Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Paddington Bear - Unit Study ~ a Crew review

lit-based unit studies, Michael Bond, Paddington, marmalade

In our house we have always loved Paddington Bear from the picture book by Michael Bond, so even though my youngest recently turned 18, we were excited to check out the Paddington Bear unit study from Branch Out World, a UK based company that encourages families to learn together.

This Paddington Bear unit study is from Branch Out World’s Picture Book Explorers series and is geared for ages 5-9. I definitely think you can push that upper limit up to 11 or 12 with out any major problems. You will spend five days (or more) reading the picture book together and doing activities that help your child learn more about: setting, words, pictures, science, and math + crafts. Because it was originally written for the UK, you will find British English spellings like maths and colours, which add to the charm of reading Paddington.

While you may find the various activities a bit above the understanding of your five year old, I think from ages 6 and up would really enjoy doing the extra activities. This makes it an easy open-and-go unit study to use with a variety of ages. Your youngest children can simply enjoy hearing you read Paddington while the older ones can dig deeper.

This downloadable PDF begins with instructions for the parents to help you prepare ahead of time (trust me, it’s not a lot, mostly things you will already have at home) so you can dive right in. It also contains a word of caution to try to work on this for five days straight, or as close together as you can, before your children loose interest in the subject. While that might happen with some books, I think it is more likely that your children will fall in love with Paddington and want to do EVERY suggested activity. Why do I say that? The Paddington in our pictures here belongs to our 20 year old who has loved Paddington since we first read it probably 15 years ago. That was also the first time I ever tried marmalade… and I still keep a jar in the fridge today. :)

Day 1 focuses on setting and this is where you will look at (and colour) maps of the UK and Peru. In case you have not yet read Paddington, he comes from Darkest Peru. There are other suggested activities for your older children that talk about immigration, travel, and flags.

Day 2 is focused on words and covers things like themes, inspiration for books, subject-verb agreement, and explains narration and how your child can learn to use it. We highly recommend teaching your children how to use narration. It is a basic tenant on Charlotte Mason’s style of education, and one we have used for all of our 16 years of home education.

lit-based unit studies, Michael Bond, Paddington, marmalade

Day 3 focuses your study on pictures. Here you will learn more about the illustrator, look at the pictures and how they emphasize various points in the story, and give your child a chance to do some drawing themselves. Throughout this unit study there are a variety of activities for each day, of which you can choose one or many.There are also mini-books you can print off to help your child work through some of these topics.

Day 4 is about science and may be one of my favorites as far as activities. Here you learn about what kind of bear Paddington is (besides the adorable kind!) You also have suggestions for Nature Study (another key component in a Charlotte Mason education,) and several science experiments with soap and shaving cream. These would probably best be done outside on your porch. :)

Day 5 has several awesome activities that focus on math, crafts to try, and recipes to make together.

lit-based unit studies, Michael Bond, Paddington, marmalade

Overall, I think this is a stellar way to take a well-loved picture book and expand upon it and the learning opportunities it provides. For those of you stateside, we found that the picture book version recommended in this unit study is illustrated by R.W. Alley who illustrated the Paddington Treasury that we purchased at our local Costco store last summer.

Our girls have always loved Paddington, especially our now 20 year old daughter Emily. A couple of years ago her younger sister Arlene saw that a local store had stuffed Paddington bears for sale and bought Emily one for Christmas. Then Arlene begged me to find a way to keep Emily from going to that store for two months so it would not ruin her surprise.

As I was borrowing Paddington to finish up the pictures for this review, one of Emily's friends saw me with Paddington and he said “Oh! Where did you get a Paddington? My favorite book was always Paddington in the Kitchen where he bakes a cake.”

A well-loved bear, and a wonderful unit study. What a great combination!

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}

1 comment:

  1. oh what a fun bit of history to include. Helping to keep a surprise. Fun stuff!