Summary Saturday: Pirouetting to End the February Funk

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It's that time of year. The winter doldrums have set in, curriculum seems stale, and learning has lost the excitement that started the year...yep, it's February. I've been in a funk for the past week when it comes to our schooling, taking care of the house, cooking, etc. So to shake off the February Funk, we are dropping our normal curriculum (which we love!), Heart of Dakota, and pirouetting into a fun unit study on Chipette's favorite thing...BALLET!

This Summary Saturday post is a little different since I'm going to be sharing my lesson plan for our 6-week Ballet Unit Study.

Here are the items I've already acquired:

This is one of our core books for our unit study. Luckily our library had this one!

Our ballet project pack that I purchased for only $7 that incorporates a study of ballet with the animated Barbie ballet movies: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses. That's right, we're watching Barbie cartoons for school!!!

A FREE ballet lapbook/notebook that I found online to help create our awesome ballet notebook that we will be working on for the entire 6-weeks.

We will learn about Tchaikovsky and his music since our study will be focused on three of his ballets: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and The Sleeping Beauty. I already had the CD (yay me!), but the notebooking pages I found for FREE!

Here are my beginning lesson plans:

Ballet Unit Study

Topics Covered: History of ballet, ballet vocabulary and positions, clothing and shoes, Peter Tchaikovsky, Edgar Degas, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, biographical study of Anna Pavlova and Maria Tallchief

Academic Disciplines: history, geography, music, art, culture, and language arts

Main Books:

Additional Reading:

·         Peter Tchaikovsky by Mike Venezia

·         Tchaikovsky Discovers America by Esther Kalman

·         Edgar Degas: Dance Like a Butterfly by Angela Wenzel

·         Marie in Fourth Position by Amy Littlesugar

·         Swan Lake by Margot Fonteyn

·         Sleeping Beauty: The Ballet Story by Marian Horosko

·         The Nutcracker Ballet by Vladimir Vagin

·         Maria Tallchief: American Ballerina by Adele de Leeuw

·         I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina by Anna Pavlova

·         Dance of the Swan: The Story About Anna Pavlova by Barbara Allman

·         Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Media Resources:

·         Barbie in The Nutcracker (movie)

·         Barbie of Swan Lake (movie)

·         Ballet Shoes (movie)

·         The Story of Tchaikovsky in Words and Music (music CD)

·         The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty (DVD from Netflix)

So that's our big plan! We're using this next week to finish up the current week in American history then we will be moving on to our unit study. I will post a link to my daily lesson plans as soon as I get all of my books.

Update: BALLET UNIT STUDY This link will take you to Dropbox where you can download my unit study plans. Enjoy!

One of my favorite benefits of homeschooling is the freedom to learn what we want, when we want in the treehouse,



  1. What a wonderful idea! I'm so proud of you for doing what you need to do (take a break and pursue child's interests) and I'm totally going to copy you! :) My four year old daughter would LOVE this and we're going to a ballet performance of Cinderella in just a couple weeks.

    1. We're starting on Monday and both of us are excited too do something different. I'll be posting my actual daily lesson plans so watch for it! I'm incorporating my 4 year old into the study as well.

  2. This is great! I'm sure your daughter will look back on studies like this fondly.

    1. I hope she does! Putting this stuff together is A LOT more work than just following the Heart of Dakota manual :)

  3. Wonderful unit. Both my girls would love that!

    Popping in from Pre-K corner

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Stefanie! We have greatly enjoyed this unit study. I hope your girls do as well!