Saturday, February 25, 2017

Beautiful Feet Books: Colonial Studies to the Revolutionary War

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Before I really flesh out what we did for this part of the study, I'll clarify the boys had requested to add FIAR back in place of our science, but wanted to keep history.  However, I had a field trip opportunity arise to a local history museum, and the primary focus would fit shortly after the Revolutionary War.  I knew if I tweaked the end of this study I could finish up in time do to a FIAR book that also fit that time period in history and with the field trip.


The Courage of Sarah Noble
by Alice Dalgliesh 
This was our first book back after the long holiday break.  We read it as scheduled.  Based on a true story, Sarah Noble is about a young girl who must keep up her courage as she travels with her father to their new homestead.  We did have to discuss the stereotypes related to Native Americans, as it is an older book, but we enjoyed it.  There are no pictures in BFB's free picture packet, but the student is encouraged to draw some pictures in their notebook, which was a nice change of pace.






The Matchlock Gun
by Walter D. Edmonds
Edward is a 10 year old boy who must be brave in a "man of the house" way, while his father is away during the French and Indian War.  The forward asserts that Trudy, Edward's sister, and her family, has passed this story down through the ages.  There are no pictures from BFB for this book either.  The student is instructed to draw a couple of entries into their notebooks.


I happened to see this Matchlock Gun mapping activity, and it went along well with the first lesson in the guide, so we included it in our notebooks.  {Yes, those are some of our FIAR story disks that we're adding back to our maps!}

In the process of drawing a matchlock gun . . .

This is another older book, and required some discussion regarding the language and description of the Native Americans.  The boys, especially Emory, liked the book, but there were moments I had to pause and talk about the language.  I was also a little taken aback by the ending.  Not really a spoiler here, but as the mother of a 10 year old boy, Edward's response to the events was very different than I imagine any real 10 year old would act and feel.  I guess it just wasn't the emotional response I would have expected.

Just Some Thoughts:  The guide included a short blurb at the beginning of the lessons about the French and Indian War, but it didn't really present any background information, such as that it was actually part of a larger war or that Natives fought on both sides.  I found myself giving a bit more commentary on this, because even this age group can understand "parent countries" as well as different Native groups becoming allies with either side.  (If we expect them to understand the Revolutionary War, this isn't a difficult concept.)  Perhaps there weren't many choices for living books when this study was written.  While I can appreciate the literary merit of using these two books as literature tie-ins alongside a history study of this period (with the appropriate discussions about stereotypes), these books do not provide the same historical context as other books that were chosen for this study.  


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This is where we were at in our study when I started adjusting the schedule.  I didn't really need to tweak Benjamin Franklin, other than doubling up a few lessons.

Benjamin Franklin
by Ingrid and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
This was probably my favorite of the d'Aulaire biographies we've read so far.  The kids did the notebooking activities, and had fun choosing proverbs.  They also made a Benjamin Franklin from Famous Figures of the Revolutionary War.  I was surprised at how much they liked doing this little guy, and even more surprised that they requested more!


The American Revolution was the portion of this study that I really adapted.  Not because I didn't like the way it was presented, but this was a rather long study as written, and I knew that in order to get us to post-Revolutionary War at the same time of the field trip, I had to tweak it.  So I decided to row Paul Revere's Ride over two weeks and use the BFB books as the go-along books.  It was basically just reading the books at a faster pace and doing less notebooking activities.

George Washington
by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
I couldn't get this book from the library in time, so we just omitted it.  I did use some of the notebooking exercises, placing them into the study wherever appropriate when we read about Washington elsewhere.  We have other biographies on George Washington at home that the kids can pick up when/if they're interested, and he's also covered in future studies as well.  {It's possible this book covered a bit about the French and Indian War, since another children's biography we have does, but . . . }


Emory's notebooking page.


The 4th of July Story
by Alice Dalgliesh
This book was scheduled to be read as the last lesson for the colonial study, but I brought it to the front.  I probably should have broken it down over two readings, but I did give the kids a picture of the Liberty Bell (googled a coloring page) to color and add to their history notebooks.



This book was spread out over a couple weeks in the guide, which was part of why the original study takes so long.  I decided to follow the reading schedule, but use it as a lunchtime read-aloud.  This way we could "double up" on the overall readings by doing some of the other books during FIAR/history.  The kids enjoyed this book.  When we finished, we looked up several of his paintings online.





This was a cute little book!  It's an older book, but one of the most "outdated" things was kind of fascinating to the kids--the card catalogs and how research was different then, compared to researching now by searching online or placing holds on books electronically at the library!  I liked it for the fun, random facts about Washington that we learned, rather than being a Dates, War, Facts type book.




Winter at Valley Forge by James Knight
This book was read over two lessons in the BFB manual, and I kept that pace too.  The other book written in this diary/journal style by the same author was stretched out over more readings, but two days wasn't unreasonable.  Emory liked this book and the illustrations.



A More Perfect Union byBetsy Maestro 
This book was scheduled towards the beginning of the BFB study, but we read it on our last day.  I read it in one day, though I believe the guide suggested two days, which would have been better.  On that day, they did a picture of Thomas Jefferson penning the constitution for their FIAR notebooks, and then did the regular notebooking activity for their BFB history notebook.

During several of these read-alouds, we worked on more of the Famous Figures of the Revolutionary War.  In addition to Benjamin Franklin, they also did Paul Revere, George Washington and a soldier.




Go Along Videos
Pups of Liberty:  Boston Tea-Bone Party
Pups of Liberty:  Dog-leration of Independence
{from Izzit.org}

These are short videos (15-20 minutes) and you can now stream their videos from the website.




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I used the BFB books as an in-depth history exploration for the row of Paul Revere's Ride, and I'll be sharing the rest of that row soon.  But for now, you can check out our other rows or the earlier parts of this Early American History study.





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