Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fresh Strawberries ~ A Relaxed Summer Style Unit Study

Who doesn't love strawberries? Sometimes, it is pleasant to do a relaxed summer study (less writing, more oral and fun work) with the children to keep them occupied in healthy pursuits. Here are some books and activities that I think everyone in the family will enjoy. Your children will love to learn this way! 

Chapter Book to Read Aloud: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lensky (This charming chapter book about frontier life in Florida has a "Hatfield and McCoys" storyline which will entertain the children while teaching lessons in forgiveness and neighborly love.)

Picture Book Choice: Saving Strawberry Farm by Deborah Hopkinson (This picture book shares about the hard times and the good times during the Great Depression.)

I would suggest reading together from the above chapter book for 1/2 hour a day. Have your children do some of the listed activities below each day according to their abilities. For this simple study, include any work inside a file folder for each child. Have them decorate them with pictures of strawberries. When finished, the folders will make a nice educational keepsake of your summer.

Bible/Family Discussion: What does Scripture say about "fruit"? Read a passage every day and discuss the spiritual meaning of "fruit".

Bible/Art: Have your children write out the fruits of the spirit, decorate the paper and display on a wall until memorized.

Language Arts/Word Scramble Game: See how many different words the children can come up with using the letters that spell "s t r a w b e r r y". Give them 3 - 5 minutes. 5 letter words and up are 3 points, 4 letter words are 2 points and 3 letters words and under are 1 point.

Strawberry Jam

I went visiting Miss Melinda,
Miss Melinda Brown.
She has a cottage out in the country;
I live here in town.

“Guess what I got for your dinner, dearie,”
Miss Melinda said.
"Strawberry jam," for my nose had guessed it!
"Strawberry jam and bread."

Strawberry jam in the corner cupboard,
On the middle shelf.
She let me stand on a chair and tiptoe,
Get it down myself.

Somehow, visiting Miss Melinda,
Time goes by on wings.
"What do you do all alone," I asked her.
"I make jam and things."

When it was time to go home I kissed her.
"Thanks for the lovely day!"
"Thank you for coming," said Miss Melinda,
"Come again right away!"

by ~ May Justus, Excerpt from Favorite Poems Old and New

Language Arts/Grammar: Read the poem above to your children. If you like, you can also have them copy it in their best handwriting, making sure to use all proper punctuation for summer practice.

Language Arts/Grammar: See if the children can point out the nouns in the poem above, followed by the verbs and then the adjectives.

Language Arts: Have your children make up their own poems about strawberries.

Science/Nature: Read about strawberries in a picture book or encyclopedia.

Science/Nature: Plant some strawberries in your backyard. Read about what area is best to plant them and any gardening tips.

Science/Nature: Draw a picture of a strawberry plant with its leaves and stems and label its parts.

Science/Health: Research the health properties of a strawberry and have students give an oral report of their findings.

photo source

Geography: Using the information shared here, find out which states are strawberry growers and have your children point them out on a map or globe, each taking a turn.

History: Read Saving Strawberry Farm and discuss the Great Depression with your children. Do you have any family stories to share in this time period? The children would love to hear them!

Family Field Trip/Geography: Go to a u-pick strawberry farm or festival. If you have an older child, see if they can map out the route for you.

Home Economics/Art: Teach your daughter(s) to embroider using this strawberry image from The Graphics Fairy. Younger children can use this picture as a coloring page.

Home Economics/Math: Make strawberry jam. Freezer jam is easy for small children. If you have older children you many want to try canning some jam. Have the children do all the measuring.

Home Economics/Math: Make a strawberry pie, strawberry shortcake or chocolate dipped strawberries together. Have the children do all the measuring.

Strawberry Illustration by Elizabeth Blackwell
Garden Strawberry by Joseph Redoute

Art: Draw and color a botanical strawberry picture like Joseph Redoute and Elizabeth Blackwell. Have children include the Latin name of strawberry on their illustration.

Arts/Crafts: Have your children do thumbprints with red ink or paint. Once dry, decorate them with black dots and a green stem. Use these "strawberries" to create custom jam labels, etc.

Foreign Language: Learn how to say "fruit" and "strawberry" in the foreign language you are studying. Use the words daily as you study this topic.

Still Life with Strawberries by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Art History/Art Appreciation: Study the strawberry paintings by Renoir (shown above). Have the children point out all the different colors used in the painting. Have them point out all the details in the painting. View some of the other strawberry paintings by Renoir such as Still Life with Strawberries 1880, Still Life with Strawberries 1905, and Strawberries. Explain to the children that he did many other paintings on strawberries as well. Practice makes perfect!

Art: After reviewing all the Renoir paintings of strawberries, bring out the paints and have your children create their own strawberry masterpieces. Have them prepare a still life scene on the kitchen table using some dishes, etc., as props.

Art History: Read some information about Renoir to your children now that they have some knowledge of his artwork. What type of painter was he? 

“One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).


  1. I really enjoyed reading over your post. My children are grown now but we homeschooled through high school. I loved doing unit studies and I know how much work went in to preparing this one. Thank you for putting this together I know some families will really benefit from your work.

    1. Thank you Patti! We really love unit studies, they offer so much variety with plenty of reading which we love!

    2. This is a lovely post. I made a strawberry pie recently--oh, YUM! The information, ideas, and images here will keep me busy for a while! Thank you, JES, and God bless.



    3. Hi M.
      Did you get to see the strawberry ideas shared here?
      Enjoy the good weather!

  2. I'm doing this! I love it! Thank you for putting it all together.:)

    1. Wonderful!!! I hope you all have fun! :)

  3. What a brilliant idea for a summertime unit study. I do wish I'd had some of your great ideas when our youngest was still at home and being homeschooled. She would have loved it. Love those drawings. Have a great day!

  4. This is wonderful, thanks for all the educational ideas that go with strawberries. We love fresh strawberries at our house. I'm pinning this to my home-school board. Thanks. ~ Abby

  5. Jes, this is beautiful! Yes still reading!

    1. Hi Dallena! I was wondering about you! I almost included a "hello" to you in a post just to make sure all was okay. Thanks for dropping by a little note today :)

    2. I went back to work (I'm a nurse), and still doing all the home/homeschooling, so reading and running. =)

    3. Well that makes sense, you are a busy bee! That is wonderful that you are still able to homeschool with that schedule! May you have the strength to fulfill all your homemaking roles in this busy time of your life as well... Have a wonderful week and thanks for taking the time to drop a line :)

  6. This was a great post, and I cannot wait to use the strawberry unit study. I feel like my children will learn so much about strawberries. You really put alot of effort into this study.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment! The neat thing about unit studies is that you will learn more than about strawberries, but also the pioneer era, depression era, poetry, art history, etc., all through strawberries! :)

  7. Have you thought of gathering your unit studies into a book to sell?

  8. Have you thought of gathering your unit studies into a book to sell?