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Homeschool/Education Freebies: Chemistry Experiments Ebook, Summer Gardening Unit Study, America’s First Ladies Lapbook and Notebook Unit

A classic chemistry experiments ebook is today’s free resource at Homeschool Freebie of the Day:

The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments (PDF ebook) – Here’s a great Chemistry experiments book from the 1960s that was actually BANNED and removed from libraries across the country for being too “dangerous” for young experimenters. Even though most of the activities and experiments in this Golden Book are safe, a few will need parental supervision should you decide to persue them.

Just in time for gardening season, American Montessori Consulting has a new unit study out:

Montessori PreK-Grade 8 Gardening Unit Study -This is an online unit study for a complete summer gardening unit study. Contains links to articles, hands-on activities and other exercises for reading, language arts, life skills, social studies, science, art, math and more.

In The Hands of a Child offers a free semi-annual project pack and right now you can get one about America’s first ladies:

First Ladies of the United States Project Pack -Contains a complete lapbook unit and notebook unit about the first ladies of the United States of America. For grades 3-6.



For even more free educational resources, please check my educational freebies tag archive and my Free Homeschooling Page.

Homeschool/Education Freebies: Learn About Birds

In honor of International Bird Day, Homeschool Freebie of the Day has two wonderful resources for us:

The First Book of Birds by Margaret Williamson (PDF ebook) -A delightful introduction to birds of all types; how and why they can fly; where they live; what they eat; why they build nests; and much, much more. Heavily illustrated with Williamson’s fine black and white line illustrations, this is a great chapter book for use with younger learners.

Birdwatching for Beginners: A Guide for Homeschoolers (PDF ebook) — An excellent starter guide on birdwatching… How to get started, what resources and equipment you need, where to find birds and how to identify them, how to keep records of your sightings, “etiquette” for watchers, how to attract birds to your own back yard, and much more! An educational and fun hobby that is perfect for these glorious spring and summer days!

Stop by CurrClick for a couple of more free resources for studying birds:

Nature Study ~ Birds ~ Notebooking Pages —This set of 50 notebooking pages will compliment any study of birds and will work nicely as narration pages or copywork practice pages. The illustrations are black and white and could be colored in to add more beauty to these already lovely pages. Included in this set are 2 title pages, one for narration and the other for copywork, as well as basic and primary lined pages.

Birdcall Memory Game with Audio —This is a free, fun excerpt from “My Favorite Backyard Bird” that includes 8 high quality recordings along with pictures that can be matched up to the audio recordings. This activity also includes a description of what each bird call sounds like so kids can have fun figuring out which bird call matches up with each bird.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has quite a few Citizen Science Projects to participate in, including:

BirdSleuth —Citizen-science curriculum for middle school kids.

Celebrate Urban Birds! —Promotes conservation in cities through gardening, the arts and observing birds.

eBird —A real-time, online checklist program.

NestWatch—Learn how to effectively monitor nests & collect breeding data to track the reproductive success of all North American breeding birds.



For even more free educational resources, please check my educational freebies tag archive and my Free Homeschooling Page.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Weekly Homeschool/Educational Freebies: Yellowstone National Park

Updated September 1, 2012

Map of Yellowstone National Park from 1904

Free Resources for Learning about Yellowstone National Park

  • Jim Bridger & The Discovery of Yellowstone Audio –Jim Bridger’s stories and travels helped uncover and preserve the natural wonders which became a part of Yellowstone National Park. This wild west “living history” program was originally broadcast as an episode of “Cavalcade of America” on March 2, 1937. Available through Monday, August 17th at Homeschool Radio Shows. This offer has expired.*

* Please note: “Jim Bridger and the Discovery of Yellowstone” can be found in the Internet Archive’s Cavalcade of America collection -episode # 72 “National Parks Pioneers”. It may be listened to online or downloaded in MP3 format at no cost.

  • Yellowsone Net -Huge site with lots of information about all things Yellowstone. Site highlights:
    • extensive collection of wildlife, geysers, geology and winter videos
    • community pages with news, trip reports and photography
    • waterfall information
    • mammal checklist
    • Fast Facts -a brief guide to Yellowstone
    • timeline of Yellowstone’s history
  • Yellowstone: Return of the Wolf -A Wild Explorations interactive module exploring “how the reintroduction of wolves to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem affects a prey species, the moose”; includes teacher and student guides in PDF format, and supporting materials in DOC format; for grades 9-12.
  • My Life as an Elk -Interactive educational story about the first year of an Elk’s life in Yellowstone, can be played with or without audio, contains beautiful images of wildlife art.
  • It’s a Cutthroat World in Yellowstone -Lesson plan for students to learn about the different roles of organisms in Yellowstone ecology and how each organism is affected by others, grades 6-8.
  • Yellowstone Themed Lesson Plans from Teachers’ Domain:
    • Design a Yellowstone National Park Poster -Create an informational poster about Yellowstone National Park; includes video clip (download or watch online), and video transcript, notes organizer and poster rubric (all in DOC format); for grades 3-6.
    • Explorers of Yesterday and Today -Students learn about Yellowstone explorers John Colter and Tom Murphy, then write essays that compare and contrast the two; includes video segment (download or watch online) and printable handouts (DOC format); for grades 6-8.
    • Making Predictions: The Injured Otter - After watching a video clip of an injured otter in Yellowstone National Park, predict and write about -from three different points of view- what happens next; includes video (watch online or download) and printable handouts (DOC format); for grades 8-10.
  • Geyser Riser – Hands-on science experiment for grades 3-7 to learn about pressure and make a “geyser”, includes printable activity sheet.
  • Geothermal Greatness -Students can learn about the water cycle, layers of the earth and geothermal features with this lesson plan from the U.S. Mint; printable, includes worksheets and projects, grades 4-6.
  • Thermal Biology Institute Hot Science Lessons -Site has 2 Yellowstone themed lessons, both lessons include teachers lab, students lab and supporting materials in PDF format, grades 6-8:
    • Predicting Riverside’s next eruption: Geysers of Yellowstone National Park -Creating a prediction model of the next eruption of predictable geysers in Yellowstone.
    • Batiking Yellowstone: Using art to interpret Science! -Interpreting Yellowstone’s beauty through the art of batik.
  • Infrared Yellowstone -Infrared photography of Yellowstone’s geothermal features and lesson plans. See Yellowstone in a new light!
  • Yellowstone Volcano Observatory -” The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory provides timely monitoring and hazard assessment of volcanic, hydrothermal, and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone Plateau region.” Site also includes information on the geology and volcanic history of Yellowstone; images and video; and links to articles, fact sheets, maps and other publications.
  • Taking the Pulse of Yellowstone’s “Breathing” Volcano -Lesson plan for students to learn about past and present volcanism in Yellowstone National Park and how scientists monitor volcanoes, then apply the knowledge to identify a site for a research station; requires Google Earth, grades 6-12.

More Yellowstone Themed Resources (not free)

  • Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center -A Montana wildlife preserve and education center that houses non-rehabilitative grizzly bears, wolves and birds of prey. Educational resources include:
    • information about each animal housed at the center and adoption program
    • on-site programs, presentations, and  Bears: Imagination & Reality Exhibit
    • naturalist outreach programs that will visit your school/group
    • Teaching Trunks for grades K-6 with curriculum guides, books, videos, games, skulls and pelts
    • Teacher Packet CD of nature curriculum

Happy teaching,


For even more free homeschooling resources, check out my educational freebies tag archive and my Free Homeschooling Page.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Homeschool/Education Freebies And Citizen Science Opportunity For Learning About Fireflies (Lightning Bugs)

Updated August 28, 2012

Sites About Fireflies

Unit Studies and Lessons About Fireflies

  • Fireflies! -This 9 page unit for lower elementary grades includes: a guided reading activity, a page to record firefly facts, an acrostic poem page, and a making words activity page. You must sign up for a free account with Teachers Pay Teachers to download this resource.

Firefly Printables

Citizen Science: Firefly Watch

  • Museum Of Science Firefly Watch –going on now. Sign up and share your observations of fireflies in your backyard to help scientists learn about the geographic distribution of fireflies and their activity during the summer season. Wonderful educational activity for the whole family.

Happy teaching,


Related posts:

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Homeschool/Education Freebies

This Week’s Freebies From Homeschool Freebie Of The Day

  • Monday, July 13th: Getting Kids to Help by Jill Cooper (pdf ebook) -Jill Cooper of Living On A Dime shares advice and tips on how to get kids of all ages to do their share (and then some) of the household chores.
  • Tuesday, July 14th: Brownie Phonograms (pdf ebook) -The classic Palmer Cox Brownie characters are featured in this simple and fun phonogram teaching guide for primary students.
  • Wednesday, July 15th: Air! (pdf ebook)  -A classic introductory guide to the air of our atmosphere.
  • Thursday, July 16th: Being a Boy (pdf ebook) -Charles Dudley Warner’s classic book of boyhood in early New England.
  • Friday, July 17th: Speaking & Writing English (pdf ebook) -A classic course of study for first through eighth grades, with practical suggestions for teaching composition and a full set of composition standards.

Don’t forget –each freebie is available for one day only!

Note: A couple of freebies they had last week are still available at the publishers’ websites:

Homeschool Radio Shows

You can still get last week’s free radio program, “Typhoid Mary” -the true story of Mary Mallon, better known as “Typhoid Mary”.  Mary was the first person in the United States to be identified as a healthy carrier of typhoid fever. Over the course of her career as a cook, she is known to have infected 53 people, three of whom died from the disease.

You can only get Typhoid Mary today -a new show will be available tomorrow.

Fortunately For You Books

There are three freebies this month from Fortunately For You Books:

Heart Of The Matter Online

Sign up for the free newsletter from Heart Of The Matter Online and receive their newest ebook, “Summer Fun 2009” -free!

Related Posts:



There Be Four Things Little… But Exceeding Wise

Spider spinning_small

There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;

The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;

The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

Proverbs 30:24-28

Free And One Dollar Family Movie Matinees This Summer

I know, I said I wouldn’t have any posts ‘til this weekend -but I heard about a couple of super summer movie specials and just had to pass them along!

Regal Theaters Free Family Film Festival

At 10am every Tuesday and Wednesday, through July, participating Regal theatres are showing ‘G’ and ‘PG’ movies –for free!

Tickets are available at the theater box office on the day of the show and seating is limited to theatre capacity –first-come first-served.

Regal has theatres all over the United States and there are three in the Knoxville area:

    Knoxville Center Stadium 10
    3051-B Mall Road North
    Knoxville ,TN 37924

    West Town Stadium 9
    7600 Kingston Pike
    Knoxville ,TN 37919

    Pinnacle Stadium 18 & IMAX
    11240 Parkside Drive
    Knoxville ,TN 37922

To find a participating Regal theatre near you and to see a list of movies that will be playing during the Free Family Film Festival, please visit the Regal Entertainment Group’s website.

Carmike Foothills 12 Cinema $1 Summer Movies

For those of you in the Maryville/Blount county, TN area who don’t care to drive to Knoxville:

Every Tuesday, at 10:30am, you can see a family movie at Foothills Cinema -for only $1 and get $1 popcorn and drinks!

Foothills Cinema is located at:

    Maryville , TN 37804
    Phone: (865) 977-4489

Today’s $1 movie is Charlotte’s Web –please call the theater to find out what’s playing in up-coming weeks.

Thanks so much, Jennifer and Monica, for the heads-up! :)



East Tennessee Wildflower Of The Day: Solomon’s Seal

Smooth Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)

Great Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum canaliculatum –or- Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum)

Solomons seal 2 small

Solomon’s Seal is a common woodland wildflower found in full to part shade throughout most of North America, from Saskatchewan west to Quebec, south through Florida to New Mexico. It is called Solomon’s Seal because when the leafstalk falls off, a scar is left on the root and it resembles the official seal of King Solomon.

This graceful plant has an unbranched, arching stem with opposite leaves. The 1/2 inch long, pale-green, bell-shaped flowers appear from May-June and hang down from the leaf axils.

Smooth Solomon’s Seal grows to a height of 2-3 feet, with no more than two flowers per cluster, and the tip of the stem curves down -almost to the ground.

Solomons seal 1 small

Great Solomon’s Seal may grow to a height of 7 feet and has 2 or more flowers per cluster.

The Great Solomon’s Seals here in the Pawpaw Holler grow to a height of 4-5 feet and the plant is a paler green than the Smooth Solomon’s Seal.

Solomons seal 3 small

After flowering, green berries appear which turn dark blue-black in late summer and fall.

Caution: The berries of Solomon’s Seal are poisonous!

The roots of Solomon’s Seal are starchy and were used for food by the American Indians and colonists.

Solomon’s Seal may be seen along many trails in the  The Great Smoky Mountains including:

  • Ace Gap (Cades Cove/Rich Mountain Rd. area)
  • Cove Hardwood Self-Guided Nature Trail (Chimneys Picnic Area)
  • Deep Creek (north of Bryson City. NC)
  • Kanati Fork (north of Oconaluftee Visitor Center,NC)

For Great Smoky Mountains trail and wildflower information:

Learn More About Solomon’s Seal

USDA Plants Profile: Polygonatum biflorum smooth Solomon’s seal

Native Plant Database: Polygonatum biflorum -Smooth Solomon’s seal, Great Solomon’s-seal

Plants For A Future :

Picture of Solomon’s Seal root

Where To Buy Solomon’s Seal


Sunlight Gardens

Prairie Nursery –will ship seeds internationally with minimum order of $250

Crocus –UK (different variety)



East Tennessee Wildflower Of The Day: Spiderwort

Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)

Spiderwort 6 small

Spiderwort is another dainty wildflower that can be found in dappled woods, meadows and thickets in most of Eastern North America, from Maine to Minnesota and southward.

Spiderwort 1 small

Virginia Spiderwort

Spiderwort grows to a height of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet with blue, purple or white flowers in spring and summer. For it’s height, spiderwort’s flowers are very small –only 1 to 2 inches across. The leaves are long, pointy and folded lengthwise, forming a channel.

Spiderwort 3 small

Spiderwort is a perennial but also self-seeds abundantly –here in the holler they come up everywhere and they’re very hard to kill (not that I try to!).

Spiderwort 4 small

These spiderworts grow in almost full shade and the flowers are a darker blue than the ones I have in the sun. I’ve also noticed that the shaded plants don’t have as many stalks as the ones in the sun do.

Spiderwort 5 small

White spiderwort is rare in the wild -the flowers on this plant are almost white.

Spiderwort may be seen in The Great Smoky Mountains on Ace Gap Trail (Cades Cove/Rich Mountain Rd. area).

Virginia Spiderwort

Learn More About Spiderwort

USDA Plants Profile: Tradescantia virginiana L. Virginia spiderwort

Native Plant Database: Tradescantia virginiana L. Virginia spiderwort, Spider lily

Plants For A Future Database: Tradescantia virginiana – L. Spiderwort –propagation and cultivation info

Where To Buy Spiderwort

Heritage Flower Farm -Wisconsin, United States; bareroot

Enchanters Garden -West Virginia, United States;

Moles Seeds –United Kingdom; seeds

Have a lovely day,


East Tennessee Wildflower Of The Day: Four-leaved Milkweed

I have sooo many wildflower photos to share that I’ve decided to post a different one each day –hope you all like them!

Four-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias  quadrifolia)

Four-leaved Milkweed 2a small

This dainty little milkweed is found in upland forests, usually on dry, rocky slopes. Their range is from Ontario to Vermont, south to Georgia and west to Oklahoma and Kansas.

Four-leaved Milkweed small

It grows 1-2 feet high and rounded clusters of pale-pink blooms appear in late spring to early summer. The leaves are in pairs, except for the middle set, which is whorl of four. The white, downy seeds are contained in 2-3 inch thin, pointy seed pods which form after blooming.

These are beautiful here in the Pawpaw Holler when they bloom and my children enjoy picking the seed pods when they start to open –the seeds float away like little parachutes! I’ll post some pictures of the seed pods later in the year.

Four-leaved milkweed can be found in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Chestnut-tops Trail (across from the “Y” at the Townsend entrance to the park).

More Information

USDA Plants Profile: Asclepias quadrifolia

Connecticut Botanical Society: Four-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) –more images

Biodiversity of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Asclepias quadrifolia Jacq., Four-leaf Milkweed

Plants For A Future Database: Asclepias quadrifolia –cultivation and propagation information

Where To Buy Four-leaved Milkweed

Enchanters Garden

Hydroponics Online