Mom reading to kids

Sample Lessons

Layers of Learning is about fun, hands-on learning. The world is full of fascinating people, places, stories, and nature.  Studying them should never be boring.  Below are some our favorite sample lessons and we hope that as you browse through them, you will see our philosophy in action.  There are many more, organized by subject, in the buttons below.

The lessons are similar to what you'll find inside our Layers of Learning Curriculum.

World War One Legend of the Battle of Mons

World War One and the Battle of Mons

This post has a printable timeline of World War One to assemble as well as a hands-on 3D map to build of the first battle of World War One, the Battle of Mons. There’s a cool legend about angels protecting the British.

US state maps presentation

U.S. State Maps

This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. Color U.S. state maps to show population, practice latitude and longitude, show landscapes, or depict rainfall, plus many more ideas. The printable U.S. state maps from this exploration can be used with many Layers of Learning units from Year Four, when you learn about …

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Printable Five Page Tabbed Booklet

One thing my kids enjoy is making little books about the things we’re learning about.  I made this template to go with some Canadian geography materials and thought I’d share with everyone since you can use this five page tabbed booklet for any subject. All you do is print the booklet.  It is three sheets …

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Writing Narrations

Writing narrations is a perfect way to dovetail writing in your homeschool with history, geography, science, and art. Family school is easier when you can combine some of the subjects and learn together!

Photorealism & Norman Rockwell

Have you ever seen a painting so realistic you thought it was a photograph? Learn all about photorealism and Norman Rockwell and his process of turning photographs into paintings. Then design your own Saturday Evening Post Cover on the free printable cover.

plate tectonics worksheet

Plate Tectonics

Plate tectonics is the unifying theory of geology. It explains how the whole surface of the earth changes and why it looks the way it looks. Use printables and coloring to teach these concepts to your kids.

A Tiger and lamb lying down together

The Lamb and The Tyger

Here’s a discussion guide on “The Lamb” and “The Tyger,” poems by William Blake. You’ll also find a printable to help your kids define and express their own thoughts about the poems.

map of the cold war

Cold War Map of the World

Color a map of the Cold War world. The USA and NATO versus the USSR and the Warsaw pact. The map also shows “hot spots” where actually wars broke out and places where guerrillas were operating.

Around The World Feast

This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can make and try foods from all around the world with your whole family together at your very own Around the World Feast! Many of the Layers of Learning geography units include recipes to try from around the world. Getting to know the …

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paper planes from world war two

World War II Printable Planes and the Battle of Britain

Print, color, and craft planes from WWII. Many of these planes fought in the Battle of Britain, one of the earliest battles of WWII.

Printable Biography Notebooking Pages

Use these free printable biography notebooking pages to create a biography for any person present or past. Besides the biography you can make fun pages for fictional characters from books or ones you’ve made up yourself. One of my favorite ways to learn history is through the people who made it all happen.  I love biographies. …

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ancient greek philosophers notebooking page

Ancient Greek Philosophers

This exploration about the “big three” ancient Greek philosophers is for high schoolers. Learn about Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato and their ideas.

Painted Collage Art

Make your own painted collage art with a variety of colors, textures, lines, and shapes. Along the way, learn about collage art from the Byzantines, Picasso, Braque, and Eric Carle.


Create a quadrama and get your crafty kids invested in writing a report!

Topographic Maps

This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can explore topographic maps with your whole family together! The topographic maps explanation is a geography lesson within Unit 1-6 all about physical earth. Layers of Learning has hands-on explorations in every unit of this family-friendly curriculum. Learn more about Layers of Learning. …

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Kids working on Book of Years

Book of Years: A Timeline of World History

The Book of Years is a timeline you research, color, and write yourself.

An illustrated fact sheet about Turkey. This method can be used to learn facts about anything, not just countries.

Illustrated Fact Sheets

An illustrated fact sheet is a good way for kids to absorb and remember facts about a topic without the commitment of writing an entire report.  Reports are good, but not every single thing you learn needs to be in one. To make an illustrated fact sheet the kids read books or look up information …

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One Color Paintings

One color paintings will teach kids about monochromatic color schemes, hues, tints, shades, and the emotion that colors evoke.

oceans exploration

Ocean Currents, Ocean Floor, Ocean in a Bottle Craft, and Ocean Lapbook

Start by choosing some books to read about oceans then choose from among the printable maps and lapbook plus an ocean in a bottle craft.

homemade barometer

Homemade Thermometer and Barometer

Learn to make a homemade thermometer and homemade barometer to really understand how these weather tools work.

legend of the capitoline geese

Ancient Rome and the Legend of the Capitoline Geese

Print and color a booklet of the legend of the Capitoline geese, who saved Rome from invading Gauls.

Northeast Woodland Tribes Project

Research one of the Northeast Woodland tribes that early settlers to the Americas would have come across. All ages of kids can make a project about the tribes and then write a research paper about them.

watercolor picture of kids with pop bottle ecosystems

Pop Bottle Ecosystem

Pop bottle ecosystems show how living and non-living parts of the environment interact and depend on each other.

Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing can seem a little intimidating at first, but if you understand some basics of what to include, it can be really fun for kids to try.  Simply stated, it’s any writing that is trying to convince someone of something.  We use persuasion all the time everyday – when you’re convincing Mom to let …

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Diamante Poems

A diamante is a seven lined poem that doesn’t rhyme. Diamante means “diamond” in Italian.  A diamante poem is shaped like a diamond.  The first and last lines are the shortest, with the lines in the middle increasingly longer. Diamante poems are a great starter poem to help kids warm up to the idea of writing …

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black widow spider with egg sac

Life Cycle of a Spider

The life cycle of a spider printable with book suggestions, info on the life cycle of the black widow, and a video to watch.

Art Element: Shape

Shape is one of the basic elements of art. As you explore any painting or work of art, you can understand it in terms of its elements. Come explore shape and the role it plays.


How Raven Stole The Sun – A Native American Raven Legend

This free printable booklet of the legend of How Raven Stole the Sun is a perfect companion to your study of Native American myths. Your kids can illustrate it as they read the legend.

samurai warrior

Japanese Shoguns Game

Play a game focusing on the power struggle between shoguns in Japan during the feudal period. Roll dice and win armies of samurai.

Readers’ Theater: A Chinese Tale of Seven Brothers

This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can do the Seven Brother reader’s theater with your whole family together! The Chinese Tale of Seven Brothers reader’s theater is a combination history, geography, and arts exploration from Unit 2-16. The unit covers the history of medieval China and Japan, a geography …

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Country Fact Sheet

As we learn about places throughout the world I like my kids to keep a little country fact sheet for each place that detail what we find out.  It’s a place to record the information they are reading from our country studies all on one page. Typically I have them each choose a different country …

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Library Activities

The library is one of our happy places.  And library activities and games make it all that much more fun.  Come see some things we do at the library, but first. . . A friend of mine once told me that she won’t take her kids to the library because letting them handle all those …

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Learning Word Roots Activities and Printables

Our vocabulary studies center around root words because they are so valuable in understanding lots of words as you learn to spot the root meanings.  Over 60 percent of the words kids encounter have some recognizable word parts, so kids who understand these parts automatically understand much more of what they read.  I wanted to …

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child in a Christopher Columbus themed paper hat and playing with a paper spyglass

Columbus’s First Voyage Map and Craft

Color a map of Columbus’ first voyage. Then, for young ones only, make a spy glass and a captain’s hat.

watercolor of a kids doing a chemistry experiment with hard water

Hard Water Experiment

Dissolve some calcium in water to see how soap is affected by minerals in hard water. Along the way you’ll learn abut some of the properties of water.

renaissance small cakes

Renaissance Recipe: Small Cakes

Try a Renaissance recipe by making these small cakes with all of your children.

watercolor kids in a hula hoop demonstrating states of matter

Solids, Liquids, and Gases

Get a bunch of kids together and have them climb into a hula hoop to demonstrate the tightly packed molecules of a solid then the looser packed molecules of a liquid and the widely space molecules of a gas.

Audubon’s Birds

John James Audubon was a naturalist and wildlife painter during the Romantic Period. He loved birds and created one of the most beloved bird painting collections in the world. Learn about Romantic painting and Audubon as you create your own stunning bird art.

Canada Printable Map

Learn all about Canada and use this Canada printable map to record what you find out. Canada has lots of forests, lots of grasslands, lots of rolling hills and lots and lots of north. But did you know Canada’s most southern point, Middle Island, Lake Erie, Ontario, is at the same latitude as northern California …

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watercolor of boys doing heat conduction experiment

Heat Conduction Experiment

This is an easy experiment with household materials to show how metal conducts heat better than wood or plastic.

Family studying rocks together

Learning About Rocks

Learn about rocks, from formation to identification, and get a printable rock cycle worksheet.

Adding Details to Writing with Juicy Sentences

Teaching kids about how adding details to writing will make better stories can drastically improve the quality of their writing.   If you’re like me you want to scream when you read stories and papers and get sentences like: “The dog sat.” “I wore a hat.”  “The cat was soft.” Yawn.  Boring, same old sentences. …

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Parts of Speech Flip Book

This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can learn about the parts of speech with your whole family together! The Parts of Speech Flip Book Exercise is a writing lesson from Writer’s Workshop Jump Start, the introductory unit from the Layers of Learning Writer’s Workshop Curriculum. Learn more about Writer’s …

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Medieval Book Making Craft

Make a medieval book by stitching the pages together and sewing on a cover. Use the book to collect things you learn about the middle ages.

Story Maps

Story maps are a great way for kids to begin to understand the basic elements of narrative texts.  They can begin by reading stories and learning to identify each element, and then eventually they will also be able to begin writing their own stories using what they’ve learned.  This printable story map can be used …

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A Grid on Our Earth, An Exploration on Map Grids

Maps, Then and Now The first maps made of our earth weren’t very accurate at all.  They were mostly drawn from imagination.  The European maps from these medieval times are called mappae mundi (meaning “cloth of the world”) and they really weren’t intended to be used for finding your way around at all.  They were …

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Three Branches of Government Worksheet

Every citizen of the United States needs to understand the three branches of government and what powers the Constitution grants them. Using a copy of the Constitution go through the Three Branches Worksheet. Each of the powers granted to the Federal Government are written in the boxes on the worksheet. Color code each box to …

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watercolor of a girl doing a density experiment

Floating Eggs Experiment

Float an egg in salt water and plain water to do some density tests. Then calculate density with your older students.

Quick Draw: Art Lesson Warm-Ups

Use a quick draw as a little warm-up at the beginning of any art lesson and watch your kids’ artistic confidence and creativity blossom.

Age of Exploration Timeline

The Age of Exploration was probably the most pivotal era in the world ever.  Europe discovered, colonized, traded with, and conquered nearly the whole world. You can make a wall timeline and add some important dates to it with the Age of Exploration timeline squares. Age of Exploration Timeline Cut apart the figures from the …

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1 thought on “Sample Lessons”

  1. I really like the pop bottle ecosystem. I teach high school students who have multiple disabilities and I think they would enjoy this project. Thank you for sharing.

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