Category: History: American History

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Aztecs and Incas

Last week we started a unit about the Aztec and Incas. This is a unit I’ve had ready for more than a year (books gathered, maps and sheets printed and ready for use). LD and DD insisted we dive in (in part because they knew we’d study the history of chocolate along with it!). We started out with a look at the Aztecs. We read this lovely story about the...

What Happened to Amelia Earhart in her Round-the-World Flight 75 Years Ago? 1

What Happened to Amelia Earhart in her Round-the-World Flight 75 Years Ago?

Since I’m on the topic of famous aviators, there is a fascinating conference being held in Washington DC this weekend to present and discuss research findings about the famous female aviator, Amelia Earhart.  She and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared in 1937 during her attempt to make a round-the-world flight. For seventy-five years no one knew what had happened to them. Some thought they crashed and sank.  At 7:42 on July...

Wright Brothers 1

Wright Brothers

In the late 1800s, a bishop and a professor were talking about the future. The bishop was of the opinion that everything about nature had already been discovered and all the useful inventions had been made.   The professor politely told the bishop that he was mistaken. In fact, the professor said, we’ll be able to fly through the air in a few years.  The bishop said that was nonsense....

Clues to the 400+ Year Mystery of Roanoke Island 3

Clues to the 400+ Year Mystery of Roanoke Island

Have you heard of the Lost Colony? It’s a mystery that has lasted more than 400 years.  We delved a bit into that mystery last week! Roanoke Island Festival Park was an amazing interactive history site.  The kids and I spent over six hours learning about the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.  Back in 1587 a second attempt was made by Sir Walter Raleigh to create a lasting settlement in...

Who are you Remembering for Memorial Day? 0

Who are you Remembering for Memorial Day?

Memorial Day was formerly known as Decoration Day and started after the Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union Soldiers. By the 20th century Memorial Day was extended to honor all Americans who have died in wars. Last week we spent the entire week with my family: my folks, my sister, brother-in-law and their three kids. We had some long conversations about the members of our family who have served...

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Oregon Trail Activities (Oregon Trail Worksheets)

As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve been reading a book about a girl who travels West on the Oregon Trail with a group of other families.  Since we’ve been reading for quite some time now, I thought we could jump right in and play the Oregon Trail File Folder Game I found at File Folder Fun. I asked them a couple of questions to prepare to play the game in another day...

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Oregon Trail Activities

We’ve been studying the American West this semester.  The kids and I have been thoroughly engrossed in a wonderful book called Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847 (Dear America Series) (Affiliate link). It’s the story of a girl making her way West along the Oregon Trail with her family.  At one point the pioneers have to struggle up and then back down a...

American West Unit: Geography and the Louisiana Purchase 0

American West Unit: Geography and the Louisiana Purchase

Our next topic was the Louisiana Purchase. Prior to 1803, the United States territory went only as far as the Mississippi River. Napoleon Bonaparte, the ruler of France, needed money for his wars in Europe and sold the Louisiana Territory to the U.S. for $15 million (3 cents an acre!).  This nearly doubled the size of the United States. We’ve been using a map that shows the Louisiana Purchase and...

American West Unit 0

American West Unit

As I mentioned last week, this semester we are studying the American West. We picked up where we left off last semester when we talked about Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. (To the left is Davy Crockett’s birthplace cabin in Tennessee which we visited last Thanksgiving.) We talked about the Ohio Valley settlement and how as settlers made their way west they used the rivers for transportation.  We learned a...

Being a Tourist: Microbe Exhibit, Davy Crockett’s Cabin, the Parthenon 6

Being a Tourist: Microbe Exhibit, Davy Crockett’s Cabin, the Parthenon

Last week I took the kids on a trip down to Nashville to spend time with my sister, brother-in-law and their three kids. They are homeschoolers as well. They are in 5th, 7th and 10th grades. A little bit more about them in my next post. We had a fantastic time with the family and also did a number of terrific outings.  Here are a few things we did: Microbe...

Frontiersmen Unit 2

Frontiersmen Unit

This past week the kids all came down with colds. As a consequence we did a lot of reading aloud and a bit less of the hands-on type stuff. We’ve been studying Appalachian music and decided to study some of the early frontiersmen in more depth. We spent a lot of time reading about Daniel Boone (one of the first to cross the Appalachian Mountains and one of the men...

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Books I’d Recommend for the Study of Jamestown Colony

**FREE COLONY RELATED CARDS: I just noticed at http://www.currclick.com/ that their current free product is on the American colonies.  There are lots of picture cards related to colonial life — pictures such as chamber pot, cotton, embroidery, flax, hearth, hornbook, indigo, tallow,  and more that would be great discussion points for the elementary crowd. One set of pages has a detailed description of the word, another group of pages includes...