Saturday, September 10, 2011

Prairie Dog Lessons

We're working through a biome/habitat science unit right now.

I decided to cover prairie dogs in those lessons. However, prairie dogs could be covered in many history topics such as Lewis and Clark, Westward Expansion, and even the Dust Storms era so I decided to link the prairie dog lessons as an individual unit here.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ohio River Valley Pioneers and Johnny Appleseed

Lesson--Ohio River Valley Pioneers with Flatboat Travel

We used our salt dough maps from the Wilderness Road lessons to talk about how people settled the Ohio River valley area and flatboat travel by pioneers down the Ohio.

We read Unit 8 of American Pioneers and Patriots including the introduction to that unit. The introduction gives context for Native American reaction to the settlers and is really important to begin in my opinion.

We made a flatboat today using the activity in this link (scroll down to the make a flatboat PDF at the bottom).

The next day we visited a local pioneer village from this time period. Here is a sort of clickable tour. There may be nice virtual options online; I didn't look much since we have local options.

Lessons--Johnny Appleseed and Art (texture in art)
This lesson set took multiple days here. I'm sure the time used could vary.

There are lots of apple related crafts and activities here.

Day 1
I read The American Story The Lord's Been Good to Me and we talked about the legends or tall tales that surround Johnny Appleseed (a Core Knowledge Objective). We also watched this silly song. Most of the library books I previewed incorporated plenty of Appleseed legend and could be used for this lesson. There are lots of online video or audio stories (some linked later) that could be an alternative to The American Story or another book as well.

I did the toilet paper craft from this link because it emphasizes his religious faith and some of the legends surrounding him even in his lifetime.

We also made baked apples today.

Day 2

I read First Biographies Johnny Appleseed because I found it more accurate than the other library books I previewed.

As specified in the Core Knowledge art objectives we discussed the texture in the Young Hare painting by Albrecht Durer. This link includes artist information as well as the painting.

We did the apple tree print picture craft from this link. The paint in this craft has a texture to it. I could have done apple prints instead. On the back we added a listing of the positive characteristics of Johnny Appleseed.

Day 3

We watched this about the life of Johnny Appleseed. An alternative is this audio about Johnny Appleseed. I would have used a book had I found one I liked. This has some legends presented as fact which I used to reinforce the concepts outlined in Core Knowledge. I used this information to guide our discussion.

We viewed this Native American Pomo Basket.

For our follow up activity today we glued small red yarn pieces onto an apple shape so our apple had texture we could feel like that basket we viewed. On the back of the apple the boys listed some of the legends/inaccuracies passed down.

Here are some apple games I didn’t ultimately use. Here is an animation we didn't use (not accurate but cute).

War of 1812, White House and Presidents

I struggled a little with the War of 1812. The Core Knowledge objectives don't address the Native American resistance to further expansion into their land and the British alliances supporting Native American resistance that greatly contributed to this war. So I added that perspective into the Core Knowledge objectives.

War of 1812 Day 1

Introduction of causes, Battle of Tippecanoe, and Old Ironsides

I'm going to begin with this video clip to help me introduce the conflict between Native Americans and pioneers.

Then we will read about the Battle of Tippecanoe using parts of the chapter in The Complete Book of US History.

Essentially I tried to set the stage for the war as such:
  • Settlers wanted to move west into Native American territory.
  • The British support Native American resistance to this.
  • Further, France and England are fighting on sea as well as land. As US ships travel for trade they are captured by both France and England. They sometimes force the sailors to join their war which is called impressment.

Finally, the US joins France in the war against England and against the Native Americans allied with England.

Most of the land battles were with Native Americans on the frontier.

Battles between the US and England directly were often at sea using wooden ships with cannons in their sides.

To present the above points and Core Knowledge objectives I made and then read a story type thing from select portions of the information here (Old Ironsides is Born section) I used a picture of the ship from a google image search in my story.

Activities to Close
We figured the size compared to our space as specified here.

LinkOther ideas I collected but didn't use included:
Paper Battleship
What Floats, What Sails

Day 2 General White House and Presidents, Burning of White House, Dolley Madison

We talked about the current president and the White House generally first. I made a little print out using pictures I found online primarily of Obama and his family as well as the White House. My print out also highlighted information about the children who have lived in the White House now and in the past. Lesson 20 in this link and link and link

I used the videos in this person's tour of the White House playlist to get a little of an inside look.

We then reviewed the first four presidents using the book Yo, Millard Filmore.

We watched this clip covering the Presidents.

To cover the Core Knowledge objectives involving the Burning of the White House and Dolley I used much of lesson 7 from this site. I did begin with the introduction in the lesson—what would you take with you if you were leaving your home never to return? Then I wrote the lesson content in story form with some google images.

Day 3 Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner, Battle of New Orleans

Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner
I read this.

Then we created a flag and talked about it’s symbolism. I used something similar to this plan except we used white paint and finger tips to make the “stars” rather than using the star template.

Battle of New Orleans
We watched Communication Now and Then
Then I read the description on the left side of page 142 in The Complete Book of US History but there is an alternative lesson here and this could easily make another day of lessons if desired.

Here is a map to show…sad

I left out so much that could be done with the War of 1812 for various reasons. If my kids were older I would cover a lot more so I wanted to include some great links I found.

This has so much to plan a War of 1812 unit!

War of 1812—website with lesson plans, video, and more for Old Ironsides.

War of 1812 resources—video clips and interactives etc. from the History Channel