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American History ’ Category
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
We are planning to focus on World Cultures (India and China) this year, but we haven’t started in on that yet. Instead, we resumed the year with some of the U.S. geography and history activities we were working on last May/June.
Since we traveled quite a bit this summer I wanted to reinforce some of that geography. We talked about our trips and the states we visited. We pulled out the U.S. Landmark cards I made a couple of years ago and went over the location of those famous U.S. sites. The kids were pretty excited when we came to the Arches card and fought furiously (not with fists, though!) to place that on our big map! The kids are also working on the location of all the states. They are currently working on learning the location of the northeast states.
This post will give you access to the free Montessori U.S. Landmark cards I mentioned above:
The past week or so we’ve been singing the Fifty States song (you-tube song) that we learned a couple of years ago. Here are the lyrics to the 50 States that Rhyme that you can download if you’re interested. Even ED is starting to sing along!
We also have been singing through the U.S. Presidents Song. This song has the 44 presidents listed in order to the tune of Ten Little Indians. We got a copy of the lyrics over at Mrs. Jones’ Room. I just want them to be familiar with the various presidents’ names at this point.
We’ve also been reading through a very simplified version of American history. It has short, sweet chapters and serves only as an overview. Adding to one of the chapters we pulled out our copy of Paul Revere’s Ride. The kids memorized a couple of refrains from that… you know… Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…
Finally, we went over some basics about the U.S. Constitution. I wanted them to add some information to their history notebook and made these notebook pages about the U.S. Constitution. It is very basic. If anyone else is interested you can download your own copy for free. Although I don’t show them here, I also included some (suggested) answers. So, the download is 6 pages total.
Free U.S. Constitution Worksheets:
So that’s been our history in a nutshell!
I hope we start on our India unit before my huge stack of books is due back at the library!! :)
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Thursday, June 27th, 2013
Earlier this week, I shared the 10-page packet of summer camp songs I’ve been singing with the kids. With the 4th of July right around the corner, I also put together a set of patriotic songs to sing with them.
If you are interested, here are some of the songs we’ve been singing (and learning):
American Patriotic Song Packet:
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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
As many of you know, we have been studying Africa this year in our homeschool. As we finished up our studies of West Africa, we spent about a week learning about the Transatlantic Slave Trade and about slavery in general. My kids had not yet studied this in history.
We read a number of books… most of them had an incredible impact on the kids. You’ll need to read these and decide for yourself if they are appropriate for your own children.
From Slave Ship to Freedom Road by Julius Lester — incredible paintings, thought provoking text.
Now Let Me Fly: The Story of a Slave Family by Dolores Johnson wonderful story that traces a family from Africa to slavery in the USA and forced separation.
The Old African by Julius Lester a very haunting tale that expresses the horrors of slavery.
The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano Adapted By Ann Cameron — This is the true story of an African boy who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The descriptions of the middle passage and of slavery are powerful. We read this aloud in our homeschool and it is one of the most powerful books we’ve read together!
Story of the Civil War Coloring Book by Peter Copeland
Story of the Underground Railroad by Peter Copeland
It took us nearly a week to read The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano, but it was well worth it. This autobiography was incredibly powerful and had images that we talked about in great depth. Equiano truly had an amazing life.
I also made some notebooking pages for the kids to add to their history notebooks. I left blanks for them to fill in their own text, though I included a bit more information if anyone else is interested.
We used these pages at the end of our unit. I gave the pack to the kids and had them write about what they learned. I was pretty impressed with what they came up with.
You can download these Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery Pages here:
I hope someone else finds these useful! If you use these, I’d love to hear from you either here or at my Homeschool Den Facebook Page. Over at my Facebook page I keep a running log of all my posts if you’re interested at seeing some posts you may have missed.
You might be interested in these related posts:
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Friday, September 28th, 2012
Over the course of the week we met families from Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ohio and New York who had come Colonial Williamsburg for the homeschool experience. During homeschool week they had lots (and lots) of children’s activities. Every activity we went to was absolutely terrific and educational. Here are some of the things we attended during the week:
We did both the normal orientation walk as well as the children’s orientation.
Life of a Soldier:
The kids got to experience life as a revolutionary war soldier. They saw the tents that soldiers lived in, practiced some of the drills soldiers had to do with their guns and LD got to light the gunpowder on the canon. There’s no actual picture of that because I was standing right behind him and jumped almost out of my skin!!
Just look how the ‘soldiers’ flinched later in the day. Now imagine my reaction as my son created such an explosion!! Well, actually they used a lot less gunpowder for the shot LD fired, but still… what a bang!!
Bits and Bridles:
The kids learned all about the use of horses during revolutionary war times. The guide not only explained how horseshoes were put on the horses, but passed around an example horse’s leg to show the structure of the horse.
Then we got to see the carriages and (most importantly for the kids) the horses in the stalls!
We attended two evening programs.
Mama Said, Papa Said — was a program that focuses on the oral tradition of the African American community. It showed how stories were used to teach morals and values. One person stood up at a time on stage telling riveting stories. Do you know what ED (age 4) said after the hour program was over? ”Mama, why is it over so soon?” Listen to these stories on the Colonial Williamsburg podcast, Mama Said, Papa Said.
Ghost Walk — Our guide led around the streets of Colonial Williamsburg sharing eerie stories and strange happenings. We learned that there are tunnels that run underground so supplies can be brought in to the restaurants… Strange sightings have even been seen down there!
The programs at the museum were exceptional as well!!
We attended Tikki Tikki Tembo where they read the children’s book and looked closely at and talked about the illustrations. The guide then sent the kids on a scavenger hunt to find examples of revolutionary period pieces that had Chinese art in the same style as the illustrations in the book. Then they brought the kids into a special room where they could examine more art and create their own revolutionary war period dishes!
Scherenschnitte – The German art of scissor cutting brought over the America in the 18th and 19th centuries. They had designs that we could cut our or we could design our own. Everyone had fun at this activity!
Lucy Locket Lost Her Pocket:
What was carried in the revolutionary war period pocket? coins, bills, keys, combs, mementos, personal correspondence, inspirational verse, etc. While the girls and moms really enjoyed this program, though LD wasn’t as excited about the clothes, petticoats and lady’s pocket. What was neat was that the guide opened the locked display drawers and showed us some of the things tucked away. In the picture below, the guide pointed out how the lady in the blue dress had a bulge (which is where her pocket would have been). The cartoon shows a thrifty (or perhaps stingy) woman, and then there are a couple examples of a pocket. The shoes — well I included those just because they’re so fashionable!
Secret Codes, Spy Craft: There were two programs about codes and ciphering the kids attended at the museum.
Crack the Code: The kids spent time figuring out secret messages such as the one below.
Spy Craft: The kids learned about the book codes and the cipher wheel. When Thomas Jefferson served as Washington’s secretary of State he devised a secure method for enciphering and deciphering messages called the Cipher Wheel. At the end of the week our family and our friends’ family bought cipher wheels so the kids could continue creating and deciphering secret messages to one another!
From the picture below can you figure out what this says?
While the older kids were busy deciphering their secret messages with their friends, I took ED off to the garden maze behind the Governor’s Palace. She loved that as much as the older kids loved their spy classes! She made a little friend from Georgia and they spent a long time exploring the maze and running around together.
On our final day we took a carriage ride through the city and watched the show behind the courthouse. It was an amazing end to an amazing week!
The General Reviews the Troops:
Here is a link to the Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Experience Itinerary if you’re interested for next year! Here’s a link to their daily calendar of events just so you get a feel for how much is on offer. There is SO much we didn’t do (the Rev. Quest, the witch trials, the blacksmith’s apprentice, etc.) — and yet our week was absolutely packed full! We highly recommend taking a trip down to Williamsburg if you ever get the chance!
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Thursday, September 27th, 2012
We’ve heard wonderful things about the homeschool programs in Colonial Williamsburg in some of the yahoo groups. For two weeks in September, there are programs especially for homeschoolers. They offered discount tickets for homeschoolers and their families and have lots of programs and experiences geared specifically for kids. This year we decided to go with some close friends of ours to check things out.
You can spend lots of time seeing how different members of society would have spent their days in the Revolutionary War days. What was neat was not only were people ‘at work’ in their shops and homes, but there were also people dressed up and roaming the streets — either in carriages or walking along. They kept in character as they spoke to others and interacted with the tourists.
The kids enjoyed getting to see people working in their shops at their various trades:
The Printer and Book Binder
Making a Wagon Wheel
Archaeology in Colonial Williamsburg:
We also saw some archaeologists at work. The woman there said that in the course of their work they came across the graves of two people (the blue tarp area in the back). They determined that these were the remains of slaves. There were several reasons for this. First the orientation of the graves were North-South whereas most burials were East-West. Also they could tell by the muscle attachments that these were people who had done hard labor. Finally, the teeth were in very poor condition indicating a poor diet. They told us that the remains are to be relocated and reburied in a new location.
The Governor’s Palace
And all this is not even close to everything on offer!
The week was amazing! These displays were wonderful and the tradesmen and women all spent time talking with the kids (in character, of course) about what they were doing. But the thing that made the week AWESOME were all the amazing programs they had specifically for kids. I’ll talk more about those tomorrow.
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