Thursday, September 15, 2011

So History is Going Well

 Really Mom!? Can I just do my work?!!

 After a little coaxing, I was able to get a smile for the blog.

I wondered how in the world would I combine all three.  The solution came during a metro ride.  I am using the Well-Trained Mind (abbreviated  WTM) as guide, but with different source texts. WTM says the Logic Stage of history is about "synthesis" (fitting information into one overall framework) and "analysis" (understanding individual events). WTM recommends studying history by incorporating four elements: creating a timeline; outlining; using and evaluating primary sources; and, chronologically organizing this information into a notebook. (The organizer in me loves this!)

We are tracing history from the beginning of time.  Here's our schedule and plan:

  1. We read a chapter in Classical Africa and discuss the questions orally. (I'm really enjoying our discussions and the insight Kingman shares with me.  He's really matured!)
  2. Locate the country on the map
  3. Mark our timeline, write a summary sentence, and illustrate timeline entry if desired

  1. Read a chapter in Grace Abounding: The Core Knowledge Anthology of African-American Literature Music and Art
  2. Locate the country on the map
  3. Discuss and do the exercise lessons (all of the languages arts and comprehension lessons are available as a FREE download!)
  4. Mark the timeline and illustrate if desired

What I like most about Grace Abounding is that it delves a little deeper into history through the literature, music and art of the time period.  Here is a snippet from the student introduction of the book:

This is the beginning of an extraordinary journey, but one that far too few students have ever taken.  Every time you begin one of the literary selections in Grace Abounding--from the proverbs and folktales to the essays and poems--you will be dipping your bucket into a fresh well of knowledge and wisdom.  Drink it in.  Help yourself.  The pages of this book contain great works of literature and art that have already had a tremendous impact on your life, whether you realize it or not ... all the necessary tools and keys to understanding have been built into every page ... In literature, in art, and in music, history is reborn!
On the final day of history instruction for the week we actually use a source recommended in WTM.  I found the Usborne Internet-linked Encyclopedia of World History used at (yippee!).  We'll explore how all history connects by doing the following:

  1. Read a chapter or few pages in the Usborne book
  2. Make a list of the facts: great men/women; wars/conflicts/politics; inventions/technology; religion; daily life; cities and settlements; primary sources; and great art and books
  3. Locate on the map
  4. Mark timeline and illustrate if desired
  5. Complete an outline (sometimes the outlines will be completed on M/W depending on the content)
 Also, on Fridays we'll incorporate a resource that was recommended by a friend to give us a present day perspective on history we are studying. Here is a description of

is an outreach initiative produced by the LAB@Thirteen, Thirteen/WNET New York's Educational and Community Outreach department. The project is designed to support the teaching and learning of Global History in high school classrooms. Drawing upon the powerful film resources of Thirteen's award-winning series of international documentaries, WIDE ANGLE, the site comprises a range of standards-based resources intended as a compelling supplement to existing curricula. The site was built for New York State teachers of Global History and Geography, and for Advanced Placement World History teachers nationwide - but we also invite teachers of other relevant subjects and grade levels to make use of these materials in their classrooms.

Can you tell History is my favorite subject? Yep, I was a history minor in college.

I almost forgot, we participate in a family history class on Saturdays.  Blood is Thicker Than Water: African History and Politics for Youth.  For that class Kingman has to scour online resources for news reports about present-day Africa and come prepared to present in class.  I think that about covers it!

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