Unit studies have a way of not only bringing the family together, but they are a great boredom buster.
Whether you are looking for a complete change to your homeschool approach or want to tip toe into unit studies, try this quick and easy free winter homeschool unit study for middle school.
Sneaky Ways to Learn Stress-Free
Though I created this winter unit study with middle school kids in mind, I also added ideas for younger children and some ideas to expand for your high school kids.
There is no need in leaving out any age when doing a unit study.
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
- Read about the winter solstice and what people use to think about the shorter days.
- Research some of the countries that hosted the Olympics like Norway, Switzerland, France or Japan and read about their language, culture and history.
- Learn about the Inuit and how they survive the bitter cold.
- If you live in a place where it snows, keeping a graph of snow days and how many inches is a fun way to incorporate math into your child’s day.
- During the middle school years, my boys were learning to use Excel when we did our winter unit study. They tracked various facts, like the high and low for the day in a spreadsheet and rain or snow.
- A winter unit study is not complete without learning about snowflakes. What is the math behind a six-sided snowflake?
- Use marshmallows as snowballs and ask your younger children to estimate them.
- For your middle and high school kids, have them guess and then research how many snowflakes are in a cubic foot. I was surprised myself by this staggering number.
- For your younger kids, have them create patterns using the endless variety of snowflake designs.
- Ice is an amazing wonder of winter. It can defy the laws of physical science because ice floats.
- Almost every substance shrinks in volume as the temperature goes down. Have your middle schooler research and explain why ice floats.
- Research about the white fox and learn about how he digs deep in snow to find a place to wait out snow blizzards.
- Read and research why avalanches can be so deadly.
- Take a winter walk and start a winter nature journal.
- Haikus are mostly about nature. Write a haiku, which describes the sights and sounds of winter.
- Mad libs are not only a fun way to sneak in grammar, but they make for fun and silly stories to read during winter. Try one of your own or grab fun Frozen Mad Libs for middle school kids from Rainbow Resource.
- Vocabulary: avalanche, blizzard, flurries, winter storm, whiteout, nomadic, habitat, migration, barren and dissolve.
- Blizzard!: The Storm That Changed America — This is a book based on a storm that hit the Northeastern United States. It presents facts about life during the late 1800s and ties in history and science together.
- Another classic for middle school is The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Check out the full color collector’s edition.
- The younger kids will love it if you read aloud Animals in the Winter.
Fun Ideas for Hands-On Learning
ARTS AND CRAFTS
If you tend to run the other way like I use to because I didn’t like the messiness of crafts, you’ll love some of these ideas.
Remember the paint by number sets we use to do as kids?
Well Rainbow Resource has some fun sets about winter.
The sets have just the right amount of fun by mixing colors to keep it easy and uncomplicated, which is always my standard for crafts.
- Check out Painting by Numbers, Dancing Snow.
- Make snowflakes from borax or pipe cleaners.
- Make ice cream.
- Fold and cut snowflakes.
- Using pastel chalk and create a winter art scene.
- Make an easy snow globe using empty baby food jars.
Hopefully, these ideas will give you a little creative inspiration to kick start winter homeschooling.