Saturday, September 10, 2011

Study America Saturday ~ Minnesota and At Least One Subject is a Success!

If you have been reading my posts lately, they have been filled with curriculum fails. But our American History studies have been right on target! Learning by watching, reading and doing. It's been wonderful! It's been successful! It's what has prompted me to change up those other textbook subjects. Success breeds success!

Dawson ~ 9th Grade

This week Dawson started his second American History unit based on "America: The Story of Us" .... Revolution.

He watched the video, and then answered the discussion questions and completed the vocabulary words for Episode 2. It was a short week because we didn't have school on Monday because of Labor Day, and he was gone Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday he read a recruitment poster aimed at wooing seamen into taking a voyage across the sea to fight in the war against the British. They sure made it sound like a vacation on a luxurious cruise ship. I believe that would have been one of the first examples of propoganda in advertising. Very misleading! Dawson analyzed the qualities they wanted in the seamen and the propoganda used to draw them into the war. (The discussion questions, vocabulary words, and recruitment poster activities are all found at the Episode 2 link above. Just scroll down a bit and the Episode Guides are on the left-hand side.)

He also worked more on the rough draft of his paragraph on Jamestown from IEW Lesson 3.

I was a little disappointed that the novel we wanted to read for this unit was checked out by someone else until September 10th, and still hasn't been returned. So, we are reading The Winter of Red Snow by Kristiana Gregory.

I also requested The Fighting Ground by Avi. I think we will double up our reading so that we can get to that one, too.

Brynne ~ 2nd Grade

Brynne studied the state of Minnesota this week. Several months ago we signed up to be a part of a 50 states postcard swap. I have been collecting them. This week, at the end of the week, I had Brynne go out to get the mail and there was a postcard from Minnesota (that I put there, of course.) She was shocked and surprised! I think from now on, though, I am going to put the postcard in the mailbox on Monday, and have that be the reveal of the state we will study that week!

Brynne completed her coloring page, notebook pages, and license plate map for Minnesota.

For our living book we read The Bear who loved Puccini by Arnold Sundgaard. It is about a bear who lives in the forests of Minnesota and overhears some campers listening to the songs from Madame Butterfly. He falls in love with the music and finds that he is a good opera singer. He heads to St. Paul to pursue his career in opera.

This was a sweet book about family love and support and the theme that if you want to do something bad enough, just go do it!! Although the book did not contain a lot of facts about Minnesota, there were some nice illustrations, and it did mention the Mississippi River and the twin cities, both of which we had discussed. And it gave us the opportunity to discuss opera and then we watched some Youtube videos of Madame Butterfly excerpts.

We finished the week by studying The Great Lakes. We read Great Lakes by Kimberly Valzania from the Rookie Read-About Geography series. I like this series of books because they are very short and full of quick facts and nice photographs.

Then I printed off a blank map of the Great Lakes and taught Brynne "HOMES" to remember them: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. She used the color codes of the letters to color the lakes.

How did your American History studies go this week? Share with us by Linking up!

I am also linking up to History and Geography at All Things Beautiful.


  1. Oh, shucks, Nicole! I'm going to have to link up NEXT week. During our first week we just STARTED our studies. Nothing exciting to report! Next week start Christopher Columbus!

    I'm glad to hear that Dawson is enjoying his studies. I DO like those episode guides on-line!

  2. What is a license plate map?? We are doing the 50 States, too ...and I like your resources!

  3. Hi Three Thinking Mothers! I printed the 50 states' license plates at this site:

    Then I just printed off a large, blank U.S. map and each week we cut out the license plate for the state we have studied and glue it on the state.

    When we got to Florida in December, I am going to have Brynne keep track of all of the license plates we see.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. NOw I have to think if I got the post up I was going to link up. I know for sure I have one this week I wrote......


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