Tag Archives: U.S. history

Resources to use with your “American History in a Box”

Short Movies about History

U.S. History: Crash Course https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s These short videos that take you through the major time periods in American History. This is a great way to start any history lesson. Let your child watch the video for background, then read the book in your box on that topic. Finally, complete the activity for that time period in your activity book.

Watch Know Learn http://www.watchknowlearn.org/Category.aspx?CategoryID=116 You will find a variety of short videos about every topic in American history. After reading about a concept, explore this site for more information!

Video Series

This is America, Charlie Brown http://www.amazon.com/This-America-Charlie-Brown-Complete/dp/B00I462XSY/ref=sr_1_6?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1460333366&sr=1-6&keywords=american+history+video&refinements=p_n_theme_browse-bin%3A2650365011 This series covers most major events in our history and is great fun to watch!

 Liberty’s Kids http://www.amazon.com/Libertys-Kids-Complete-Walter-Cronkite/dp/B00CMDPTTA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460302092&sr=8-1&keywords=libertys+kids This video does a great job of teaching children about Colonial America. Then, visit www.libertyskids.com for games and activities to reinforce that learning!

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? http://www.amazon.com/Where-World-Carmen-Sandiego-Classic/dp/B00002SANG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460302171&sr=8-1&keywords=where+in+the+world+is+carmen+sandiego This fun video series helps children learn about geography and major sights around the world. Use the atlas in your history box to pinpoint where she is!

Primary Documents https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/PrimDocsHome.html  The Library of Congress shares many important documents in our history. Explore their website and check out their book lists for adults and children!

American History Music                                                                                                                  Songs for Teaching http://www.songsforteaching.com/store/learning-american-history-by-song-pr-58495.html You will find many wonderful songs from all time periods in history with this website. After learning about a time period, check out some of the songs that were being sung, played, or composed!

Schoolhouse Rock http://www.amazon.com/Schoolhouse-Rock-Special-Anniversary-Edition/dp/B00005JKTY/ref=pd_bxgy_74_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1Z7RXYHW95K1HAAVSV9W Many parents will remember these catchy songs including “This is a Bill,” and “Mother Necessity!”

American History Crafts                                                                                                                         A Book in Time: http://www.abookintime.com/crafts/projectsmainamerica.html Search for crafts by time period. After completing your activity for the time period you are studying, see if you can find a fun craft to do with your family!

American History Through Music

Like most human beings, my kids love to listen to music. I enjoy watching them zone out and sing, sway, and feel music with every ounce of their being. They love to learn songs, to sing, and to dance. They see music as a treat, a joy, and an integral part of life. Many teachers use this love of music to inspire kids, and history teachers are no exception. If you are talking about American History at home, do it with a few songs that kids are sure to love. These are a few of our suggestions although you can find many more fine options with a quick Internet search. Search for these songs on YouTube. Please preview the songs before sharing them with your children. Some, especially the songs about war, are only appropriate for older kids.

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General Learning

The 50 States and Capitals Song, Tim Pacific

The 43 Presidents Song, Tim Pacific

America the Beautiful

Proud to be an American

The Star Spangled Banner

The Declaration of Independence, Learning by Song

In the Constitution, Learning by Song

Government, Jim Thompson

Exploration and Discovery

Age of Exploration, Learning by Song

Christopher Columbus, Kathleen Wiley

Colonialism

The First Thanksgiving, Learning by Song

When I First Came to This Land

Native Americans

Sacajawea, Kathleen Wiley

Squanto, Kathleen Wiley

Slavery

Free at Last, Linda Brown and Dr. Thomas Moore

Freedom Riders Got to Ride, Vitamin L

Civil War

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Band

Westward Expansion

Echo Canyon (Building the Railroads)

World War I

Over There, Billy Murray

When This Lousy War is Over

The Roaring Twenties
Louis Armstrong

Duke Ellington

Ella Fitzgerald

Civil Rights

Rise Up, Martin Luther King Day, Jack Hartmann

Rosa Parks, Andy Glockenspiel

World War II

Sing, Sing, Sing, Benny Goodman

The White Cliffs of Dover

Cold War

Masters of War, Bob Dylan

Nothing to Fear (But Fear Itself), Oingo Boingo

Should I order an American-History-in-a-Box set?

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 8.19.28 AMIs an American-History-in-a-Box set for me?

If you have children in grades K – 8 who do not currently learn American History in school, then this box is for you! Currently, in the U.S., children learn American History at every grade level and take high-stakes tests in the subject starting in Grade 3. Testing is cumulative, so if you plan to return to the U.S. it is a good idea to make sure your child is familiar with the major concepts required by your state. For more information, go to your state education site for a list of standards and the testing schedule.

Do I qualify for reimbursement?

If you are a State Department family currently living at post, you may qualify for reimbursement. International corporations also usually reimburse for these classes. Children abroad can receive additional funding for classes or materials that are usually provided in the U.S. as part of the regular curriculum but are not included at your current school. If you do not have grammar, computer, or U.S. History classes, for example, you can be reimbursed for materials or classes that cover that need.

The FMO at post decides if there is funding and if you qualify. Most people do qualify if they have supplemental funding available ($4,100 per child per year) however, if you have used it all up then you have to wait until next year. For more information, contact your FMO or the Office of Allowances at AllowancesO@state.gov. You can also read information about supplemental allowances here: http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21944.htm.

When can I order a box?

You can order a box at any time. But, if you hope to be reimbursed, you need to order before the end of the school year. Contact us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com for the Reimbursement Approval Form. You can give that to your FMO to figure out if you qualify for supplemental funds.

Order your box here: https://afterschoolplans.com/american-history-in-a-box-for-expats/

Is there a way to assess if my children learn the material in the box?

Absolutely! After your child finishes the workbook, we will send an assessment to be completed. After you send it back to us, we will give you a mastery-learning sheet that suggests additional materials and resources for deeper learning.

How did you choose the books and games for the box?

We chose books that are fun, interesting, and compelling for each age group. Some books are more challenging and might require parental assistance. Some are very easy for the age group but include information that make them valuable or are so beautifully written or illustrated that we couldn’t resist them. We tried to make sure that the books were accessible for a variety of learners and a variety of interests. We also worked to make sure they specifically address American History standards and review the major concepts. Our main goal is to make sure kids read, learn, and enjoy the books.

What are the grade levels for each box?

We have grouped the grade levels so we have kits for Kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade, fourth and fifth grade, and a box specifically for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. If you child is a sports fanatic, we have a box that looks at American History from the point of view of sports. Each book covers a sporting event or sportsman through the lens of history.

What will they learn with American-History-in-a-Box?

In our boxes, children will learn the major concepts, read about some of the important people in our history, and review some of the most significant events. The boxes provide an overview and a scaffold for future learning.

Is the box the same as a U.S. History course in the U.S.?

No, the box does not cover all of the material that a child would learn during a full year in a U.S. history course. The box provides an overview and an introduction to the major events, people, and concepts.

How do I order a Box?

Simply go to www.afterschoolplans.com and click on the “American History in a Box.” If you would like to order more than one box at a time, email us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com and we will send you an invoice.

Do you have any other resources for Expat Kids?

Of course we do! We have an American History Coloring Book that is great for all ages. It covers the major concepts, people, and events in American History.

We also haveKids on the Move, A Relocation Workbook” for kids in transition. Your child will love the activities, coloring pages, and places for saving pictures and memories. The first section helps your child collect memories of your current home, the second section helps with processing the move, and the third section helps your child get excited about their new home.

Finally, if you are new to embassy life or just want to review all those acronyms, our Embassy Kids Coloring Book has over 40 pages that explain who works at an embassy, what you might find there, and what those offices actually do all day!

Questions? Email us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com.

Travel and History, Part II

IMG_2955It is spring break and your family is exploring Boston, Massachusetts, and learning all about the American Revolution, a few of our founding fathers, and to top it all off you visit Plimouth Plantation and go to view the big rock in Plymouth Harbor. How can you make sure your kids internalize what they learn, have fun processing the information, and have something they can share with friends and family at home? Here is a list of our favorite ideas!

  1. Keep a photo journal. Give your child a camera and ask them to take pictures about the historical sites they visit. Print out all the pictures at the end of your trip and make a photo album. Work with your child to label the pictures and add relevant dates and time periods. Alternatively, create the photo album on Shutterfly.com or Snapfish.com. Use online sources to find out more information about each historical site and add it to your comments.
  2. Keep a daily journal as if you are living in a different time period. We always love to have our children write a daily journal during vacations. Of course, it doesn’t always happen, but we do have good intentions. A fun twist is to have your child write their journal entry from the point of view of the time period they are learning about. So, if you visit Plimouth Plantation, have your child write about what they learned as if they actually lived there during that time period!
  3. Complete a timeline with the people you learn about, the places you visit, and the pictures you take. After your trip, select a series of pictures taken from historical sites. Figure out when that site was important and label it with the date. Then, create a timeline using butcher paper, a string and index cards, or a paper taped into a timeline. First, add basic dates from American History to the timeline. It might be fun to also add important dates from your family history if you know them! Then, post pictures and information about each picture from your vacation on the timeline.
  4. Start a collage scrapbook using brochures, postcards, and fliers from your visits. To make a collage scrapbook, simply keep every piece of paper you can find from your visits to historical sites! Then, create either one large collage or a series of collages by cutting out pictures, comments, and dates.
  5. Write a history web page or Facebook page and share it with friends and family. Include information that you have learned, pictures from your visits, key information to know, and then write quizzes or tests for each post you write! Perhaps you can offer simple prizes for anyone who gets 100% on your quizzes?

How do you record your child’s learning during vacations?

High School American History Contest

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 3.19.39 PMWin $2,000 for writing about American History!

We usually write about issues in elementary education, but we couldn’t resist sharing this great contest for high school students. Write an essay about American History for a chance to win $2,000. Even if you don’t win, it will be great practice for learning American History, writing essays, and preparing for exams! In addition, we suggest you check out their website if you need tutoring help at home. They also have a fantastic app for practicing for the AP American History exam. If you are in high school, or a parent interested in brushing up on American History, this is a great website to check out!

www.eagleeyetutoring.com

Major Events in American History for the Family History Project

100_2916We created a list of major dates in American history to add to our family timeline. (For directions, click here) After creating our timeline with a long piece of butcher paper on the wall, we will include major time periods, family births, and notable family events. We definitely want to include events from American History and we will start with this list. We are going to print out the list, cut them out, and paste them in the correct spot on the timeline. Next, we’ll add pictures from our family and from history. Finally, we’ll spend the next few months collecting notable dates and events to add to our timeline. If you can join us in this project, please send pictures!

Picture: the foundation lines of the house where George Washington was born.

Major Events in American History
1492 – Columbus discovers America
1619 – Slaves are brought to America
1620 Pilgrims establish Plymouth Colony
1754 French and Indian War begins
1764 First of the British Stamp Acts
1774 First Continental Congress
1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord
1777 Articles of Confederation
1787 Ratification of the Constitution
1803 Louisiana Purchase
1812 War of 1812
1820 Missouri Compromise
1848 Gold is discovered
1852 Dred Scott
1861 – 1865 Civil War
1862 Battle of Yorktown
1863 Emancipation Proclomation
13th Amendment 1865
1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson
1868 Fourteenth Amendment
1917 U.S. Enters World War I
1929 Black Thursday, Depression begins
1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright complete first flight
1941 Pearl Harbor, U.S. enters WWII
1945 WWII Ends, Hiroshima and Nagasaki
1950 U.S. Troops fight in Korea.
1954 Brown vs. Board of Education
1963 President John F. Kennedy is assassinated
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated
1974 Richard Nixon resigns after Watergate
1991 The U.S. launches war in Iraq

Best American History Books for Adults

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The American History Books for Adults

We love history and we love reading. So, we think there isn’t anything better than a good book that about American History. Luckily, there are so many amazing books that are impossible to put down. Recently, we scoured our brain for all of our favorite books about our history and tried to put them in chronological order. We left a few out as we tried to come up with a succinct list that would give a good overview of our history using riveting, educational, and fascinating books. We only chose books that we have read and loved. This is our final list (so far). Can you think of any we left out (or disagree with any of our selections)? Please let us know in the comments section!

Pre-1700’s

1492: The Year the World Began, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

This book details the sweeping changes that occurred in the late 1400’s.

1700’s

1776, David McCullough

McCullough tells the story of our nation’s birth through the people, places, and ideas that helped form our country.

The Trees, Conrad Richter

The three books in this trilogy explore life as a settler in the Ohio Valley. The characters struggle to survive and thrive in often heartbreaking circumstances.

1800 – 1825

John Adams, David McCullough

This book looks at the time period and the men that shaped our country.

The Hemingses of Monticello, Annette Gordon-Reed

Gordon-Reed tells the story of Jefferson and the Hemingses from the point of view of the time period.

1826 – 1850

Killer Angels, Michael Shaara

This classic history of the Civil War is one of the best at vividly depicting the horror of this war and it’s impact on America.

Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin

A riveting look at Lincoln’s cabinet and his rise and term as president.

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Dramatic, sweeping, and engaging, this classic novel looks at life in the South during the Civil War.

1851 – 1875

The Known World, Edward P. Jones

Slavery and it’s complex variations are explored in this heartbreaking novel.

Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier

This Civil War story is about a lonely and dangerous journey home for a Confederate soldier.

The Big Oyster, History on the Half Shell, Mark Kurlansky

Oysters and New York City were once deeply entwined. This book traces the rise and fall of that relationship while sharing great historical information.

1876 – 1900

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry

A sweeping Western about people, places, and our Western history.

Devil in the White City, Erik Larson

The true story of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago is intertwined with the story of a terrifying serial killer.

The Alienist, Caleb Carr

The search for a seriel killer allows for a close look at the Gilded Age in New York City.

1901 – 1925

Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson

Tales of life in small town America.

The Color Purple, Toni Morrison

This haunting story doesn’t reference particular events in history but gives a social context for people caught in a relentlessly unfair system.

1926 – 1950

The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown

A look at rowing, the Great Depression, and Hitler’s rise to power and the impact of the German Olympics in this gripping book set in the thirties.

Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand

This is a story of an unlikely champion and the time period in which he lived. Learn about the thirties and forties and life during the Great Depression.

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand

In 1943 Louis Zamperini’s flight went down during World War II. The story follows his incredible fight for survival when stranded at sea and then in a POW camp.

1951 – 1975

The Help, Kathryn Stockett

Two sides of living in the South in the sixties are explored through the eyes of a variety of women.

Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson

Themes of racism, World War II and internment are explored as readers follow a gripping trial in Washington. 

1976 – present

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, Robert Olen Butler

Stories of the aftermath of the Vietnam War.