First a definition, unit studies are usually short studies on one topic. They can encompass a range of academic subjects but stick to one topic. For example, I've seen a unit study on chocolate. With this one you would probably learn the history of chocolate, where it's grown (geography), learn how to use it and make one or more recipes with it (math and science). Depending on the study, they'll use living books, maps, field trips, videos, and/or music. In general, I don't use unit studies in my school but I have recently found two that I'm going to be making use of in the next couple of months.
The first is from Connect the Thoughts on Christmas. It specifically says that it's a creative writing and history course. I downloaded this one from CurrClick a month or so ago when it was free. I'm just now taking a look at it since I want to start it the week after Thanksgiving. At the beginning it's got a list of recommended books, movies, and music (some of my favorites are included). The first lesson looks to be on the history of Christmas. I can't wait to delve deeper and see what's in store! I think it will be a fun study and maybe we can take a break from some of the other work we're doing.
The other one I got today from Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett. I'm on her email list and got a notice this morning that they've come out with the newest in her Passport Geography series, France. Coming up soon is Germany, Italy, and Spain; Great Britain is also available. This study is only a week long, but takes a look at the culture, language, food, and lots of other aspects of the country. Granted, it's a brief look but looks to be a good introduction. I thought I'd add this in for Sweet Pea in January as an addition to her French class that she's taking. I think her teacher is giving them some insight into the culture of different French speaking countries, but this will give her a bit more depth into France. When the Germany study comes out I'll probably get that for Rosie Jane to add to her German class.