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CharNC
05-30-2010, 02:37 PM
I have been looking for a 1st grade History curriculum for a while and still cannot find one that I am happy with. I see that most people use Story of the World but I am not a fan of it. We are looking for something structured. I do not want to spend a ton of money (looked at Sonlight but its like $100 without half the stuff you need). Any suggestions would be great. I looked at our states standards and they just teach about the community so I don't think that would be a good idea. I like the idea of lapbooks but I really need a walkthrough idea as this is my 1st year.

Thanks for your help.

Teri
05-30-2010, 02:46 PM
Well, my response goes back to that "community" thing that you don't want. LOL
Here is a very nice essay on why we use that philosophy in our house.
http://www.movingbeyondthepage.com/article8.asp

CharNC
05-30-2010, 04:19 PM
I have been looking at the History Pocket series, such as Native Americans and Life in Plymouth. I like the way it lays everything out but I am not sure if its enough. I thought maybe we could do a pocket a semester or something??

Teri, we thought that we could teach about Social Studies by actually getting out in the community,etc. However, I was thinking that if I could not find a history curriculum I liked I would go with Social Studies Made Simple Grade 1, since it seems to match what the State Standards. Thank you for the article.

pandahoneybee
05-30-2010, 04:51 PM
HI~
We did a lite history in 1st Grade, but we did do a series on DVD called Liberty's Kids (http://www.libertyskids.com/)
, they also have a website with games, etc. I just built our lessons around it:) Most of the 1st grade history is a general intro in America and the world.
We also did the Story of the World towards the end of 1st grade.
Hope this helps!

hockeymom
05-30-2010, 05:31 PM
I thought that was an interesting article, although I fully disagree with it. My son (7) is fascinated with history and geography (the world at large, as opposed to just our own little community) and always has been. He has an innate understanding that there is a huge world outside of our town (and did long before we moved internationally when he was 5) and that things we can't comprehend happened long before he existed, or Mommy, or his Granddaddy even (hello dinosaurs!)). Maybe it helps that we've always traveled with him or that we've never simplified ideas to him, or maybe it's just the little person he is (that's what I truly believe), but he gets it, and he always has (in ways that often make our jaws drop).

Anyway, to give the blanket statement "kids can't understand" irks me like nothing else can. In kindergarten and grade 1 his class was told, very clearly, "Children can't learn to spell correctly. They should use kid spelling instead of adult spelling. Because they can't do it yet." He was also told in kindergarten, "You can't read yet. You are only 5". So, I sent him with a book to read to his class, and finally his teacher stopped telling him "you can't". Is telling our children "you can't" helping them reach their potential?

Every child is different and every family is different, and we should celebrate that fact. But to say "you can't" doesn't do service to the little people in our lives, or to any of us. I know I've spent an awful lot of my time thinking "I can't" when, in fact, I can.

Teri
05-30-2010, 06:34 PM
Every child is different and every family is different, and we should celebrate that fact. But to say "you can't" doesn't do service to the little people in our lives, or to any of us. I know I've spent an awful lot of my time thinking "I can't" when, in fact, I can.

I think that sums it up very nicely and I don't believe anyone said that anyone couldn't do anything. I am not sure where that is coming from.
I am very much of the constructionist theory and while kids can totally dig dinosaurs and Egyptians, and we certainly have read about them at that age, studying their own environment and community was much more appropriate for my kids than learning about wars and the destruction that humans can do.
This year we have WWII, so it certainly happens quickly enough.

Closeacademy
05-30-2010, 07:08 PM
You could use something like this as a jumping off point: http://missbarbara.net/greatlessons.html Then you could follow up with an Ancient Egypt lapbook, an Ancient Greece Lapbook complimented by something like Usborne's Greek Myths for Young Children (my dds loved it at that age), an Ancient Rome lapbook and finish it off with Ancient China.

I loved the first Story of the World but the rest were just too much war when they could have focused so much more on the building of society and the world.

Just an idea.

hockeymom
05-30-2010, 07:40 PM
I didn't mean to rant, but that's how I took the article." History is an abstract concept that cognitive psychologists tell us is difficult for young children to comprehend", "Emphasizing ancient cultures presents children with content that is beyond their ability to comprehend", "Could a bright five year old memorize the parts of a cell and their functions? – Yes.Would he enjoy looking in a microscope at onion cells? – Of course he would.Would either of these things have any meaningful significance before he understands that plants and animals grow, change, and have needs that must be met? – Probably not.", etc. If we don't teach it to them, if we don't show them, how can see beyond their immediate lives and their immediate communities? I don't mean to imply that learning about our communities isn't important, but I do know that if that's all my son ever got to learn about he'd be bored to tears--and he'd know he was missing out on so much. That said, I don't dwell on wars either, but I don't avoid them either now that he is in a place when I feel they are developmentally appropriate.

I apologize if I came off sounding like a crazy person; I think because of hearing all the "you can'ts" lately I'm a little sensitive. It's the blanket statements that I have a hard time with, not the fact that kids learn at different levels and in different ways, or have different interests. No offense meant, and I hope none taken.

StartingOver
05-30-2010, 09:30 PM
There are many options for history this early. Although most of them I love are literature rich. Sonlight & Beautiful Feet Books. My older sons really enjoyed Calverts A Child's History of the World. They have a workbook with it, you can buy is seperate from the whole curriculum ( there used to be the course on CD, don't know if it is anymore. My boys really liked that ). If you are Atheist or strongly against religion you might want to skip the first chapter. Other than that I don't remember anything objectionable. I will purchase it again for these little ones.

I enjoy SOTW, but use a combination of Beautiful Feet Books ( bfbooks.com ), Sonlight ( they carry A Child's History of the World, but not the workbook ), and TWTM. I know I overdo history a bit. I hated it in school, the texts were so dry. I want my children to love history and use great literature help them.

If you like Sonlight you can most likely just get most of the books at half price, or at the library. Then just read through history using Usborne World History as a spine ? Beautiful Feet is the same, you can just buy the guide ?

I know many people who don't start history till middle school. They just don't feel it is important in the early years, as they don't feel kids retain much of it.

schwartzkari
05-30-2010, 09:48 PM
My daughter is starting 1st grade (tomorrow actually, lol, her idea, not mine :))

For History, we are using a book entitled "How Children Lived: A First Book of History" and it is basically a tour of the world, going back in time and visiting children who lived in Ancient Eqypt all the way to America in the 1920s. We are going to do History twice a month. During our tours in the book, we are going to research what types of foods the children ate and then attempt to make the recipes in our kitchen. I wanted to keep History fun and very simple at such a young age. There will be plenty of time to delve into more complex history issues.

Maybe you could try creating your own lesson plan for History or possibly pick one subject of interest and do a unit study on that.

laundrycrisis
05-31-2010, 12:04 AM
All I did for first grade history was to read some books covering pre-pre history (starting with the Big Bang) through the ice ages, evolution of to modern animals, human evolution, adaptations of animals and humans during the ice age, migrations, and up to the beginnings of human civilization. I am going to get more into ancients this summer and next year. He barely knows anything about the USA because I am holding off until we reach European exploration. We did read some books about some national landmarks and he got a snippet of US history with those. We also read two biographical books on Booker T. Washington (no particular reason; the books just sort of fell into my lap.) And we discussed a little about racism, slavery, and the civil rights movement.

The "big" books I plan to use when I reach the topics are the Complete Book of World History and the Complete Book of United States History.

dbmamaz
05-31-2010, 12:30 AM
I didnt do much for first grade - i found some books in our library which were well reviewed and read a few of them. But my son showed no interest. I do plan on doing a time line on the wall and trying to go through history for both my boys together next year.

You could check out http://www.intellegounitstudies.com/index.php/products.html for some history unit studies or the states, maybe. Also this book http://www.amazon.com/Usborne-Internet-Linked-Encyclopedia-World-History/dp/0794503322/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3JRWDU2U095BP&colid=1H6QQDR5X00ZC i plan on having around next year. and we have a big discussion on timelines somewhere around here

Busygoddess
05-31-2010, 06:00 AM
I can't offer a suggestion for a curriculum, since I've always created my own for History. However, before choosing one, you may want to first decide on how you want to cover History. Public Schools tend to do both World History & US History in the early years. This has them learning about Ancient Egypt & Columbus in the same year, or Ancient Greece & the Pioneers. This makes no sense to me. Some people choose to start with US History & wait to cover World History. Some choose to do History in chronological order. Others just go by the child's interest - studying whatever part of History the child is interested in that year. So you're first step should be to figure out how you want to cover History. Then, you can look for a curriculum that will work for your plan.

Also, while I completely disagree with that article, I do think that Community, etc should be covered in the early years. However, we chose to cover it in Kindergarten. Kindergarten Social Studies, for us, consisted of Holidays - when, why, & how we celebrate them & the history behind them; Community Helpers - who they are & what they do; All About Me - a unit where they focus on themselves & their immediate sphere of influence; Pre-History - Dinos, Ice Age, Cave Men; the continents & oceans; intro to maps. First grade starts Ancient Civilizations. That's us, though. I do think it's important to cover their local community. However, I completely disagree with the idea that a 5 or 6 year old can't understand the concepts involved in learning about Ancient Civilizations or Pre-History. I also take issue with the idea that a person who covers Ancient Civilizations in 1st grade is trying to 'make their children "smarter" and more advanced' or that covering such topics in the early grades automatically means that the focus is on memorization not understanding. History, in MY house, is NEVER about memorization. We have never & will never focus on memorizing facts, dates & names. History, for us, is ALWAYS about understanding & actually LEARNING, not memorizing. My children have never had a problem with understanding the "abstract' concept of time - that ancient civilaztions were not when Mom & Dad were kids, Dinos did not roam the earth while Grandma & Grandpa were little, etc.

Sorry for the rant there. The point I was going for was this: While the Community stuff is important, it doesn't require a full year (especially in 1st grade), and there is nothing wrong with choosing to cover Ancient Civilizations, Early American History, or any other time period, at that age.

I've never used History Pockets, but if you like them & are concerned they aren't enough, you could just add some extra reading & activities. We cook at least one type of food for each culture/civilization we cover (past & present). We also do lots of hands-on projects for each time period - making pyramids, mummies, Roman courtyard, Viking longhouse, cave drawing, American Indian inspired bead jewelry, painting a pirate ship, creating our own coat of arms, building a working catapult, etc.

CharNC
05-31-2010, 08:38 AM
I looked at Calvert's A Child's History of the World but it says for 4th grade. Have you used it? Did you find that it worked well for a 1st grader? The activities,etc. The more I look at Sonlight I like it but is it hard to use just the Usborne book as a spine? It looks like mostly reading, is there any activities or you just come up with your own? I see they sell an Instructor's Guide separate but $50 just for that seems steep.

Thanks!

StartingOver
05-31-2010, 10:31 AM
I looked at Calvert's A Child's History of the World but it says for 4th grade. Have you used it? Did you find that it worked well for a 1st grader? The activities,etc. The more I look at Sonlight I like it but is it hard to use just the Usborne book as a spine? It looks like mostly reading, is there any activities or you just come up with your own? I see they sell an Instructor's Guide separate but $50 just for that seems steep.

Thanks!

I think A Child's History of the World can be read to a 1st grader with slight modification ( disclaimer: not all children at the age of 6 are exactly the same. I can only go by my experiences with my children. LOL ). I wouldnt' try to read the whole thing in one year. Just read a chapter, then tie in some books around the subject. Sonlight isn't very hands on.... but if you want hands on and lapbookish stuff you might looks at handleonthearts.com. The package would go along with Sonlight's literature and you wouldnt' have to buy the IG. I have the P 4/5 science and the Storybook P4/5 and love it. I will be purchasing the 1st grade history package soon. You can see samples on the site. They do have a bible package seperate, I like that. ( Sonlight's IG covers Read Alouds, History & Geography )

There is a site somewhere that has SOTW and CHOW lined up, so you could use either book with Handle On The Arts or Sonlight. I don't have it right handy, but will locate it if you can't find it. I need more coffee....

Snoopy
05-31-2010, 01:12 PM
The point I was going for was this: While the Community stuff is important, it doesn't require a full year (especially in 1st grade), and there is nothing wrong with choosing to cover Ancient Civilizations, Early American History, or any other time period, at that age. We did Community in PreK and in Kindergarten we did lapbooks about various countries while we used "Children Just Like Me (http://www.amazon.com/Children-Just-Like-Anabel-Kindersley/dp/0789402017)", which allowed us to cover some geography, religion, foods, etc. When Noah started 1st grade, we started using SOTW so we did The Ancients. We had never really covered prehistory formally (although with 3 boys at home, dinosaurs have been a staple of our household what with documentaries, toys, books, etc..) but I read the beginning of "The Cartoon History of the World" with Noah prior to starting on SOTW1 so we talked about The Big Bang and evolution, dinosaurs, etc.

I also don't place too much importance in memorization at this age. This is one of the main ways in which I veer from The Well Trained Mind approach. I don't see the point of memorizing the Egyptian dynasties, for example. I do think memorization can be important, and that training them early to memorize things is important, but I think he does plenty of that in math and learning to decode for reading and writing.

RahRah
06-06-2010, 01:03 PM
We did Community in PreK and in Kindergarten we did lapbooks about various countries while we used "Children Just Like Me (http://www.amazon.com/Children-Just-Like-Anabel-Kindersley/dp/0789402017)", which allowed us to cover some geography, religion, foods, etc. When Noah started 1st grade, we started using SOTW so we did The Ancients. We had never really covered prehistory formally (although with 3 boys at home, dinosaurs have been a staple of our household what with documentaries, toys, books, etc..) but I read the beginning of "The Cartoon History of the World" with Noah prior to starting on SOTW1 so we talked about The Big Bang and evolution, dinosaurs, etc.

I also don't place too much importance in memorization at this age. This is one of the main ways in which I veer from The Well Trained Mind approach. I don't see the point of memorizing the Egyptian dynasties, for example. I do think memorization can be important, and that training them early to memorize things is important, but I think he does plenty of that in math and learning to decode for reading and writing.

Pretty much the same here - we plan on doing SOTW 1 this year - but I'm not sure it's necessary to have him memorizing dates/dynasties/rulers etc. to get something out of it - I see it as an intro to develop a love of learning, so we're taking a fairly relaxed, and I hope fun, approach this year to history of the ancients......along the way we'll also do more "social studies" oriented work - community, government, siimple economics, etc......DS turns 6 in August, so our primary focus - what we think is most important - is reading/LA and math......the history, social studies, science, etc. will all be there, but with less intensity.

jessicalb
06-06-2010, 02:17 PM
Chiming in late, but we did Sonlight for a while and were able to get nearly all the books either used (at a store that takes trade, YEAH!) or from the library. The few that were hard to find or out of print we just skipped or found a similar time period substitute. I really love using literature to augment history; I think it's an incredibly good way to get a full understanding and to remember things better. So much easier to remember facts in the context of an engaging story about characters I care about than a dry list of dates and maps.

We don't use Sonlight anymore - now I just pick good fiction that reinforces the time period we are learning about. :)