In our quest to learn Early American History this year, we began by studying early American explorers. I used a book from Evan-Moor titled Who Discovered America? as the spine for information, notebooking pages and activity ideas. It seems as if this book might no longer be in print, however. When searching Evan-Moor’s site, I found History Pockets: Explorers of North America which looks to be similar - and possibly even better.
Because my main goal was to help the kiddos understand that the famous Christopher Columbus wasn’t the first or only person to “discover” America, we didn’t spend too much time delving into particular explorers. A brief history of how natives were already in the Americas, a look into the Vikings, and short spurts of Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci, Balboa and Magellan were all we covered.
Two of our favorite books from the unit were:
Encounter (this book gives an unusual view of Columbus from the native’s view point)
Even though Mahayla is a voracious reader, I didn’t do a very good job of finding good literature that went along with our units last year. She would find plenty of unrelated books to keep her busy, but I wanted to be sure to assign her at least one book to go along with each history unit this year. Her assigned book for this unit was Morning Girl. Besides simply reading her assigned book, she will be responsible for at least one project or writing assignment to show her understanding. This book’s assignment was to draw a picture from something she read in the book, and then put herself in the shoes of one of the main characters as she wrote about what was going on in the picture.
Now we’re on to a study of Native Americans. I’ll be sure to post notes from that unit when it’s finished!
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