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

The Legend of Horatius at the Bridge

This activity has kids making printable Roman helmets, completing a coloring sheet, and memorizing a stanza of Horatius at the Bridge by Thomas Babbington.  We’ll start with the story. The Legend of Horatius at the Bridge In 509 BC the army of King Clusium marched on the city of Rome.  The Romans were outclassed and outnumbered and they knew it.  But they went forth from the city gates across the bridge and over the river Tiber to do battle nonetheless.  They fought bravely for hours, but then two leaders of the army were wounded grievously and carried from the field of battle.  When the soldiers saw this their hearts quailed and they broke ranks and fled back toward the bridge which would bring them to the safety of the city walls. The ranks of King Clusium followed in pursuit.  The mob at the bridge had slowed to  a trickle and … click to read more

Ancient Rome and the Legend of the Capitoline Geese

This legend, which is at least true in the basic details, took place in 387 BC after Rome became a Republic but before it became an Empire.  We’ll tell the legend of the Capitoline Geese, which you can tell to the kids.  Then we’ll print the story, with four panels which the kids have to put in the proper order.  The kids can then can color and make the legend into a book. The Legend of the Capitoline Geese There is a legend that in the year 387 BC the Gauls crossed the Alps and entered the Italian Peninsula.  They came searching for new land for their people and of course the wealth of the fertile north of Italy.  By that year the Roman Republic was well established and the Romans had conquered or made treaties with enough of their neighbors that they were growing powerful. The Gauls heard about … click to read more

Northeast Woodland Tribes Research Project

The Northeast Woodland tribes lived in wigwams or longhouses, hunted and fished, and grew crops like maize, beans, and melons. Some of the tribes were very warlike and others were more peace loving.  The region of the Northeast Woodland Indians extended from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and from Southern Canada to northern Virginia. Within the Northeast Indian Tribe region were hundreds of distinct tribes who spoke different languages, had different customs, wore different styles of clothing, and lived different lifestyles.  There really is no way to study “Indians” as a whole group or even a region as a whole.  Instead, choose a single tribe or confederation and study that one tribe in detail. Research Exploration We recommend reading short descriptions of several tribes and then picking one to do further research on.   Once you have chosen your tribe head to the library and find information on … click to read more

Government Trivia

There are three major types of government and two major types of economies in the world.  You can learn more details about them with our Government Match Game.  This trivia game will help you apply the knowledge to features of modern governments and economies.  The game can either be played as a learning tool where kids do not know the information prior, but learn it through the course of the game or it can be used as a review for information they have already been taught. If you want to use it as a review kids should know these things definitions of these words: economy, government, efficient, minority, majority definitions of the major types of governments definitions of the major types of economies concept of supply and demand concept of rights and where they come from Government Trivia includes questions about the meanings and definitions of government and economic types, … click to read more

Conquistador Map

Print this Conquistador Map for your kids to color when you are studying colonial history. The map shows the Aztec and Inca empires as they were at the time of conquest.  These lands both became part of the Spanish Empire.  The map also shows the Treaty of Tordesillas line.  This was a boundary line agreed upon by the Spanish and Portuguese and mediated by the Pope in 1494.  Everything to the west of the line would belong to Spain and everything to the east of the line would belong to Portugal.  The line extended all the way around the globe, to the eastern hemisphere as well as the western. A Little History The Conquistadors were Spanish mercenary soldiers who sailed the world in search of treasure.  They operated in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.  They are most famous for their conquest of the Aztec and Inca empires.  Their main goals were to … click to read more