We Love Evan-Moor Pockets

Last year we started using History Pockets by Evan-Moor as a way to add more interactive layers to our studies. We use Story of the World as a beginning history curriculum and we found History Pockets: Ancient Civilizations for grades 1-3 touched on all of the main areas of Story of the World. While Story of the World contains map work and activities to do in the activity book, we wanted to take our learning a step further and this was the perfect addition. As we went through the different ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China, the kids made Words to Know vocabulary booklets, postcards from ancient civilizations, puppets, and more.

My learners don’t like assignments that are heavy on writingimagehandler-1 so this was a great way to learn while using their hands to cut, glue, color, and write small amounts about what they were learning. Best of all, they looked forward to the assignments.

This year, I added more pockets to our studies. My third grader took on a new history and geography curriculum and as a complement to his studies we added History Pockets: Native Americans and History Pockets: Life in Plymouth Colony. We are emphasizing Life In Plymouth Colony now and will be finished by mid-December.

The Native American Pockets we are staggering as we cover different regions of the United States. Our history and geography curriculum is broken up into regions – New England states, Southern states, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, etc. The Native American pockets cover tribes by region so as we learn a new region, we add the tribe for that area.

Evan-Moor pockets don’t just focus on history, though. They also have theme pockets and literature pockets. Theme pockets are fun because each book covers a selection of topics. For example, the December Theme Pocket resource book covers December Celebrations, things to do during winter break, and animals that are associated with winter and the arctic.

imagehandlerWe used the Literature Pockets: Folktales & Fairy Tales last year as part of our preschool/kinder curriculum and my daughter loved it. This year, even though she isn’t doing the history and geography curriculum that my third grader is using, she makes the Plymouth Colony and Native American Pockets with us. They are easily adaptable for all ages, easy to make and require only a few supplies.While my kids are working on coloring, cutting or assembling their pockets, I generally find material to read to them about the topic they are working on.

If you’re looking for a fun way to learn, I highly recommend the Evan-Moor products. I didn’t get anything for free and there are no affiliate links here. This is just my honest opinion and I hope other families can benefit from these resources like we have. Also, any parent – not just a homeschool parent – can use these resources as a fun and educational activity to do with the kids. Great for weekend craft time or holiday breaks to keep the minds working.

What is your favorite educational resource?

Celebrating Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press

Freedom of speech

Today’s discussion about Freedom of Speech is a topic on the May 10-Minute Teacher calendar. Download a copy from the link below, hang it on your fridge, and use it to initiate a conversation with your kids anytime. 

May 2015 10-Minute Teacher

Today, people are always expressing themselves. Sometimes we do it in a blog post, other times we share our thoughts on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. We also talk to friends, family, and strangers about our religious beliefs, our political views, and everything in between. Freedom of speech is one of the most basic elements that allow us to continue in a democratic state. We have the right to talk about our choices and share our opinions with others, and to oppose things that we feel are detrimental to our liberties. With this freedom, we can speak out when we feel there is a wrong and ask others to help us make things right.

The first amendment was included in the Bill of Rights, a document that was created to address important elements that many felt were missing form the new Constitution and was implemented in 1791.

The First Amendment to the Constitution includes Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. Here is a brief description from Scholastic.com:

Freedom of Speech. This freedom entitles American citizens to say what they think, provided they do not intentionally hurt someone else’s reputation by making false accusations. Neither may they make irresponsible statements deliberately harmful to others, such as yelling, “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. There are many issues about which Americans disagree, from child-rearing practices to baseball teams to Presidential candidates. Freedom of speech enables people to state their opinions openly to try to convince others to change their minds.

The First Amendment also gives you the right to disagree with what others say without fear of punishment by the government authorities. However, if you make an outrageous statement, such as, “The earth is flat,” free speech will not keep people from making fun of you. If you express an unpopular opinion — for example, that students do not get enough homework — don’t be surprised if your classmates avoid you. The First Amendment does not prevent social or peer pressure to conform to what others think.

Freedom of the Press. This freedom makes it possible for Americans to keep informed about what is going on in government. It helps them to be responsible citizens. Reporters and editors can criticize the government without the risk of punishment, provided they do not deliberately tell lies. Newspapers, magazines, and books, as well as television and movie scripts, do not have to be submitted for government inspection before they are published. This censorship would violate the First Amendment.” (Source: Scholastic.com)

 

Resources

http://www.lincoln.edu/criminaljustice/hr/Speech.htm

http://www.timeforkids.com/photos-video/video/first-amendment-45716

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/explaining-bill-rights

http://www.ducksters.com/history/us_government/first_amendment.php

 

Questions for conversation:

1. What do you think life would be like if we did not have freedom of speech?

2. What kind of news do you think we would see in the newspaper if there were no freedom of the press? Do you think there would be a newspaper?

3. What kind of speech or communication is not protected by freedom of speech?

 

 

Historical Non-Fiction: What We’re Reading

historical nonfiction

We love reading and we love history. There are few things more exciting than getting a glimpse into what life in the past was like, especially when it is presented in well-told tales or realistic “you are there” language. We love our history book – we use the Children’s Encyclopedia of American History. But we like to supplement, and find other interesting books that tell the whole story and not just bits and pieces. So we’ve recently found a few historical non-fiction series’ that I want to share.

Blast to the Past – This series is about a group of school-children that run into historic dilemmas and are able to travel back in time to address the issue. For example, in Lincoln’s Legacy, he almost decided not to deliver the Emancipation Proclamation and the children traveled back in time to help Lincoln understand why the proclamation was important and see that his decision would change the United States forever.

My Name Is America – This series features a different person in each book and is formatted as journal entries. We are reading The Journal of Augustus Pelletier: The Lewis and Clark Expedition and are enjoying learning about his journey, his struggles, and the things he encounters along the way.

My America – The same format as My Name is America, these journal entry books follow a specific character for two or three books, learning more about their life as you go along. We are finishing book one of Elizabeth’s journey in My America: Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth’s Journey Book One. My son especially enjoyed telling me about Elizabeth’s relationship with John Smith and Pocahontas.

On My Own History is a well illustrated account of historic events such as the schoolchildren’s blizzard, the Galveston hurricane of 1900, or the composition of the Star Spangled Banner. The stories are sensitive enough for younger readers, but address the true event in a factual light.

Do you have a favorite historical non-fiction series? Please share it with us!

Learning with Graphic Biographies

learning with graphic biographies

Affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience. Any compensation received goes toward supporting the bookworm homeschool website.

We found a set of comic-style nonfiction books that are really cool. The Graphic Library books are published by Capstone Press and they have topics on everything ranging from the Vikings, to Colonial America, to the Titanic. They even have a science-themed set that covers biology, the environment, and so much more.

I like these because my son likes comics, but I only let him read the ones in the Sunday paper, these books, and the Dinosaurs series by Papercutz. Once in a while I let him get a graphic Garfield, but I like it best when he reads normal books. Still, I like to give him the opportunity to read books in a style that he enjoys, but I get the satisfaction of knowing that he is learning.

Since it’s Black History month, we’ll be grabbing a few about important people and events from this topic. There really are so many to choose from, but here are some that you may want to consider:

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Great Civil Rights Leader (Graphic Biographies)

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad (Graphic History)

Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Graphic History)

Nat Turner’s Slave Rebellion (Graphic History)

George Washington Carver: Ingenious Inventor (Graphic Biographies)

Matthew Henson: Arctic Adventurer (Graphic Biographies)

Wilma Rudolph: Olympic Track Star (Graphic Biographies)

Madam C. J. Walker and New Cosmetics (Inventions and Discovery)

Jackie Robinson: Baseball’s Great Pioneer (Graphic Biographies)

Martin Luther King Jr  Jackie robinson

rosa parks   matthew henson

 

Book Images courtesy of Amazon.com