Thursday, August 12, 2010

Download N Go - Roller Coasters!!

I am so honored and excited to be a part of the Download N Go review team.  In exchange for reviewing this unit study I received a free copy.  We had already completed Expedition Mexico in the spring and I had ordered several units and printed them out to use for the upcoming school year when this opportunity presented itself.  I plan to blog about all of the units we use this year as we do them.

I love the covers of these unit studies!

To be honest, Roller Coasters was not even on my radar and not on my wish list at all.  I do not like to ride roller coasters and didn't really think it would be that interesting. I was SO wrong!  It was a blast and we learned so much.

Before I share some pictures of our lapbooks and some of our activities I want to tell you how you can enter for a chance to win your own copy of Roller Coasters!  Just go to Download N Go  and look at all of the wonderful titles available then come back here and tell me which one you would like to try the most.  I have been given one copy to give away.  A winner will be chosen randomly on August 21st from those that comment. Be sure to include a contact e-mail address when you comment. (and see the end of this post for more ways to win!)

The Download N Go units are geared toward K-4th grade students.  Each study lasts 5 days (though you could EASILY stretch it out much longer).

The daily topics for this study are:

Day 1: What Is a Roller Coaster? 
Day 2: The History of Roller Coasters 
Day 3: People and Places of Roller Coasters 
Day 4: Science Secrets of Roller Coasters/Rides 
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Roller Coasters

One of the first things we did when we started this study was egg drop experiments.  Ryan (10) tried to find a way to drop an egg off of our deck (15 feet) to the ground without breaking the egg. The other kids joined in later.  It took a few tries but he found two ways to do it (one involved POPCORN which the kids loved because they got to eat it after!).  I put the egg in a sandwich sized zipper bag so there would not be any mess.  We only broke about 3 eggs.

getting the egg ready
Emma's turn to drop an egg.

yummy popcorn!

We also did this experiment making parachutes for an egg drop.  I didn't want to waste more than one bag or a lot of eggs so I built a "basket" with a box to put the egg (in the plastic bag) in and attached each parachute one at a time. We only lost 1 egg in this one.  My squares weren't quite as large as the directions said because I didn't have enough plastic.  It was close enough though and worked great.

This egg didn't make it with the smallest parachute.

One of our favorite parts of the Download N Go series is the videos.  It is so convenient and fun to have appropriate videos to watch.  It really makes the study come alive.  (and saves me from filtering through all the junk on You Tube).  One other nice feature is that the videos are embedded on a Download N Go webpage so you don't see the nasty comment section on You Tube. ( I often do enlarge the videos though to hide the comments.)

playing a roller coaster game on the computer

working on day 1

One of the things I absolutely love about this study is how it introduces physics.  I took physics in college and it was soooo difficult.  I learned so much from this study. They should have taught it that way to us!

For this reason alone I am glad we did this unit study. What a wonderful way to introduce this topic to young children.The videos were especially helpful!

On Day 4 of our study, some of our family went to the county fairgrounds to enter some things they had made.  We were able to see the new roller coaster (they've never had a large roller coaster) and some of the other rides being put together.  There was a man working on top of the roller coaster and I snapped some pictures...not a job I would want!

It's hard to see but there is a guy up there.

Instead of making a lapbook I decided to use a pocket folder.  We hole punched the worksheets and added our minit books to the pocket sections. This was a very simple way to keep everything together. I originally used a glue stick but it didn't hold.  I ended up using tacky glue and it works very nicely.

Emma and Jenna with their finished lap folders
The inside of the front and the cover.

We intend to go to an amusement park before the end of the summer and it will be so much more interesting now that we know all the ins and outs of Roller Coasters!  The one thing that I really would have liked to have added to this study was building a K'NEX roller coaster or even a ferris wheel.  It just didn't happen....maybe next time around....

Remember to enter to win a copy of Roller Coasters.  I mentioned the first way earlier in the post.  For more chances you can:

  • follow my blog 
  • blog about this giveaway on your blog and link back to this post
  • post about this giveaway on Facebook
  • tweet about it on Twitter 
You will get one entry for each but you must come back to my blog and leave an individual post about what you did (and a link to it if possible). I will use a random generator to choose the winner and will announce it here after the 21st. You can just leave me one comment (or more) and tell me what you have done and I'll put the names into a drawing. Please be sure to leave me an e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

The winner is "m".  Congratulations!  I'll be reviewing Pizza Party soon, so stay tuned for a chance to win that.  Thank you to everyone that participated.


Samantha said...

I used both for our study and didn't think of making the whole lapbook in just the tabbed folder. (New to lapbooking!) We will do the egg drop next time!

3 Sons said...

Karen, that is a great review and I appreciate all your pictures. That popcorn experiment looks super! We also use a folder.

Most of all--ack--can't believe how your kids are growing! :-)

With all the new titles, it is hard to pick my favorite of the ones we don't have! Great biographies and fun like cartoons and soccer. I think Cookies would be MY favorite, though!

I also have set up to follow you and have shared the info on Facebook! Thanks!

Hollie V

Karen said...

Samantha, I got the idea from someone else(I think it might have been Marcy from Ben and Me.) I like to put everything all in one place so I was making my own little minit books until someone mentioned using the folders. I'm not sure if that is how they did it but it worked good for me. You could also just put the minit books in the pockets but it wouldn't be like a lapbook. Thanks for the commment. :)

Hollie, thanks for stopping by. Yes, the kids are growing quickly! So funny that you picked Cartoons and Soccer because those are among the very few that are not on my wishlist. Cookies does look good!!! Thanks for spreading the word :)

Cheri said...


You and your kids did a great job. Ours is not as detailed as yours but we did it. I have lots of ideas for the next one. This is so fun to be reviewing with other homeschooling families.

Kahri said...

loved seeing all you did with yours! I love lapbooks and would love to win this one. I went to the site and thought soo many would be on my wishlist! but I think my top wish would be for "Twisting Tornadoes"

I am subscribing to your feed and putting this giveaway on FB too! :-)

ami said...

Fantastic job! This looks like so much fun! :)

m said...

hi karen, i finally made it here! :) i really enjoyed reading about your unit study fun with the kiddos! i'm excited to do some! :) i shared this on my facebook, i'm "following" your blog (though i'm not sure how that works....the best fit for my kiddos i think would be the "trains" study :)

Anonymous said...

hi Karen,
Thanks for sharing about your unit study! It sounds like a lot of fun.

I signed up to follow you, also posted on face book on three of my friends facebooks, since you already posted it on mine.

I also went to the down load and go website. WOw didn't know there were so many of them available, I have not done any of them yet. Would probably pick Sunny Seashells, as we are on the boat a lot and do get to look for shells sometimes.

You have my email address
Darlene B.

Jodi said...

Looks like so much fun, especially after our first trip to a theme park this past summer. I would love to win a copy of this one!

chaoticlife said...

Download N go looks amazing, I am so thrilled to have happened across it. I would love to try Expedition Africa. My best friend lives in Africa and she also home schools her three kids, we are constantly sharing information back and forth about our countries. I think Expedition Africa would be an awesome addition to our fun. Thanks so much for all the information!

Leslie said...

Thanks for sending your new blog link. I'm going to try to figure out how to follow. (Haven't done that before.) Looks like y'all are having a lot of fun! You just finished the one that I would love to have - Seashells. We are headed to the beach in a couple of weeks and I have one shell loving little boy that would really enjoy this.

Hugs to you friend!

Good to see you blogging!


Hannah Jane said...

I love your pictures - it makes me want to start today!!!

There are so many to choose from - my kids would love roller coasters. I think they would also learn alot from tornadoes since we get those "warnings" every so often.

Thanks for the chance to win. (I am using my daughter's google account since I am having technical difficulties with mine)

lollipops said...

Hi, Karen! You posted a comment on my blog, but didn't leave your email address. If you want to contact me at vernetlh (at) yahoo (dot) com I'll make sure you get your free copy of Summer Sensations. :)

Denise said...

Just wanted to let you know that I posted on FB, tweeted about it, and posted to my blog. My children love roller coasters. This would be a great behind the scenes study for them.

Karen said...

Congratulations "m" are the winner!

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