Sunday, August 9, 2015

U.S. History Plans: Part 1 (of 5)

The kids and I started into U.S. history late last spring. I am so excited, and the kids seem to enjoy it as well.

My plan is to break it into five sections, and take a little over a year to explore the United States. Previously for history, I used RC History (or Connecting with History), which has worked well for us and my teaching style. Unfortunately, RC's U.S. history plans are unfinished so I veered off on my own for this time period.

Part 1 covers early explorers (St. Brendan, Leif the Lucky, Columbus, etc.) through the first colonies of the Spanish, French, and eventually English (ending with the Mayflower and William Penn). You can download my plan overview here, and below you will find the core materials listed (supplemental materials are listed in the plans). For this first part, my plans are a tad lighter than normal as we were nearing summer and our workload was lessening.
My plans are quite loose. I read from the textbook first, usually over lunch. Once the textbook is done, I start on any read alouds or extra reading. Then, on the road or for a quiet time, the kids listen to audio stories. I put on videos a day or two following the reading of the same material. Copywork and timeline work is done in spurts. It takes a month to cover about two chapters, though a fun topic can easily go longer. At the end of each, I try to have some fun hands-on projects.

I think the favorite moments of this time period were drawing boats and playing this online interactive Jamestown Colony game.

John Cabot's boat by Mr. D

The Mayflower by Mr. A

As we go along with history, we are doing a state study together using Our United States of America: Catholic Social Studies. We read about each state, are memorizing capitals and such. Each kid has a Dover United States coloring book, and Mr. A fills in a student workbook to go along with the social studies book above while Mr. D fills out a puzzle/activity book we picked up somewhere along the way. At the end of our states study, we will study our own state in-depth, and perhaps may have a 50 States party.

I just love history! How about you?

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