies. They'd also work great for a co-op setting, and they're super cost effective at only $6.95 each, or $46 for the entire set of 9.
If you've got kids in the 8 to 13 age range, these units are worth a look! Hop over to The Schoolhouse Store to check out the Blue-Footed Booby and the rest of the series and take a look at the samples. I'm impressed...I found this one thorough, well-organized, interesting, and fun!
I received a copy of this unit study for review through the Homeschool Review Crew program. No other compensation was received, and I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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