Wednesday, February 8, 2012
America: The Story of Us ~ Lesson Plans are Coming
On July 31st, I posted about my intention to post my lesson plans and materials used in our "America: The Story of Us" self-built American History curriculum. I did have plans to do it, but as we have gotten into school I haven't made the time for it.
I have noticed that one of my most popular blog posts was THAT POST on July 31st. That tells me that there are educators out there who are searching for lesson plans that incorporate "America: The Story of Us". And today I received an e-mail from a sweet reader who wants to use the series as a spine, but isn't used to building her own curriculum so is feeling overwhelmed. She asked me if I would mind sharing what we have done this year.
And I would be so glad to.
So, HEADS UP! Starting this Saturday, my Study America Saturday post will feature my American History lesson plans using "America: The Story of Us" as the spine. And just to show you how serious I am, I have already completed the first installment and it's ready for launch on Saturday.
We have watched the first six episodes of the dvd series. WE ... HAVE ... LOVED ... IT !!!!!!
The video is excellent! We do the vocabulary and episode discussion questions on the day that we watch the video. We also start a Living Book, a piece of historical fiction from that era, and read it each morning. Our units have, typically, lasted for 3 weeks each. However, we spent double that amount of time on the Slavery and Civil War units because they were just so rich.
I have used the following resources for the materials for the units:
* America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty by The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. (This is a free cd that has EXCELLENT activities!)
* Notebooking pages printed off of the cd: Advanced World History Vol. 2 from Hold that Thought! (This cd costs about $20. You do not necessarily have to have the pre-printed notebooking pages to do this. You could have your student just start a spiral Notebook and title the top of each page. The notebooking pages just make it look uniform and pretty.)
* Many informative websites, that will be linked in the individual lesson posts.
* Netflix videos and any documentaries and movies I can DVR from DirecTV.
* The LIBRARY! This is an invaluable, and free resource. God Bless the workers at our library for all they do for me each week!
These are all the materials you need to do what we have done. As you can see, the study is practically free. It just takes preparation. The study has been rich and exciting and meaningful.
** These lesson plans were based on planning for an American History course for a 9th grade boy. I allow some activities to be under his grade level and some to be above in order to give him a fun, exciting, and well-rounded understanding of the materials.
The first unit, Rebels, will post on Saturday.