The Curiosity Files unit studies, explorations with professor Ana Lyze, expert in outlandish oddities, are designed to be used with 8-13 year olds, though my 7 year old had no problem joining in the fun. The Platypus Unit Study is available for download in e-book format for $6.95 from The Old Schoolhouse Store.
I have a confession to make. I've never actually done a unit study with my kids before. Gasp, shock, horror, I know. I've always wanted to do one and this was the perfect nudge I needed.
I then gave each of my homeschoolers age-appropriate math, science, and language arts assignments from the platypus study. They worked for about 45 minutes individually. Mr. Monk (11) constructed a table of the names and weights of his family members and calculated how many pounds of food we would each need to eat nightly if we were platypuses. He also used a timetable of sunrise and sunset dates in Sydney to answer a set of questions. For science, Monk studied neurons and how signals are transported in the nervous system. Twinkle Toes (9) studied probability with platypus food, and Measle (7) reviewed her tens since platypus eggs hatch in ten days.
Monk and Twinkle Toes copied creation Bible verses in cursive, whereas Measle was able to copy the same verses printed. Measle worked on a spelling assignment and colored a picture of a platypus while Twinkle Toes did a nature journal-type sketch of a platypus. Monk and I even tried writing platypus-themed limmericks! And the girls joined forces to dig a platypus burrow in our flower beds (don't worry no flowers were killed in the making of this burrow- which reminds me of my next project.)
While we got a lot out of the couple of hours we spent on the platypus unit study, we could easily have spent twice the time on it, especially if we had completed all the project ideas that are included.
In conclusion, we really enjoyed working through this Curiosity Files unit study together and we're looking forward to doing it again. Some of the other Curiosity Files titles that I'm interested in are: Zombie Fire Ants, Quicksand, and MRSA.