Friday, August 15, 2014

Paul Revere's Ride

I am happy to report that our second and third weeks of school were considerably calmer and more enjoyable than our first. In fact, one day my two-year-old marched over to the playdoh basket, pulled out a placemat, a can of playdoh, and cookie cutter and went to the table and amused himself during our entire lesson. It was miraculous! I also knew it was going to be a kind of rough and interrupted week with my husband traveling so we spread our study over two weeks.

With our new interest in the American Revolution, we decided to study Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illustrated by Ted Rand, which is in Five in a Row Volume 3.

The first day, the kids asked, "Should we put on our old-fashioned clothes?" You have to set the proper mood, right? Last year, we did some colonial history classes with our friends, and we still had our quills so we got them out to do some handwriting practice.
While they worked with their quills, I read a great non-fiction book: Let it Begin Here!: April, 19, 1775 The Day the American Revolution Began by Don Brown. This book had lots of historical details and wonderful illustrations on each page, so it  was just right for early elementary school. We also read several great easy-readers that I will save for another post.

The kids have really been enjoying watching the show Liberty's Kids, which is  a cartoon set in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. Episode 5 features Paul Revere. You can buy the entire series for $5.00 on Amazon.

The girls also listened to the American Girl: Felicity audiobook series, which we had bought on cassette tape from the library. I had originally thought they would listen to a bit each day, but they pretty much sat down and listened to the entire six cassettes in an afternoon and a morning, while they were working on craft projects. We also had a movie night and watched the Felicity movie, which was actually quite good.

For art, we looked at the artist's use of light and made some nighttime oil pastel drawings. We made  tin-punch lanterns using aluminum pans punched with thumbtacks from this helpful tutorial from The Tiny Funnel.

For language arts, we did one of my kids' favorite activities: acting out vocabulary words. Since the book was a Longfellow poem, there was a lot of rich new vocabulary: words like muster, grenadier, phantom, and steed. We also read more of Longfellow's poetry from Poetry for Young People: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We did some copywork and writing and pulled our spelling from the lines, "One if By Land, Two if By Sea."

Here are two great resources I found for Revolutionary War copywork and printables:
Write Bonnie Rose has Revolutionary War copywork and a section on Paul Revere's Ride in her Elementary Spelling set. These are both freebies you can download if you subscribe to her blog.
3 Dinosaurs has an American Revolutionary War printable pack for ages 2-8. There are really cute matching cards and coloring/ writing sheets.

For science, we learned about fog and made fog in a jar.

We played some colonial games from this book I got at a library book sale last year: Colonial America: Cooperative Learning Activities. It was the best 50 cents I have ever spent on curriculum. I used it for my history co-op class and the kids loved the activities and the beautiful printable crafts. The Muster March game, which had them practicing marching around while one person drummed different signals, fit in perfectly with the Five in a Row activities suggested. It was especially cute to see my two-year-old with a toy musket, shouting, "Hoozah!"

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