Sunday, November 1, 2009

New World Explorers~

We are starting our American History this past week and I wanted to share some resources and ideas we are doing.
We are building a timeline starting at the time of Columbus (1400's) and moving forward from there. I am going to be using a large Project Board that you can find at Staples and will be glueing long colored strips out of card stock to the project board and adding the explorers and events as we read about them.
For our notebooks prior to adding to the large time line board I found some resources to use for timelines in their notebooks: (we are going to be using graphic organizers for our timelines).
Some graphic organizers I found helpful in trying to consolidate and process all the information. - I used the Time Order chart and - the History Frame - the Tree Map and the Chart and the Timeline were very helpful. the two BEST I found for us were the Timeline and Timeline2 these were going to be perfect for what we needed. (see page 5) - another timeline I found from ABC Teach.
We also started creating some collages/posters for our Explorers Notebook. These are usually just simple illustrations we either cutout, draw or copy onto our cardstock and then write about. This is replaces the "traditional" lapbooking style a bit and we also add some lapbook folds to the posters for a 2D effect.
I created a lapbook fold page for Columbus' ships here, along with a cutout of Columbus and Da Gama for them to do a quick write up and glue to their pages.
For our maps and coloring pages I found the following resources to use:
Maps for learning Geography:

World Coloring page of Continents to track the journey of the explorers: - I liked coloring and laying out the entire world and continents for him so we can go back and map out the actual voyages everyone had taken.
I found color pages of that states and needed one specifically for Florida since Ponce de Leon was the first to visit Florida ~ here is the main site for maps of the states.
I plan to print out the states as each is explored and write the founder and facts within the state outline to add to their notebooks~ ( a great "visual" reminder of the state and also helps to remember "who" was the person who first, was the founder). :)
Here is a Notebooking page I made about DeSoto and his men. (scroll down to History Pages)

Explorer Coloring Pages: - these are great to use for cutting and pasting to your notebook pages for writing~
One other fun idea I had was to read aloud Pedros Journal - a story about a boy who was aboard Christopher Columbus' ship the Santa Maria, it is a daily log of his account of what had happened on the journey. While using this my older child will read over Christopher Columbus' Log found here.
One other page I created to add to our notebooking/lapbooking style is for Cabot, Balboa, Vespucci and listing the seven continents, you can find it here also.
While reading these the boys are going to make their own journals. I cut up some brown paper bags I had saved and cut them in 5x5 size squares and we burnt the edges so the looked old and withered. They also smelled musty and old like they just came off of an old ship~ the boys are going to write down some reflections of the reading we do from the logs and date them and add it to their New World Notebooks.
Here are some other resources I found and will be planning on using also:
Resources for lapbook ideas:

I have found that sometimes “premade” lapbooks are kind of frustrating for us~ we really enjoy creating our own lapbooks and lapbook folds so I use many different templates and add we add the information we are learning to those. Here is where I get many of my templates:

Lapbook template for Vocabulary Words- (this is one I used for vocabulary words for the chapter). - paths of exploration - this gave me the idea of creating a poster and also using a graphic organizer for keeping track of all the people and facts that went on at this time period.

Additional Resources for working on an Explorers Unit~ - activity - breaks down each explorer in depth (European Explorers)
Our texts we are using for our American History is a combination of Homeschooling in the Woods CD for hands on history and Abeka History grade 4, 5 and 6. Also America's Story by Harcourt and the DK Childrens History Encyclopedia and America's Story Book One by Steck Vaughn.
As you can see I pull many resources because it makes it so much more in depth and interesting.
An "afterthought"~ We are working with the Language Arts Program that is inpired by a Ruth Beechick approach and as I was looking through one of the book studies for the 6th grade I decided I will use this once we finish Pedro's journal as another read aloud. The book is called "Carry On Mr. Bowditch" by Jean Lee Latham - an excerpt from the back of the book-
"In her Newbery Medal-winning book, Jean Lee Latham chronicles Nathaniel Bowditch's journey, from his modest beginnings, to his first sea voyage, to his rigorous self-education, to the triumphs of his fine-tuned mastery of navigation and eventual publication of his famous work, " The American Practical Navigator"- also knows as "Sailor's Bible". Nat's amazing discoveries and accomplishments are brought to life for generation of reader in this engrossing maritime biography. "
Nathaniel Bowditch was a mathematician and astronomer in his time~
The book study includes learning about navigation, mapping, geography and also parts of a ship. The story takes place in the 1700's and will correlate nicely to the time period we are learning about.
If your looking for books to use for your math, history or science one book I would recommend and that I refer to often is Maureen Whittmans book "For the Love Of Literature" it really helps bring concepts for learning and living literature together for me and I found it a great help. ( I have Maureen's book in my slide show of books here for you to check out and purchase if you would like )
I believe a trip to Boston may also be a great field trip idea since we live here in New England :)
Happy History Exploring! ~

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