Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beautiful Feet Books: Buffalo Bill

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The final study in Early American History - Primary, from Beautiful Feet Books is a look at Buffalo Bill and the removal of the Native Americans from their homelands.

The only required book for this study was Buffalo Bill by Ingrid & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire.

Like the others, the book is well-written, if not a tad outdated.  The boys enjoyed it, though.  It focuses on William "Bill" Cody and how he became known as Buffalo Bill.  The assignments were consistent with the rest of the study, with a focus on notebooking.  There were only 4 lessons for this book, so it was short and sweet, and gave me time to include a couple of extra books with it.

I added two books, because that's just how I roll.

by Stephanie Salomon

We have a few of the books in this Come Look With Me series.  They offer several pieces of art work with background information and leading questions to really get the kids thinking and observing. This  book specifically focuses on artwork from different eras and tribes from across the country.  I included it because it helps us study the actual culture, diversity and artistry of the tribes.  While it's important to understand history and what happened to the Native tribes, it's also important to learn about them, who they were and are, their culture.  We used this book for discussions over lunch.

by S.D. Nelson

I chose this book for two reasons.  I wanted to include the authentic voice of Native Americans in our study whenever possible.  I've seen Nelson's books recommended, and this is a beautifully written living book.  It acts not just as a biography (though it is written in narrative, autobiographical form), but a living history of Black Elk's tribe and the cultures and customs, as well as a look at the general time period and the removal of Native tribes.  It includes both drawings and real photographs, which my boys appreciated.  (Just a note - I'm not usually one to censor, but one photograph shows a mass grave, so you may want to be cover it with a post it for sensitive children.) The other reason I chose this book is because Black Elk was part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, so it gave us a different look at Buffalo Bill as well, and I was interested to see how he was portrayed.  The author said Buffalo Bill paid them and treated them fairly.  This book is wonderful on its own, but turned out to be a great addition to this study for the broader perspective on the general time period and giving us a little more information about Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Tours.


There's so much more we could have explored with the west and Native Americans, but we're going to come back around to that.  Overall, this was a fantastic study!  I will probably be writing a "final thoughts" type post soon, because I still have more thoughts rumbling around in my head, especially as we try to narrow down curriculum choices for next year!

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