In this unit, we will learn about the seasonal cycles and what life processes happen in each. This will translate into the life stages of birth, growth, reproduction, and death for a plant, a chicken, a frog, and a butterfly. The water cycle will also be taught (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, groundwater) along with the three types of clouds: cirrus, cumulus, and stratus.
We will also learn about insects and their distinctives (exoskeleton, chitin, six legs and three body parts, wings). We will also talk about groups of insects: social, harmful, and helpful.
The great thinkers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle came from the Ancient Greek world. Ancient Greece was also the birthplace of the Olympics and mythological gods and goddesses. Students will also learn the geographical landmarks of the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the island of Crete. City-states will be the basis of our studies, including Sparta and Athens. We will also study the Persians Wars of Marathon and Thermopylae, as well as Alexander the Great.
In this unit on "the land of the rising sun", we will study the location of Japan relative to continental Asia, including its position in relation to the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. Topics of study will include the four major islands, Mt. Fuji, Tokyo (and other modern cities as sites of industry and business), origami, and the kimono.
Cells, Digestion, Nutrition
In this unit on the study of the human body, students will learn that all living things are made up of cells. These cells comes together to form tissues, organs, and then systems. In second grade, we learn about the digestive and excretory systems, and how we can fuel our body with healthy foods to give proper care and nutrition to our whole selves.
Asia is the largest continent, with the most populous countries in the world, including China, India, and Japan. Students will learn the importance of the Indus, Ganges, Yello and Yangtze Rivers, They will also receive an introduction to the histories of Hinduism, Buddhism, and the teachings of Confucius. The Chinese New Year, the Great Wall of China, the invention of paper and the importance of silk will also be covered.
Magnets and Simple Machines
In this physical science unit, students will learn how magnetism demonstrates that there are forces that act upon objects but cannot be seen. Magnetic fields, magnetic poles, magnetic attraction, and orienteering will all be topics of conversation and study. In learning about simple machines, students will explore levers, pulleys, wheel and axles, inclined planes, wedges, screws, and friction.
War of 1812 and Westward Expansion
We will cover the War of 1812, and then the travels of the pioneers as they headed west. This led to new means of travel: the invention of the steamboat, the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental railroad, and wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Also, during this time was the introduction of the Pony Express.
During this westward travel, Native Americans were encountered and displaced along the way. We will study the "Trail of Tears", as well as the effects of near extermination of the buffalo on the Pains Native Americans. We will also study Sequoyah and the Cherokee alphabet.
Immigration, Constitution, Civil Rights
In this patriotic unit, we will learn about immigration and what it means to be an American citizen, along with it's rights and responsibilities. Major U.S. symbols will be studied including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the Flag, and our national motto, We will also talk about major civil rights leaders such as Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary McLeod Bethune, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King, Jr.