Horse and Vet Science Elementary Unit Study

When my kids begged to learn about horses and vet science, I loved the idea of diving into science with a unit they’re interested in. As it turns out, there aren’t oodles of options for elementary curriculum exploring vet science (some, yes, as you’ll see, but not an overwhelming supply). In case you’re in a similar boat, here’s what I found/used/wrote:

Montessori fans will love Living Montessori Now’s horse unit and Mama’s Happy Hive horse unit.

Lap book fans will relish In the Hands of a Child‘s vet study (more on this below).

The Homeschool Scientist has a wealth of resources to explore.


15 Day Vet Science Unit Study by a real homeschooling mom (yours truly!)

*Note, I used this for a 4th grader, 1st grader, and preschooler, so modify as needed.

Buy:

Veterinary Science game by Science Explorer

-Horse Anatomy Coloring Book (many options here – we like the one by John Green)

4D Vision Horse Anatomy Model (other animals are also available)

-for older students, find a used copy of Horseman’s Veterinary Encyclopedia and study at professional level


From a library, check out:

Zoology for Kids by Josh and Bethanie Hestermann (or purchase – we were able to renew our library copy enough to complete the 10 days of study with this book)

-all the additional reading books recommended by the In the Hands of a Child curriculum


Day 1 – Play with Veterinary Science game and make the gel ticks

Day2 – Read pages 1-10 in Zoology for Kids (stop at Animals’ Forms, but read Animal Cell Lingo)

Make an animal cell pizza for lunch (modify as needed – other options would be veggie pizza or fruit pizza, or even a coloring project or 3D model with foam, paper mache, etc.)

Here’s how we did ours:

Sauce/cheese = cytoplasm

Round cheese slice/or slice of turkey deli meat = nucleus

Bell pepper slices = endoplasmic reticulum

Ground beef sprinkled in clusters = ribosomes

Squiggle of string cheese = Gogli body

Beef stick pieces sliced in battery length = mitochondria (mitochondria is the power house for the cell, so we used the visual key of “battery sized” to help us remember)

Thin slices of hot dog or turkey pepperoni = lysosomes

While the pizza bakes, make a Parts of the Animal Cell Booklet

Day 3 – Read pages 10 (starting at Animals’ Forms) -23 in Zoology for Kids

Play the echolocation game on page 18

Read If I Ran the Horse Show (Cat in the Hat)

Look at camouflaged animals here

Day 4 – Read pages 25-39 in Zoology for Kids

Do the activities on page 29 and pages 38-39

Review the Parts of the Animal Cell Booklet

Make vocab cards for Migration, Ecology, Echolocation, and Tissue (use definitions in back of Zoology for Kids)

Listen to whale songs on YouTube

Day 5 – Read any of the additional reading recommendations from In the Hands of a Child

Read pages 41-49 in Zoology for Kids

Do the activity on page 48

Make vocab cards for Apex Predator, Consumer, Food Chain, Scavenger, Producer, Decomposer, and Prey

Briefly discuss the biome where we live

Day 6 – Read pages 51-67 in Zoology for Kids

Do the activities on pages 62 and 82

Make vocab cards for Positive Reinforcement, Enrichment, and Infectious Diseases

Day 7 – Do the activity on page 65 in Zoology for Kids (one child made a picture and another made a 3D diorama – get creative!)

Day 8 – Read pages 69-83 in Zoology for Kids

Make vocab cards for Zoonotic Disease, Warm-Blooded, and Cold-Blooded

Day 9 – Read pages 85-99 in Zoology for Kids

Make vocab cards for Scientific Name, Ethogram, Data, and Zoology

Do the activity on page 95 (with a pet, or even more exciting, on a field trip to a farm, stable, zoo, or aquarium)

Day 10 – Read pages 101-113 in Zoology for Kids

Make vocab cards for Conservation, Deforestation, and Hypothesis

Day 11 – Read Therapy Cats, Dogs and Rabbits by Jenny Fretland VanVoorst, Guide Dogs by Jessica Rudolph, and We Work at the Vet’s by Raintree Sprouts

Color in the Horse Anatomy Coloring Book

Review the Parts of the Animal Cell Booklet

Day 12 – Read chapters 1-2 in Police Dogs (In the Hands of a Child recommendation)

Find a short YouTube video on police dogs

Review vocab cards

Cast the plaster dog in the Veterinary Science game

Day 13 – Read chapters 3-4 in Police Dogs

Bandage the cast dog’s broken limb(s)

Find another short video on YouTube about police dogs

Review the Parts of the Animal Cell Booklet

Day 14 – Read Dolphins in the Navy by Meish Goldish

Find a short YouTube video about Navy animals

Review vocab cards

Day 15 – Read H is for Horse by Mike Ulmer

Take turns playing with the 4D Vision Horse Anatomy Model and coloring in the Horse Anatomy Coloring Book

Next, follow the In the Hands of a Child curriculum. It is written for 11 days, but with all the additional readings, this can be stretched out into a longer unit. Let your children do as much as they can with the lap book (the more of it they do, the more they’ll remember).

In the Hands of A Child is a spiral bound book, shown here with our finished lap books that were fun to make and great for reviewing. You will need to make copies of the reproducible pages to make the lap books.


Your turn! If you’ve explored horses and/or vet science with your family, what did you do? What other unique topics have your scholars pursued? Comment below so we can keep the creative learning cycle moving 🙂

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