Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Next year: History (Angel)

Oh the shame! Here am I, a professional historian (or was / would be if I didn't have another, more important job), and I have managed to raise two daughters who dislike history. (Nota bene: If you want historically minded children, do not marry a history-hating man - your children may take after him!) Another irritation is that I worked on designing a curriculum, only to find that I have to reinvent the wheel for my own children. By rights Angel should be starting Level 3 of Mater Amabilis. Realistically, being the hands-on, practical, non-literary person she is, it would be a disaster this year, at least for the more literary subjects. So, what to do?

Da, da ... I have a plan! Angel may not be interested in what happened long ago, but she does like to know how the world works now. I have decided that this year I will have her start keeping a current affairs diary, adding a page each week on whatever event most interests her. To tie in with this we will jump into twentieth century history. I thought about using Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World Vol.4 as a spine, but decided it would not be a good fit for Angel. Instead we will look at specific topics over our three term year:

  • Term 1 - World War I and the Russian Revolution
  • Term 2 - World War II
  • Term 3 - The Middle East (Israel and Iraq)
I am planning for two lessons weekly (probably around 30 minutes each). On top of that Angel will do a notebook page each week on one of the topics we have looked at, and we will add in some historical fiction - I'm aiming for one read-aloud and one independent read each term. Anything else will be a bonus. We will not use a single spine text, but I have various resources lined up ...

General Resources
Witness to History series (pub. by Heinemann) - I particularly like this series. Each book gives a short introduction to a historical topic, illustrated by a well-balanced selection of extracts from historical documents.
The Twentieth Century Day by Day (pub. by Dorling Kindersley)
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

World War I
Witness to History: World War I by Sean Connolly
War Game by Michael Foreman
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
Also planning a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London (where they have a recreation of a First World War trench) and to the Cenotaph (national war memorial) and the tomb of the unknown soldier in Westminster Abbey.

Russian Revolution
Angel in the Square by Gloria Whelan

World War II
Witness to History: World War II by Sean Connolly
Usborne Introduction to the Second World War
True Stories of the Second World War by
Dolphin Crossing by Jill Paton Walsh (story of the evacuation from Dunkirk)
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (set in Denmark)
Twenty and Ten by Bishop (Jewish children hidden from the Nazis by French children)
The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier (Polish children survive the war and try to find their missing parents)
Watch 1940s House TV series

The Middle East
Witness to History: The Arab-Israeli Conflict by Stewart Ross
Witness to History: The War in Iraq by David Downing
One More River by Lynne Reid Banks (a Canadian girl moves to a kibbutz in 1960s Israel)


Anonymous said...

You and I are on the same page! I am going to do modern history with my dd, 11, this year, as well. But you are farther along in the planning process than I! Thank you for your resources and ideas!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Kathryn,
Sorry, I meant to sign the above post--God bless!
Jennifer in TX

Amy said...

what a wonderful way to tie in her strengths and interests!

Karen E. said...

We're doing some stuff on WWI and WWII also! I also just bought Twenty and Ten and Number the Stars and will have to look into some of your other recommendations. Thanks!