Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reverse Engineering History: What?

So, if you've figured out what you want your kids to get, and how you'll find out if they got it, the last step is the fun one: what will they do to learn it. Honestly, this where I used to start!

Of course, we'll read books. There are tons and tons of books on US History for every time section and every age level, and many of them include activities. Your best bet is to go to the library and just browse through stuff.

My girls like the American Girl series (except for Molly, the WWII character). We have picked up the entire set piecemeal at library sales for a quarter a book. Just keep a list of what you have/need! Alas, boys aren't into them. Understandably.

I love the book Cooking Up US History which gives recipes, activities, extensive book lists and other ideas. It's only flaw is that it stops after the Civil War and goes into regional specialties.

I love all the books by Carmella Van Vleet's Build It Yourself series. We'll be using her Ben Franklin book here.

You get the idea, I'm sure. I'll do more book list type stuff when we are actually in each mini unit.

Living near DC, I am hoping to go to a lot of historic sites. We can do day trips to DC, Philadelphia, and Gettysburg, for example.

For each period of time I want to do daily life stuff: cooking, clothing, survival, housing. What was it like to live then?

I'd also like to look at the main players of each time. We own a lot of historical biographies and I'd like for each kid to become an expert in different historical characters.

I am hoping to have a lot of dinner table discussion about the ideas and worldviews for each time: why did they make the decisions they did?

This blends into assessments, but I'd like to do drama as a way to integrate everything. I'd like the kids to create skits of various historical events (possibly also filmed).

This will probably be the last post on this for a while (we now return you to your regularly scheduled Oob pictures), at least until we actually start the mega unit.

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