History Detective

Try out this history detective approach for your next history lesson.  Let your kids sleuth out the truth about a historical event. I’m a big believer in keeping a historical framework and teaching the history of the world in the order it happened, but that doesn’t mean my kids have zero choices when it comes to learning.  Each unit we do has all kinds of events that happened during that time period.  I almost always sit down with my kiddos as we start a unit and we glance through it together.  They choose some explorations and books they are interested in and we begin to form a unit.  As my kids get older (I’ve got a middle schooler and a high schooler now), I want them to do more of their own research and independent learning instead of relying so much on our read alouds and discussions.  Don’t get me … click to read more

Design A Postage Stamp

Your kids can design a postage stamp of their very own.  How cool would it be to be a stamp designer? This printable can be used for lots and lots of things.  Here are a few ideas: Design a stamp about a famous person or event you are studying from history. Make a stamp similar to a coat of arms, that represents significant things about a historical person. After learning about a country, design a postage stamp that would highlight something or someone important from the country. Make your postage stamp feature an important invention or inventor. Create a stamp based on your favorite book, author, or character. Make a stamp all about you.  Draw yourself in the center surrounded by things that represent who you are. Design a postage stamp about an important scientist and their contribution. Make your postage stamp feature your favorite subject, or even the job … click to read more

Civil Rights Bus Craft

This is a printable paper craft kids can do to help them learn about the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. Inside the windows of the bus and in the door are some of the most important  leaders of the Civil Rights movement including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, and Ella Baker. We chose a bus because one of the major tools to gain publicity for the Black Rights cause and force change were the bus boycotts in Montgomery and other cities.  Also, many date the beginning of the Civil Rights movement to the day when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus and was arrested for it.  This is not the day that people began working for equality and civil rights, but it was perhaps the day that the movement entered the public eye. Before doing the … click to read more

Memorize the Presidents Printable Cards

Here are some “Memorize the Presidents Printable Cards”, with names and pictures of the Presidents of the United States in order.  Click here, Presidents of the US Memory Cards, or on the image to open the pdf to print. Print the cards onto heavy paper or card stock then cut them apart.  If you want them to last, laminate them. First practice getting the presidents in order from memory using the cards.  Then work on memorizing the presidents without the cards.  Take away a few cards at a time and say the presidents in order over and over.  In a week you and your kids can have them memorized. Presidential Fact Cards This second set of Presidents of the US Fact cards has one fact about each president.  Kids can match the fact with the correct president.  Work on getting these memorized as well.  We chose something (or two) significant about each … click to read more

Book of Years

We keep a Book of Years and add to it at the end of each history unit.  I love teaching history in the right order, and making a Book of Years has helped us to see the overall context of the world and make connections even more. I made our Book of Years using an oversized 11″ x 14″sketchbook.  We used rubber cement to adhere blue card stock to the cover, and then I printed out some cover art I designed to adhere to the card stock.  Here is our printable  Book of Years Cover if you’d like to use it. Next I used a ruler and measured 3 inches down from the top of each page and drew a light line, then cut along it, leaving it attached at the binding. This allows us to record our timeline along the top pages and our entries in the larger bottom section. … click to read more

Veterans Day Learning

Use these activity ideas for Veterans Day or to celebrate our soldiers any time. Veterans Day was first known as Armistice Day and celebrated the day the treaty was signed ending WWI, November 11, 1918.  In 1954 the congress declared the day be renamed Veterans Day and that it would be celebrated to honor all those who had served in time of war in the United States Armed Forces. Veterans Day Learning Here are some meaningful Veterans Day learning activities to do with kids: Timeline of the US Military Make a timeline showing the major wars, conflicts, and engagements of the United States military since the Revolutionary War.  You can get the printable American Wars timeline by clicking on the text link or on the picture below. There were many more wars and engagements than are shown on this timeline.  You can find all of the US wars here. Fact Hunt Have kids do an online scavenger hunt to … click to read more

The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party was dramatic. Everybody knows the basics. A bunch of citizens of Boston, fed up with the tax on tea, went into Boston Harbor, climbed aboard three vessels and tossed all the tea overboard. Those are the basics, but there’s so much more. The problems between America and England began fifteen years earlier, in 1760, when King George III became king of England. The problems didn’t start because he became king of England it just, happily for him, was a time of upheaval and crisis. The French and Indian War was nearing its end. The Seven Years War was over. (The French and Indian War and the Seven Years War were the same war, just one was fought in America and one was fought in Europe.) And the English needed money. Simultaneously they realized that the American colonies were becoming quite populated and quite wealthy. The obvious … click to read more

Women’s Suffrage

Here’s a great video to get kids interested in the subject of voting rights in the United States: Women’s Suffrage in the United States In the United States voting laws are made by each individual state and not by the federal government.  So while most women in America before 1920 could not vote some could, especially in many of the western states such as  Wyoming and Utah. In the 1840s there began to be a national movement for women’s suffrage.  Suffrage is another word for voting rights.  In 1848 a conference was held in Seneca Falls, New York to talk about women’s rights.  At the conference a resolution was passed to favor and campaign for women’s suffrage.  Many people at the convention thought this idea was too radical, but Frederick Douglass, who attended and spoke at the convention, argued forcibly for including voting rights for women as a focus. Women began … click to read more

Federalist Paper Number Seventy-Eight

This is a guide for teachers or parents to use with teens when learning about the Federalist Papers. This is part of a series on the Federalist Papers.

This post is part of a series to help students of all ages understand the Federalist Papers and apply them to today’s political arguments. The introduction to this series, which contains links to all of the Federalist Papers posts, can be found here. Summary of Federalist Paper Seventy-Eight Federalist Paper Number Seventy-Eight explains the role and powers of the judiciary branch. Publius explains why judges are to sit for life on the bench and why their role in reviewing laws and striking down unconstitutional laws is such an important safeguard for the people. Read Federalist Paper Seventy-Eight Read the Seventy-Eighth Federalist Paper, highlighting passages that stand out to you and writing notes in the margins. The notes you write in the margins can do one of these things Restate the argument Publius makes (Publius is the pen name of the authors) State a question you have about the argument Give … click to read more

Federalist Paper Number Sixty-Nine

This is a guide for parents or teachers and teens to use in studying Federalist Paper 69. This is part of a series on the Federalist Papers.

This post is part of a series to help students of all ages understand the Federalist Papers and apply them to today’s political arguments. The introduction to this series, which contains links to all of the Federalist Papers posts, can be found here. Summary of Federalist Paper Number Sixty-Nine Federalist Paper Number Sixty-Nine compares the powers of the president to the powers of the king of Great Britain as an answer to charges that the Constitution made the president into a king. Publius goes item by item comparing the powers of each office. Read Federalist Paper Number Sixty-Nine Read the sixty-ninth Federalist Paper, highlighting passages that stand out to you and writing notes in the margins. The notes you write in the margins can do one of these things Restate the argument Publius makes (Publius is the pen name of the authors) State a question you have about the argument … click to read more