History - Hands On Ideas {Part 1}

Monday, April 24, 2017

In our house, we LOVE history. Especially, American history. Little Man learns best by using hands on activities. So, I like to use curriculum and books that incorporate as much hands on learning as possible. When Little Man was younger I used Evan Moor History Pockets. These are great! He couldn't wait to do history each day.

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Each History Pocket book includes:
  • Directions on how to assemble the pocket books
  • Overview page which tells you what will be included in each pocket
  • Pocket label for each pocket
  • Teacher fact sheet with background information for each pocket
  • Student booklet for each pocket
  • Instruction sheet for each activity
  • Depending on the History Pocket book there could be different writing and recording activities
I copied the items out of each book that we used.

We did the History Pockets: Life in Plymouth Colony, Grades 1-3in 1st grade and the History Pockets: Native Americans, Grades 1-3in 2nd grade. After that I incorporated bits and pieces of different History Pocket books into what we were learning for history at the time.

Here are the History Pocket books we did on Plymouth Colony and Native Americans. There are step-by-step instructions in each History Pocket book that tells you how to put together the pocket book in which your student will keep their work. For the Plymouth Colony book I stapled the pocket pages together. But, for the Native American book I used my comb binding machine to put the pages together.

These are some of the pages inside the Plymouth Colony pocket book. Each page gets a pocket label which has the subject of that pocket along with a photo. Inside each pocket I put the student booklet which has the information we would read together. We also put all the completed activities for that subject in that pocket. We usually did one or two pockets a week. And, I incorporated lots of living books on the subject.

In our Native American History Pocket book there were also comparison sheets to record information about each tribe. These were great as they allowed Little Man to compare the different tribes to see how they were the same or different. There was also a map which he added the locations of each tribe.

Another book that really added excitement to our history time was on Interactive 3D Maps for American History. This book states it is for grades 4-8. But, Little Man really wanted to do some maps out of the book before the stated age range. He did pretty good for his age (first and second grade). He colored and cut out the items. But, I had to assemble the maps.

I also like the book Easy Make and Learn Projects for Colonial America by Scholastic. We did a 3D model of Jamestown and a few others from this book.

He had a great time with all the activities from both of these books and spent a long time working on them.


To give you an idea of what a completed interactive 3D map would look like, here are a couple Little Man completed. You create a little slit in which the piece can move. Plus, there are picture markers with bits of information on them.

These are just a few of the books I have utilized to add hands-on activities for Little Man when learning about history. I also supplemented with LOTS of good living history books. It has made for some wonderful history lessons.

Check back for History-Hands On Ideas Part 2 where I will talk about some more great activities we use to make our history lessons lively and fascinating.

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