Sometimes I create what I call “lazy unit studies” … these are not the unit studies that you will find on Pinterest. They don’t require heaps of planning. My lazy unit studies are almost always based on a favorite book. After reading the book, I try to think of activities that could build upon the learning. These activities could be other books, games, activities, videos, field trips, etc. Today, I am sharing a recent lazy unit study that we loved. It is based on the new book I Am Jim Henson, the latest addition to Brad Meltzer’s Ordinary People Change the World series.
How to Inspire Imagination Through Books and Play
I Am Jim Henson: The latest addition to Brad Meltzer’s Ordinary People Change the World series
I love Brad Meltzer’s biographies because they are engaging, funny, and real. Children are immediately drawn to the characters and each story illustrates how ordinary people can change the world and become extraordinary! The entire series teaches children that they have the power to be heroes. How inspiration is that?
Currently, the series includes the following biographies:
- I am Helen Keller
- I am Lucille Ball
- I am Jackie Robinson
- I am Albert Einstein
- I am Abraham Lincoln
- I am Rosa Parks
- I am Amelia Earhart
- I am Martin Luther King, Jr.
- I am Jane Goodall
Our family owns every single book in the series. They are that good. My children are constantly hounding me, asking when the next biography will be released.
I am so happy to report that it is here! And we love it!
‘Jim Henson’ is the latest addition to the ‘Ordinary People Change the World’ series by Brad Meltzer
This latest addition to the Ordinary People Change the World series features Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets and Sesame Street.
This charming story will have your children laughing, it will inspire them to dream big, and it will ignite their imagination and creativity. Immediately after reading this book (twice, because again: it’s that good), my kids ran off to the playroom to create their very own Muppet Show.
And that’s when I realized I should create a Jim Henson lazy unit study. The next morning, I was prepared:
Oh my gosh, you guys. Homeschooling can SO MUCH FUN. Guess what we are doing today?! Follow the link in my profile to read the whole story (including a fun link to an old Mr. Rogers episode!). . . https://www.facebook.com/mylittlepoppies/photos/a.1431194013829070.1073741828.1430943337187471/1862270594054741/?type=3&theater
Using puppets and play to bring stories to life
A wonderfully fun way to extend learning is to play with puppets. My children received a wooden spoon puppet kit for Christmas and they used it to create their very own Muppet Show.
We also had a fantastically fun time with these gorgeous shadow puppets from Adventure in a Box. Aren’t they amazing? Puppetry is such a wonderful way to build language skills, inspire imagination and creativity, and encourage an appreciation for the arts.
Here are just a few ways the kids used these shadow puppets:
- They created their very own Muppet Show.
- They acted out favorite fairy tales.
- They even used them in conjunction with Tell Me a Story cards!
Take the learning to the next level with these Jim Henson resources
Love using books to spark play-based or game-based learning?
If you liked this Jim Henson lazy unit study, you might like these posts:
- 100 Games and Picture Books for Play-Based Learning
- Simple Pond Study
- Simple Bee Study with Candle Making & Honey
- Gameschool Challenge: Add More Play To Your Day!
- Writing is a Lifestyle with Brave Writer
Now it’s your turn. Tell me: What book has inspired imagination in your home lately? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram