Jan 2, 2010

History: A Unit Study (I think) of Colonial America

Have I talked about History yet? I don't think so. My original plan for History was to follow the Classical idea of four year history cycles. It is a method that appeals to my linear thinking. Start at the beginning, go until you get to the end, repeat. I even bought the first book and activity books of Story of the World. Then I read it. And I realized that the belief systems of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans was not something I wanted my nearly 5 and 6 year olds to learn about. Yes, they should learn it, and yes, they will learn it. But I wanted to be sure that they were grounded enough in the Truth to be able to handle learning about myths.
So we opted for a year of American History instead. Only I couldn't find one that I liked. Everything was either too expensive, too in-depth, or not in-depth enough. I am just enough of a education snob that I can not give my kids workbooks for History. So, like I always do when I can't find what I want, I attempted to make my own.
I bought The Light and the Glory for Children to read aloud, and added in a bunch of library books, crafts, activities, and coloring pages to bring it to life for them. It all worked wonderfully, too, since we read about Columbus in late September and the Pilgrims in November. It makes me smile to think about how well it all worked out. :)
Then, I started working on next terms' plans and realized the second half of the book is much more about ideals and principles and abstracts than about individual people and events that I could flesh out with my free resources of library and Internet. Sigh.
So, for the next three months we will embark on a new adventure of Unit Studies. Now mind you, I still have only a fairly vague idea of what exactly a Unit Study means, and I am probably way off the mark. Again, I could not find a Unit Study for free that I liked. I did find an awesome one that was more than I could afford. :( So I had to surf around and dredge up the info I needed to make my own.
So here is what we are going to do. A quick four weeks on Colonial America.
We will be reading:
Felicity (re-reading, for Kaytie)
Welcome to Felicity's World
The Thirteen Colonies A New True Book by Dennis Fradin
Kids in Colonial Times by Lisa Wroble
Colonial Life by Bobbie Kalman
Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters
Colonial Times by Joy Masoff

(I read on my own Growing Up in Colonial America, by Tracy Barrett, which gave me lots of information about what to look for and what direction to go when I surfed the Web and planned things out)

I mostly wanted to just give them an idea of what life was like in those days, with just enough politics thrown in to explain the Revolution, which we will learn about next. So I divided all my ideas up into three different categories: school; clothes and food; work and play. For the first week, we will be talking about the 13 colonies as a general overview and do some map work.
So the first week we will:
  1. Look at a map of the 13 colonies
  2. Discuss where and what they were
  3. Play here
  4. Talk about the three different geographical sections of the colonies, and how they were different from each other.
  5. Read books (this includes finishing reading The Light and the Glory)
  6. Label this map
The second week, we will:
  1. Talk about one-room school houses and how kids learned
  2. Make a horn-book (this might get tricky, we'll have to see how it goes)
  3. Have a "recitation" and a spelling bee (This will be interesting, since spelling is not something any of the kids excel at. I'm hoping it will be fun, though.)
  4. Read more books
  5. Play with some paper dolls
  6. Explore the American Girls website and play here some more
The third week: (clothes and food)
  1. Make johnny cake and corn pudding
  2. Make butter
  3. Make a pomander
  4. Weave with a cardboard loom
  5. Set aside some time just to play "a day in a Colonist's life" (if I initiate this, they will play this again on their own)
  6. Color some pictures
  7. Read more books
  8. Play here some more
The fourth week: (work and play)
  1. Play games like: jacks; hopscotch; blind man's bluff; frog in the middle; marbles (they know most of these games, so I will point out how long they have lasted as fun games, and that these were the only games they had... they didn't have a room full of toys, they had to make or pretend their own
  2. Make a bilbo-catcher and a whirly-gig
  3. Discuss the different jobs available, and talk about apprentices. Pretend a town, and act out the different jobs
  4. Set up a bucket brigade
  5. Play here of course
  6. Read books
Then we will plunge into the Revolution!

P.S. One of the reasons I posted all of this is that I was hoping that if anyone had some ideas or suggestions to add, they would slip them into the comments! (hint hint)


Julie said...

This sounds awesome! I love how you can come up with your own plan. That is still a struggle for me. I was curious about a post you wrote awhile back on The Bible Study For All Ages. I have almost ordered it a few times and was wondering if you still use it and like it? Thanks for any input!!!

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

My first time by. What a beautiful family you have.

You are truly blessed!

Ronald said...
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