For the past few weeks, the kids have been completing a weekly lesson in Zoology for Kids (given to us for free from the publisher). We've done biology studies off and on for our entire time homeschooling so far--my favorites have been the animal unit studies that we did a couple of summers ago, involving classification, anatomy, and animal care, and the endangered animal unit study that we did for much of last semester--and it's always been a hit with the kids.
The units are always pretty much led by me, however, in that I take a kid's interest, create some projects that will explore it, assign some research and the reference materials, and dictate guidelines. Zoology for Kids is a nice break for that, in that it's written to the kids, down to having a glossary in the back of the book to explain the big words, and most of the activities in the book can be done completely independently--I don't even have to be in the room!
The one exception to that is this edible cell model, and only because we had to make a special trip to the store for the decorating supplies--one thing that I do NOT need is a pantry full of Reese's Cups and M&Ms and Twizzlers. Since I was helping out, anyway, I changed the format from cake to cookie (cookies are yummier!) and assigned one kid to make an animal cell and the other kid to make a plant cell:
I required the kids to learn all the parts, but I did not require them to learn what each part does--that's more depth than the book requires, and rather than lead us down a rabbit trail of cell biology, I figured I'd just let them go with this until the next time we visit cells:
These kids LOVE edible projects!
Who wouldn't, though, right? I mean, it's a plant cell, AND it's candy!