Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our Colonial America Unit Study

I'm no good at writing "how to's" because I do not feel I have any expertise or authority. I'm just a regular mom, who fell into this homeschooling thing. So, this is just a look at the Colonial America Unit Study, that I pieced together, to suit our needs. Feel free to use any bit you like.

Books: Aside from their textbooks, each reading aged child read a book, which I selected. My 4th grader read "You Wouldn't Want to Be an American Colonist," by Jacqueline Morley. My 9th grader read "Colonial America: A History To 1763," by Richard Middleton and Anne Lombard.

Documentaries: We watched two very good documentaries, both of which I highly recommend!
National Geographic's "Nightmare in Jamestown"
The History Channel's "Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower"

Timeline: I couldn't find a timeline that suited our needs, so I drew one on the white board, and had them copy it. We spent an afternoon discussing each event, in detail. I wouldn't allow them to copy ahead. I wanted them to know what they were writing, before they wrote it. 

Map: I printed basic, blank maps of the 13 colonies, and had each of them label one.

Crafts: After studying the day-to-day life of colonial people, I had each of the older two construct a colonial toy, on their own. My 14 year old built a "ring the hobs" (ring toss) game, in his wood shop. He used some pool toys as the rings. My 9 year old created a "cup and ball" or, in this case, a cup and cork, lol. Both toys work very well. My preschooler colored some colonial printouts, that I printed from USA Printables

Field Trips: We ended our unit study, with field trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne, and Yorktown Battlefield. If you're ever able to go, I recommend allotting 2 full days for Colonial Williamsburg, because there is so much to see and do, all of it worth the trip. Historic Jamestowne can be covered in about 3-5 hours, and do not skip Yorktown Battlefield. Many amazing things to see there as well, including a military encampment, that gives a cannon demonstration. I'd say plan a good 2-3 hours for Yorktown. 

A few fun extras (not pictured): We made our own butter, which is easy enough. Just put heavy cream in a mason jar, and shake shake shake! We also made a great colonial style shepherd's pie, from a recipe I got from the Colonial Williamsburg website. Here's the link to that recipe: Colonial Williamsburg's Shepherd's Pie
Additionally, we had a "colonial day", during which we didn't use electricity. That was a challenge! 

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