Harbor and Sprout

Outdoor Survival Skills Patchwork Study


Welcome to the Harbor + Sprout Outdoor Survival Skills Unit Study, the July 2023 release of our original elementary-level homeschool unit study curriculum. This unit study features 4 weeks of lesson plans and materials covering all 9 of our core subjects and a playful supplemental section of thematic activities. This unit study is meant for use by children ages 3-12. 

This unit is delivered via a secure link as a digital download.



Daily, weekly, and monthly planning pages
Book list including stories, poems, and field guides with recommended ages, subject correspondence, and brief summaries for each title
Lesson plans for 4 levels of learning
Family read aloud with discussion guide and recipe
Character kit- new monthly character illustrated by Stephanie Groves to act as your guide through the unit


Week 1: How Can You Prepare for Wilderness? While exploring the wilderness can be a great adventure, it's important to be aware of the potential dangers. Learn how to prepare for adventures into the wilderness by practicing spatial thinking and situational awareness.
Week 2: How Do You Make a Fire? Have you ever wondered why fire needs certain things to burn? Learn about something called the fire triangle that explains the process, and how to safely use fires while camping.
Week 3: How Do You Make a Shelter? The purpose of a shelter in the outdoors is to keep us safe and protected from the different kinds of weather we might encounter. Learn about topics such as thermoregulation and hypothermia while exploring the importance of shelter.
Week 4: What is Wilderness First Aid? What happens if you're in the wilderness or somewhere with a lack of cell service, no access to a land line, and no radio? You will need to know the basics of emergency care to help keep you safe when you can't call for help. This is called wilderness first aid-- emergency aid when you have limited resources and can't get immediate help.

Nature Study

Week 1: Finding Water: One of the most important tasks in a survival situation is to make sure we have enough clean, safe water to drink. This week we'll explore the importance of water to our body, how to recognize the signs of dehydration, and where to look to find natural sources of water in the wild.
Week 2: Collecting Water: This week we will take advantage of the water cycle and learn how to collect rain, dew, condensation, and the water released by plants called transpiration.
Week 3: Filtering Water:  Learn how to use natural materials to filter particles and debris from wild water sources.
Week 4: Purifying Water: Learn methods that survivalists use to purify their water.

Language Arts

Week 1: Outdoor Survival Words: Grow your vocabulary by studying the -ent word family. Familiarize yourself with words commonly used in outdoor survival & learn their origins. Practice spelling with a fishing game, and showcase your new vocabulary words in a story of your own writing,
Week 2: The Song My Paddle Sings:  Enjoy the poem "The Song My Paddle Sings" written by the Indigenous Canadian poet and performer, Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913), who was also known by her Mohawk stage name Tekahionwake (pronounced dageh-eeon-wageh). Practice summarizing, rhyming, writing, and more using this poem to enhance your learning.
Week 3: Gerunds: A gerund (pronounced JER-und) is a type of verb that acts like it's a noun. How silly! Put your learning into practice by building, labeling, and identifying gerunds.
Week 4: Connotation: The connotations of a word are the feelings and ideas that are associated with that word that go beyond its literal dictionary definition. Understand word associations by categorizing, sorting, and reinventing words.


Week 1: Writing a Report: Learning about new things is exciting, fun, and interesting. There are so many amazing things in the world that you can discover! This month you get to choose an exciting outdoor survival topic to research! You will have the chance to read about the topic you choose and find out as much information as you can about that topic! Then you will turn your research into a fun, final presentation!
Week 2: Research and Notes: Research your topic of choice using books from the library, magazine articles, video clips, personal interviews, and internet articles. Learn essential writing skills such as taking notes and citing sources.
Week 3: Project Planning: Choose a way to present the research that you have done, then you will create a plan of your project! There are so many fun ways to present non-fiction research! Your goal is to make it interesting so that other people will want to find out what you have learned!
Week 4: Final Research Project: This week you get to create your research project! You got to choose your own research topic and your own research project, now you get to create an awesome final project.


Week 1: Making Rope: An outdoor survivalist is someone who, either out of necessity or out of a desire to learn survival skills, survives outdoors for long periods of time. This week you will learn about the history of one of the original skills used by survivalists: making rope.
Week 2: Making Tools: Spears, stone tomahawks, stone hammers, rock slings, bows and arrows, axes, fishing hooks and rope lassos-- the list of historic survival tools goes on and on. Learn how and why these tools have been used throughout history.
Week 3: Building Shelter: In order to survive outdoors, humans must have shelter from weather such as wind, rain, snow, and heat from the sun. Discover the different types of shelters created throughout history.
Week 4: Land Navigation: One very important outdoor survival skill is being able to find one's way in the world. Throughout human history, people have used nature signs, landmarks, and even created their own signs to help them find their way through the wilderness.


Week 1: Chile: Chile is a country in western South America known for its diverse natural terrain which includes ancient glaciers, salt plains, desert, and active volcanoes. Learn more about Chilean culture and geography by reading, coloring, and playing trivia.
Week 2: Maps: Trace and color a map of South America, and one of Chile. Locate South America and Chile on a world map. Cut and paste land features onto a map of Chile.
Week 3: Chilean Culture: Immerse yourself into rich Chilean culture by studying language, cuisine, and traditional attire.
Week 4: The Edge of the World: Learn about the Patagonia Region, also known as “the edge of the world".


Week 1: Musical Morse Code: Did you know that there is a code that uses a series of long and short sounds to communicate? It’s sort of like its own language, called Morse code. Use rhythm and musical notes to understand Morse code.
Week 2: SOS: Learn how to use Morse code in an emergency.
Week 3: Ludwig Van Beethoven: Learn about one of the greatest and most influential composers of Western classical tradition.
Week 4: Chilean Instruments: Learn about Chilean music culture by studying the Siku, also known as the Panpipes.


Week 1: Animals (You Can Eat): Discover artwork by the artist Lynn Bogue Hunt. Explore the art element of Form, and create your choice of animal inspired art projects.
Week 2: Navigating with Nature: Explore artwork created by Emily Carr. Learn about the art element of Line, while creating navigation inspired artwork.
Week 3: Survival Skills: Study the artist Ric Nagualo, and the art element of Movement.
Week 4: Art in the Wild: Discover artwork created by the artist John Sing Sargent, and explore the art element of Texture. Create art inspired by the wilderness.


Week 1: Food Requirements: Practice multiplication and division by solving food calculation word problems.
Week 2: Measuring Angles in a Constellation: 
Identify constellations and stars, and use them to measure angles.
Week 3: Star Navigation: 
Understanding the night sky can be a powerful tool for navigation. Stars and constellations have guided explorers for centuries, and with a little knowledge, they can guide us too.
Week 4: Water Purification: Solve word problems pertaining to water purification.


  • Alphabet tracing
  • Coloring sheets
  • Crossword puzzle
  • I Spy and Count
  • Memory disks
  • Number clip cards
  • Shadow match
  • Word scramble
  • Animal Tracking Clip Cards
  • Animal Tracking Tracing
  • Outdoor Survival Word Search
  • Survival Mazes

This unit is delivered as a downloadable zip file. Enjoy your Outdoor Survival Skills adventure!