I managed to get way behind in my quest to “recap” each unit of our American History studies this year. My last recap was published on October 25th! We’ve finished two more units since that time and will finish yet another within a couple weeks. I’m still going to post these recaps though…if only for my own use later when we cycle back around to American History in four years.
We spent about six weeks on our study of the Revolutionary War. This was two weeks less than what I had originally planned, and since our previous units took less time than expected, this continued to put us ahead of schedule for our history studies for the year.
Our key text that gave us an overview of the Revolutionary War was “Liberty or Death” by the Maestros. I’ve mentioned this series of picture books in a variety of other posts. We loved these books and wish the author would write more to continue the story of American History beyond 1815 when the last book ends. I also read most of “If You Were There in 1776″ by Barbara Brenner aloud. It’s a very interesting book about daily life during that time period.
Longer Fiction Read-Alouds (links to blog posts about these books):
“Felicity” American Girl books (Felicity is one of Miss M’s favorite American Girl characters)
Hannah of Fairfield, and its sequels Hanna’s Helping Hands and Hannah’s Winter of Hope — these are short chapter books set in the Revolutionary time period
The Secret Soldier – a book we found at our neighborhood Little Free Library about a woman who pretends to be a man so she can fight in the Revolutionary War
We filled our history library basket (well, it’s really a crate!) absolutely full with about 30 picture book fiction and non-fiction titles. I read a few aloud to Miss M and the boys, but Miss M read many of them independently. There’s a somewhat complete list in my updated US History Year 1 spreadsheet. A problem with doing this recap close two months after the fact is that I can’t remember a lot of details about which picture books we really liked!
Miss M showed less interest as the school year went on in crafty projects related to history, so I haven’t pushed it. We’re also not doing much written work this year — just oral narrations or discussions of books we’re reading. And I’m really okay with that for 3rd grade history. Next time around Miss M will be in middle school — a perfect time for additional written projects!
We did start watching episodes of the TV show “Liberty’s Kids”. This animated series does a great job telling about major events of the Revolutionary War through the eyes of a few fictional characters. The entire series is available to watch on YouTube, or as the saying goes, “check your local listings” — one station available to us over-the-air (we don’t have cable) is showing two episodes per week and we have been recording them. We’ve continued to slowly watch the episodes well after we finished up with this time period in our history studies. There are 40 episodes, and we have sometimes gone weeks without even watching one…so we’re only up to about episode 20.