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When my older two sons were in middle school we created a clip art heavy timeline with lots of coloring, cutting, and gluing. I’ve been looking for something which is not as craft intensive while still being challenging.
Until now, I couldn’t find an American history timeline curriculum which inspired me to want to do another one with my third son. Too, being an eclectic homeschooler, I want products which make it easy for me to teach in my style and in a way my son understands.
How to Rock History Using An American History Timeline
One of the things I find perfect about this two-volume bundle, besides not having to do time consuming coloring or crafts, is that each unit or timeline can stand alone.
We didn’t begin with The Giant History Timeline Book 1: Pre-Colonization-Reconstruction. We did spend the majority of time in The Giant History Timeline Book 2: 1870s-Present because Tiny was interested in modern American history. I loved the fact that we didn’t have to start at the beginning and could skip right to the parts that we found fascinating.
For years we’ve covered significant early American history events through our history lapbooks.
So, feeling like he didn’t really have a clear outline of major modern historical events, Tiny wanted to delve deeper into modern history.
Another downside to doing clip art based timelines or date only timelines which I found out after doing my first one is that no real connection is made between dates and key historical events. And timelines can quickly becoming boring if they’re not studied along with the events or the people.
Intriguing events and colorful personalities of significant people of the past and present is what brings history alive. That is another win for The Giant American History Timeline bundle.
Let me backup first and give you an idea of all the goodies in the The Giant American History Timeline bundle so you can see how it can be used as a stand alone unit study or to enhance your study of geography, famous Americans, or history.
Look at the historical time periods and units in each book.
|Unit 1: Discovery and Exploration Prehistory-1606
Unit 3: The Revolutionary Period 1765-1783
Unit 5: Expanding the Country 1790-1860
Unit 7: Social Issues 1790-1860
|Unit 2: Colonial America 1585-1776
Unit 4: Creating the Constitution 1781-1803
Unit 6: An Age of Advancements 1790-1860
Unit 8: The Civil War and Reconstruction 1850-1877
|Unit 1: Industrial Growth and Technological Advancement 1870-1910
Unit 3: America and the World 1867-1910
Unit 5: The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression 1920-1940
Unit 7: The Cold War 1940-1990
|Unit 2: Big Business and Social Reform 1870-1910
Unit 4: World War I 1910-1920
Unit 6: World War II 1930-1950
Unit 8: The Civil Rights Movement Technology and Terrorism 1954-Present
Look at all the teaching perks in each book.
►Teaching notes which contain an overview of key events, suggested focus activities like when we listened to the inspiring I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., instructions on how to create the timeline, points to teach critical thinking skills, and instructions on how to do the activity sheets.
►Six types of activity sheets which contain maps, primary sources, help for comparing and contrasting time periods, biography sheets, a voice from the past sheets and a fun time machine activity page.
► One of the parts I loved the best is the variety. In Book 1 there are 126 activity sheets and in Book 2 there are 125 activity sheets. That easily adds up to a huge amount of resources for kids of any age.
The hardest part for us was keeping to a few topics so that we could study it for any length of time.
We had so many choices of time periods, timelines, and topic ideas and couldn’t wait to start piecing the timeline together.
Since we moved into our new home, we haven’t really decided on a school area. It wouldn’t really matter anyway because Tiny has almost always taken to the floor to study something like this. He does best by using the floor to put his events in order and the The Giant American History Timeline gives excellent examples of how to connect the information and events to each other.It can be done by event, which is the one we loved, main ideas or sequence of events which is what we’re all familiar with.
Also, another facet of creating an easy diy timeline is storage.
You want your child to engage with the facts and the historical period he is learning, but you need a way for him to come back to them and study it.
However, since we don’t have a huge empty wall like a classroom, we are storing our timeline in a lapbook and doing one for each time period or unit we’re studying.
After researching and organizing the material he wanted to study, we reviewed key facts and then organized the material so that we could review in the future.Also, I shared with you how to turn a worksheet into an interactive minibook.
So, we applied that same folding technique to our mini-giant American history timeline.
One of the best things about using a lapbook besides great storage is that anytime he can take out the lapbook and memorize the significant events that match the dates.Then because this is a research intensive project, we added a pocket on the back of the lapbook to add the extra activity sheets that he did. This lapbook fits in well with the other American history lapbooks that we have done.
Did I mention that all pages are reproducible?
For some of the parts, we shrunk the pages when we printed. The other pages are just regular paper size but folded using my special technique that I mentioned earlier.
American History Timeline Activity Sheets
The Giant American History Timeline may be a good fit for you and your kids if:
►You have multiple ages you’re teaching, but want one sanity-saving resource.
►Your kids don’t mind a few hands-on activities like labeling and coloring maps, but prefer straight research on topics.
►You want a reproducible resource instead of a workbook.
►You’re thinking about a lapbook or notebooking style of timeline because of a lack of space.
►Your kids prefer to learn more independently without having day to day lesson plans.
►You prefer an overview and guideline for topics and events to create.
►You want flexibility in how you cover topics by choosing ones that interest your children.
►You want to use timelines as a stand alone unit study topic covering multiple historical topics.
►Your kids prefer more worksheet and notebooking style pages.
►You want something faith-free or more secular so you can add your own worldview.
►You want teacher helps with answer keys.
►You want one comprehensive resource for teaching American history.
►You want your children to learn independently.
Look at these other American history lapbooks you’ll love!
- American Revolution 1775 – 1783
- Daniel Boone – North American Explorer
- Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804-1806
You Know You Want It! – Giveaway & Savings Discount
Discount Code: TIMELINE20 Discount taken at checkout for digital version. Click The Giant American History Timeline Bundle for 20% off.
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