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If you know me, you know I love to read.

Unit studies, especially literature-based unit studies are right up my alley, as things to plan. One reason, they involve reading and searching.

Planning a unit study does not have to be hard. Therefore, I created the pages below that I will be referring to, these will help you keep in mind what we are doing as we go along.

Books go a long way in unit studies, so if the library is available you can find something there.

If not, consider buying only books that grow with the child and you will get great use out of. It’s good for kids to get exposed to great books!

Sometimes a cool descriptive poster will do. This is relaxed homeschooling at its best!

As I started this project, I realized that I had never written down steps. This made me excited!

I couldn’t help but remember my adolescence  years of sitting back in a good book, devouring whole series like apple pie on Sunday. So, step two is very integral to this process.

My past blog post has covered how to build your own homeschool curriculum, and I showed you my all-in-one homeschool curriculum, allowing you to teach more than one grade at once. Now you know how to build curriculum and you also know how to educate a full class with additional supplementals if you so choose. Now, we get in to planning a unit.

Units are also fun if you grow tired of everything, and your students need a break. Break off into a fun unit!

Let’s get started.

If you watched the video, this will be the briefing only see the video for extensive details.

Step 1.

Decide how long you want to spend on this unit, write this down in the “weeks covered,” box.

Also decide what this unit will be about and decide what it will cover about that subject. Don’t try to get everything, just the information you want your kids to learn. You can do more for grades 6-12 if you want them to get into more details.

Write the unit and unit topics under the “This Unit,” box.

Example: My unit would be Birds, some topics might be habitats, food, species across the world, etc.

Step 2.

This step is the best to me, because now you get to decide what your main piece of literature will be.

Choose a book you and your kids will be interested in. Maybe even a past read out loud.

If you have older kids, allow them to choose a book they would like for this unit study.

If you want to use the Bible as an ongoing unit of study for your youngsters and teenagers, I have created notebooking and journaling pages to go with this unit. Check them out here, and down below.

Before you go to the library or buy a book to add to your personal library, consider what you already have.

Step 3.

Unit study planning sheets preview sold at

Explore your ideas.

What other books can I add or want to add?

How many chapters will we cover a day?

What materials will I need for the projects and activities?

Use the “Book List, Materials and Extras” lines for this part. This will get you all organized. Refer to the video for more details.

Step 4.

What other subjects can I cover? Use the “subjects covered” box for this.

Look at step 3 and see what can cross over for you.

  • Is language arts covered?
  • Art?
  • Spelling?
  • Writing?
  • Science?
  • History?
  • Math?
  • A life skill (like cooking, planting, cleaning, etc.)?

Remember, a good unit study will cross over and cover multiple subjects at a time. You want to do this in a way where you don’t have to think too much.

Step 5.

What resources do I need to meet what I am planning?

List your resources in the “Resources” box.

Are you using videos? Write the names and where to find them.

I have a homeschool resource list with excellent resources that can help your planning here.

Will you use videos? What are they, where can you find them?

Any video Clips, fieldtrips, online resources, ETC. They all go in that box. Print front and back if you need more space.

If you have Jr. High to High school kids, and want them to dig deeper, you might need more resources, but it’s definitely not necessary. Make use out of what you have available and free but utilize their skills in writing and research. Basically, any strong subject they like.

Step 6.

Search your books for activities and projects.

Why think of everything on your own?

Since, we are utilizing my bird unit this year, I would have supplies to make a bird, or a bird house, or feeder. Maybe even teach the girls how to make bird food.

Similar, an activity can be a writing project, a timeline game to see historical facts, draw, cook or create.

Any activity you think will be fun to add to this unit, but make sure it covers one of those subjects you chose. This keeps everything in perspective.

Now, you can plan out each unit week by week. I would use my second page for this. Transfer details for that week on this page.

Write the topic under the “unit topic/s covered,” at the top. The week, and days in the week it will cover. I also advise as a visual, to circle the days you are doing the unit.

List any supplements needed for this week if something will not be covered.

Outline this week’s materials, resources and list this week’s assignments.

You can do this for every week you will be covering your unit, and there you have it!

You have just created a unit study and divided your topics and process week by week. How easy it will be for you to get started!


This year, my girls will incorporate my notebooking pages for the bird unit.

We will explore birds by researching and visiting the zoo, as well as bird hunting at parks. They love birds, so this never dies!

My husband who teaches the math aspect, has curated mathematical questions to go along with this unit. This will cover some math. My all-in-one homeschool curriculum post shared the math we will be using, for those interested.

You can make critical thinking questions in math, for example: How long does it take the flamingo to fly from Africa at 40mph to New York?

You can make critical thinking questions in math, for example: How long does it take the flamingo to fly from Africa at 40mph to New York?

The ideas are limitless, and I encourage you to go for it. Unit study is particularly fun when planning for younger kids. There is a whole world out there waiting to be explored with you in tow.

Come see me next week as I share our excellent book list for the year. It’s very different from my spring and summer reading list.

I am also working on the post how to homeschool “practically” for free, which should be done soon, for those looking to save big, and teach greatness!

Let us know if you will plan a unit study, and if you have, what is it about.

I hope you have enjoyed this homeschool blog. Thank you for visiting us today, God bless you!



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8 Comments on “How To Plan A Literature Based Unit Study

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  6. I really loved this post.
    I will be doing this for my kindergartners. I can’t wait to read your next blog post. I always come to read them, and get printables, thank you so much!
    And hank you for the hard work you put into it.
    Any ideas for a classroom. I am just starting out, I know that a “classroom” is not needed, but I feel the need to do it.

    • Hi Christine, Thank you so much. We do our best to help our homeschool 101 members. Did you enjoy our latest homeschool raffle?
      Email me if you need help planning your unit study.
      I have a Youtube video I did for my classroom last “school year,” It will look diffrent this year, but I just found another homeschool site that I love, and they are doing a “fresh” new thing. Check them out. The Holistic Homeschool:
      I saw some cool ideas there. Let me know how it goes!

      • I just checked it out, and I love it! I have some ideas now, whoop whoop. Thank you! I just love homeschool sites!
        Can’t wait to see some of your books from the list you mentioned.
        Be safe. I hope all is well. I was just watching your family Youtube blog, I love those too.
        Wally and I think this site is pretty amazing!

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