Creating a Unit Study Based on Current Events

Unit studies have become a method of choice by a lot of homeschooling families. Not only do they allow for flexibility, but they also provide various learning opportunities. You can pretty much find a unit study for everything; however, have you ever considered creating a unit study based on current events? The method I am going to share in this post can be used to put together any unit study, but especially one for the times we are currently facing.

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What is a unit study?

Before diving into how to create a unit study, let’s talk about what a unit study actually is. The simplest explanation is choosing a topic and then designing all of your child’s learning around that topic. You may be thinking, “How can I cover Math and Language Arts through talking about viruses?” But trust me, it is possible. 

There are also a few different approaches to incorporating unit studies. Some may last just a week long (think studying about sharks for Shark Week), while others can last an entire homeschool year (think an around-the-world kind of theme). Regardless of what you choose, you most certainly can cross all subjects – and some – with unit studies. 

Creating a Unit Study Based on Current Events

Pick a Topic (or Theme)

In light of recent events, there are several topics you can choose from:

  • Hygiene
  • Physical, Mental, and/or Emotional Health
  • Viruses
  • Effects a crisis has on an economy
  • And more!

The idea is to pick something that you will then begin to formulate a detailed plan around. Some topics/themes may not take as long to cover, while others could be extended and overlapped.

Give Your Unit Study a Length of Study Time

While it is good to have an idea of how long you’d like to stick with a unit study, keep in mind that you can always finish early or go over the dates you chose. Some children really enjoy a particular topic and want to study it more (and that’s a good thing!). In this case, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of helping foster your child’s love for learning.

Gather Materials

This may seem like the most tedious part, but there are many ways to gather resources for unit studies – and some even for free. Think Public Libraries, online resources, and books you may already own. While picking your materials, be sure to look for different resources that meet the subjects you want to touch base on. For example, if you choose to do a unit study on viruses, you can:

  • Gather science-related books and look at what different viruses look like.
  • Read stories and have your child use them to practice dictation.
  • Choose virus-related words and create a spelling list.
  • Incorporate geography by studying where different viruses originated. 
  • Use math to calculate the outcomes of viruses.

Another aspect to keep in mind while gathering your materials is to go ahead and make any activity plans. This could be a field trip to a science museum, a trip to the library, or some other activity that will help in learning more about the topic you choose. Also, don’t hesitate to incorporate different things like notebooking, worksheets, or a combo of other resource types.

Virtual Field Trip to Astra Zeneca – Bio-Pharmaceuticals

Ready, Set, Action

Now it’s time to put your unit study into action. You’ve picked a topic, made a plan of how long it will be, and gathered your materials. Just a few more tips… use unit studies to gauge what topics your children like best. You can also note what kind of resource your children were drawn to. Did they enjoy notebooking the most? Did they like reading, coloring, or the hands-on activities?

These are things that can help you plan for future unit studies and ensure that you are taking into consideration what was most enjoyable by your kiddos. 

Have you used unit studies in your homeschool? If so, what topics have your kiddos studied? Let me know in the comments below!

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