In this unit your child will examine and identify the causes of change in nature. He will explore the effects of heat, from stove tops to volcanoes, and learn about endangered and extinct animals species. To understand the impact that humans can have on a natural environment, he will follow the course of a river through generations.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit Morning Girl.
Communities Change Over Time
In this unit, your child will examine various elements of culture and learn ways that technology and progress have influenced changes in culture over time. She will watch as a single street is transformed from prehistory to modern day, and she will leave her own mark on history by creating and burying a time capsule.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the Communities and Cultures literature unit.
People Change the World
In this unit students will examine the traits of responsible citizenship and the impact it can have on a community. Children will explore the characteristics of a good leader, read about people who changed the world, and learn about the challenge of injustice and discrimination. At the end of the unit students will plan and carry out a project where they can themselves change the world in a positive way.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the American Heroes literature unit.
In this unit, your child will learn how money is made and spent within a community. She will appreciate the relative values of money and the opportunity and costs of spending it. She will explore the principle of supply and demand and gain an understanding of its role in pricing. For her final project, your child will start her own business, select and build a product, market and sell the product, and determine what to do with the proceeds.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, The Family Under the Bridge.
Government and the People
In this unit, your child will examine the relationship between U.S. citizens and their government. She will understand the unique functions of each of the three branches of government. She will participate in a mock election to experience the voting and election process firsthand.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for The Whipping Boy.
In this unit, your child will discover the unique cultures of India, Mexico, and China. She will observe ways that each culture has influenced the United States and even her own community. She will design a "Museum of Culture" to highlight various aspects of these diverse cultures so that others may learn more about them.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for Iggie’s House.
In this unit, your child will examine the daily life of Native Americans and learn about their unique culture and their interdependence with the natural world. He will create a Native American exhibit to enhance others’ understanding of this unique historic people group. This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit The Sign of the Beaver.
The Power of People
Identify important local and national leaders. Appreciate the power of voting and the election process. Recognize the contributions of Americans in the past that have used their power to make a difference. Research a citizen from the past and create your own wax museum exhibit.
This unit can be used independently but is designed to be taught in conjunction with the literature unit for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Africa and Asia
Journey to the amazing continents of Africa and Asia. In Africa, you will find a wide variety of wildlife, environments, and people. Hop over to Asia where your child will create quilt squares to reflect the diversity of cultures found on this continent. Through this unit, your child will learn how people across the world are similar and different.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit Stories from Africa and Asia.
Go on a European vacation. Examine language, transportation, and economic factors of this continent. Compare the cultures of Europe with those of Africa and Asia. Travel through time as you watch the history of Europe unfold — from the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, to medieval times, to the immigration to North America, and finally to modern day. Explore European literature that has been passed down through the ages.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit Stories from Europe.
Trace the routes of early European explorers in the new world. Examine the positive and negative outcomes of exploration for both the European nations and the native populations in the Americas. Investigate the early civilizations of the Mayas and Incas. Simulate the planning process for an early explorer as he prepares for an adventure to unknown lands.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for Pedro’s Journal.
The Fifty States
Take a trip across the United States. Explore the geography, people, and places that make America a great country. Appreciate the uniqueness and diversity of each region of the United States. Examine the relationships that exist between people and the land in which they live.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit Poetry.
Explore the four corners of your state. Travel to historical sites, famous landforms, and bodies of water. Examine how the people, places, and events of your state’s history have shaped its culture and influenced the nation. For the final project, you will create a state book to share with friends and family.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, American Tall Tales and Legends.
Coming to America meant a new life for the millions who came in search of freedom and opportunity. Examine the motivations behind those that made the decision to come to the New World. Empathize with their struggles as you read firsthand accounts and analyze photographs. Appreciate the diversity of culture and thought that has shaped our country and does so to this day.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for A House of Tailors.
Colonization and Revolution
Take a trip through early American history. Learn about the early colonists and the difficulties they experienced as they made a new life in a new place. Understand the reasons behind the Declaration of Independence and appreciate the sacrifice necessary to secure the freedom of the United States of America.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
Load up the wagon and hitch up the horses. We're heading west! Journey with Lewis and Clark as they survey the unexplored wilderness of the Louisiana Purchase. Examine different reasons the pioneers chose to make the journey west and the trails they followed to their destinations. Appreciate the hardships faced by families as they traveled across the United States and the life that awaited them upon arrival.
This unit can be used independently, but it is also designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, The Ballad of Lucy Whipple.
State Government and Economics
Navigate the halls of state government. Appreciate the concept of federalism and why the founders of our country sought to distribute power between the national and state governments. Evaluate the relationship between taxes and services. This unit also includes a mini-course on economics.
Geography and Landforms
The landscape of our planet includes soaring mountains, winding rivers, deep canyons, and islands scattered across expansive seas. Learn about the forces that create and transform these geographical wonders. Discover how humans are influenced by the geography that surrounds them and how they, in turn, have an impact on the physical features of their environments. Take a close look at the landforms and geography of South America, North America and your own backyard.
Slavery and the Civil War
In the middle of the nineteenth century, the issue of slavery divided the nation, eventually leading to the Civil War. The war was a devastating conflict that saw hundreds of thousands of casualties but ultimately affirmed that America would be a nation in which freedom would be assured for all. Explore the lives of enslaved people in antebellum America and the questions about slavery that divided the nation and led to Civil War. Carry your own haversack like a Civil War soldier and learn how families survived on the homefront. Explore the lives of Civil War leaders and the impact of Reconstruction. For your final project, create a museum exhibit or documentary film about the Civil War.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for Bull Run.
World Wars I and II
The first half of the twentieth century was marked by two world wars. In this unit, you'll learn about the causes of these wars, the impact of wars on both soldiers fighting on the front lines and on families on the homefront, the impact of new technologies, and the long-lasting effects of these wars on the United States and the world. For your final project, you'll create a board game that will help others have fun while learning more about World War II.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used in conjunction with the literature unit for Number the Stars.
The leaders and activists of the Civil Rights Movement challenged and overcame racial segregation and discrimination through non-violent direct action throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In this unit, you'll learn about life under segregation, the efforts to integrate schools and public services, the heroism of people like Rosa Parks, the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., the role of young people in the Civil Rights Movement, and the enduring legacies of the Movement. You'll also learn valuable research skills as you conduct a unit-long research project, either through oral history interviewing or using library and Internet sources.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
North and South America
In this unit, you'll explore the political systems, histories, economic systems, and cultures of North America and South America. During this journey through the western hemisphere, you'll discover the geography of two continents, explore the connections between the past and the present day, compare different forms of government, learn about the economic connections between nations, and consider the cultural traditions of North and South American peoples through holidays, foods, music, and crafts. For your final project, you'll host an embassy reception to teach others about the country of your choice or create a trivia card game to test your knowledge of the diverse and interesting countries of these two continents.
This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for Esperanza Rising.
Incas, Aztecs, and Mayas
In this unit, you'll explore the Mayan and Aztec civilizations of Mesoamerica and the Incan civilization of the Andes, learning about each society's political, economic, and social systems; culture, religious beliefs, and history.
You will create your own codex, learn to do math the Mayan way, make an Incan quipu, and learn about jaguar and eagle knights as you explore life in these three fascinating civilizations. For your final project, you'll travel back in time in an imaginary time machine on a journey to visit the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas and then report back on what you discovered!
Egypt and Mesopotamia
Twelve thousand years ago, people first settled in agricultural communities around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the area of modern-day Iraq. Later, people also settled around the Nile River in northern Africa. The civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt that grew out of those early settlements created powerful empires and rich cultures that still influence our lives today.
In this unit, you'll travel back to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt and learn about the cultures, governments, and economies of these fascinating civilizations. In your final project, you'll create a web-based tour of these two civilizations or present the findings of an imagined archaeological expedition to ancient sites.
In this unit, you'll explore the continent of Africa, learning about its geography, history, economic systems, political systems, and cultures region by region. Along the way, you'll create a beautiful map of Africa, keep a journal of current events from across the continent, and explore folktales from Africa.
Your final project will allow you to create a news report about Africa, either in the form of a newspaper or a broadcast. Alternatively, you can choose to create a lapbook about a country in Africa, sharing information about its history, economy, government, culture, and geography in creative ways.
Australia and Oceania
In this unit, you'll explore Australia and Oceania as well as the polar regions of our planet. You'll learn about Aboriginal Australians by reading their stories, considering their history, and learning about their modern lives. You'll explore the wildlife of Australia, the breathtaking natural environment of New Zealand, the impact of tourism on the island nations of the Pacific, and the extreme climates of the North and South Poles.
In your final project, you'll create an art and performance-based celebration of Australia or create a plan and model for a museum to educate the public about Australia and Oceania.
In this unit on ancient Asia, you'll learn about the rise of major world religions, the exchange of trade goods and cultural traditions throughout ancient Asia, and the different social systems in place in ancient India, China, and Japan. You'll explore a broad range of ancient Asian history from the caste system of India to the terra-cotta warriors of emperor Qin Shi Huangdi to the development of traditional Japanese art forms.
You'll share what you've learned with your family in a final project: either a multimedia slide presentation or a puppet show about these three ancient cultures.
In this unit, you'll explore the vast continent of Asia as well as the Indian Ocean. You'll explore history, geography, politics, and culture from places as diverse as Russia, the Middle East, India, southeast Asia, and China. Along the way, you'll create a map of Asia, learn about current events in the Middle East, explore the impact of monsoons, plan a Japanese garden, and figure out just how big Indonesia is in a hands-on way.
For your final project, you will create a themed tour of Asia that will allow travelers to experience several Asian countries and create memories that they will never forget!
Greece and Rome
Many of the cultural traditions that began thousands of years ago in ancient Greece and Rome are still influential today. In this unit, you'll explore the history of these two civilizations, learn about their governments and cultures, and make connections between these ancient European civilizations and your own life today.
In your final project, you'll explore government, daily life, and culture through creative visual, performance-based, and written projects.
The Middle Ages
In this unit, you'll venture back to the days of monarchs, knights, and serfs. Along the way, you'll explore feudalism, the role of the medieval church, the guilds of craftsmen, and the details of everyday life in the Middle Ages.
For your final project, you'll create a medieval map or try your hand at living history in a medieval fair presentation.
The Age of Discovery
In this unit, you will explore the Age of Discovery and the Scientific Revolution. You'll learn about the reasons behind European exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries and the peoples that explorers encountered in the Americas. You'll learn how contact between Europe and the Americas changed governments, economies, and ways of life around the world. You'll also learn about the revolution in science that was happening around the same time with scholars making new discoveries about the workings of the universe and finding new ways of approaching scientific questions.
In your final project, you will share your thoughts on how one voyage of discovery and one scientific thinker's research changed the world.
In this unit, you'll learn about the Renaissance through the lens of Elizabethan Europe. As you explore the life of one of England's greatest monarchs, you'll also explore the music and art of the era, the conflicts of the Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and the clashes among European powers that took place during the lifetime of Elizabeth I.
You will work on a variety of mini-books that you will add to your final project, a lapbook about the life and times of Queen Elizabeth I.
In this unit, you'll learn about the countries of Europe, exploring their geographies, economies, governments, and cultures. Throughout the unit, you'll create a poster-sized map of the continent and build a guide to Europe that will provide detailed information on many countries and serve as your final project.
In this historical unit, you will read about the earliest days of the colonization of North America leading up to the independence movement and the formation of the United States of America. You will begin by learning about the founding of the colonies and the main reasons why people chose to leave Europe for North America. This unit also covers important historical events like the landing of the Mayflower as well as the types of colonies and the differences among the economies of the northern, middle, and southern colonies. You will also study and read about the system of taxation that led to the American Revolution including key historical events like the Boston Tea Party. Towards the end of the unit, you will discover the history of the formation of the independence movement, the writing of the Declaration of Independence, and the ending of the American Revolution at the Battle of Yorktown.
For the final project, you will teach others about this period in history by dressing up as a historical figure, set in a specific colony, to dramatize the life of that individual. This living history presentation can be combined with the language arts unit on Abigail Adams to create a larger final project performance.
Have you ever wondered how the American system of government functions? In this unit, you will discover how the United States's democratic system of government was established and learn about the role citizens play within that system. You will begin the unit by learning about the documents that influenced the U.S. Constitution and will read about the drafting of the document at the Constitutional Convention. The unit also covers the separate sections within the Constitution and explains how the three branches of government -- the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial -- are structured and work together. Towards the end of this unit, you will discover how state and local governments operate, and you will learn about the duties citizens are expected to fulfill.
The final project gives you the opportunity to use your artistic and creative sides to share what you have learned in the form of a lapbook.
The Antebellum West
In this unit on American history, you will learn about events occurring in the 1800s prior to the Civil War in the antebellum West. You will begin by reading about the United States's earliest presidents and the beginnings of the Westward Expansion. Discover well-known historical figures involved in the expansion westward including the explorers Daniel Boone and Lewis & Clark. The unit explains how the U.S. acquired the Northwest and Louisiana Territories, and it covers the War of 1812, the Indian Removal Act, and the Mexican-American War that established the southern border of Texas. You will end the unit by learning about the California Gold Rush and the movement of pioneers along the Oregon Trail.
For your final project, you will place yourself in the shoes of a fictional pioneer. Your goal will be to draw on historical information and make use of images and text to reveal your pioneer's journey westward.
This unit is focused around the differences between the North and the South during the antebellum period of U.S. history. You will begin by learning about the economic development of both regions including the role of slavery and the cotton trade in contributing to that development in the South. Other economic aspects you will study are the growth of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. You will also gain knowledge about the abolition movement, the Underground Railroad, and the fight for women's rights. The unit ends with a focus on the heightened tensions between the North and the South over the issue of slavery.
For the final project, you will create a poster session presentation and a five-minute talk to communicate what you discovered about the differences between the North and the South during this time period. This poster presentation will provide you with the chance to explain how you think regional and cultural differences affected the lives of those living in these two regions of the U.S.
The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 and was a divisive and tumultuous time in American history. In this unit, you will be given context about the legislative acts on slavery that preceded the Civil War and created compromises between the free and slave states. You will learn about the debates regarding the division of power between the states and the federal government and the secession of the Confederate States of America, led by Jefferson Davis. The unit covers the entire period of the war, from beginning to end, and describes the battles and strategies employed by both sides. At the end of the unit, you will read about the significance of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the constitutional amendments that abolished slavery and gave African Americans the right to vote.
For the final project of this unit, you will create Civil War battle cards for a game that will permit you to see the ways that strategic decisions affect the outcomes of battles.
History of Your State
In this unit, you'll explore your state from a variety of angles, learning about its geography, ecosystems, history, economy, government, and culture. You'll take at least one field trip with your family and complete independent research, allowing you to broaden and deepen your understanding of the state you call home.
Over the course of this unit, you'll work with maps, census data, images, websites, and other resources to help you develop a more complete understanding of your state. As a culminating activity, you'll demonstrate what you've learned by creating a trivia quiz about your state. You will also develop either a short film or mural that could be shared in state welcome centers to show visitors your state's important features.
Industrialization, Urbanization, and Immigration
In this unit, you will learn about the period of time between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War I. This time in American history saw an influx of immigration which led to advances in industrialization and urbanization as cities began to grow and expand. America also saw advances in technology with the invention of electric lightning, the telephone, and fixed-wing aircrafts. Urbanization also led to an increased number of social reform movements in what was known as the Progressive Era. This unit concludes with the beginning of World War I, which the United States entered following the sinking of the Lusitania in 1917. For your final project, you will create a dramatic performance or a scrapbook detailing the life of a historical character of your own creation.
The Great Depression and World War II
In this unit, you will study the Great Depression and World War II. Beginning in the 1920s, you will travel through the Harlem Renaissance, a thriving cultural expression, through the stock market crash of October 29, 1929. You will learn about the major points of World War II, including the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese and The Holocaust, a mass genocide implemented by Adolf Hitler. In addition to learning about the tragedies of war, you will also learn about how the soldiers and the conditions in which they fought on the homefront. At the end of the unit, you will create a Before and After Museum exhibit that will describe the impact of World War II.
Global Conflict and Civil Rights
In this unit, you will learn about the years following World War II in the United States. Following World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union were involved in a military arms race in what was known as the Cold War. The Cold War also saw a rise in communism, a social and political system in which, theoretically, all resources of a nation are shared equitably. The 1950s and 1960s also involved the Civil Rights movements which saw the rise of famous protesters such as Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who lead non-violet protests in support of equality. The 1960s were a time of cultural explosion as America became known as a time of peaceful protest and rebellion against cultural norms. For your final project, you will create a time capsule that might tell future historians more about conflict and activism of the 1960s.
In this unit you will explore modern American history including changes in population and immigration, policies of and challenges faced by several post-World War II presidents, important court cases from the last fifty years, and issues related to the end of the Cold War.
You'll also examine some modern environmental issues, technological advancements, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and modern popular music.
Throughout the unit you'll work on a final project, either creating an illustrated essay about changes in technology or planning a project for National History Day.