In chapter 39, we traveled to China. The kids were appalled by the greediness of the English merchants and the weak character of the Chinese who got addicted to opium. It was another opportunity to talk about smoking and illegal drugs, as well as the love of money.
Gluten free, vegan poppy seed muffins
We made poppy seed muffins for our craft. Since I had to go on a gluten free diet, I have been perfecting my gluten free baking skills. I like my creations, but my children do not. Oh well. More for me. Continue reading »
Chapter 37 took us back to Africa, troubled Africa, with two stories: “The Zulu Kingdom” and “The Boers and the British.” The kids colored the page with Shaka, the Zulu king. We also did the map.
Close combat African spear
For our craft, we worked on the small spear. We found it very difficult to staple the tip to the paper towel roll, but we made it work. Since I did not want to rush to the store to get silver spray paint, or make a mess painting the tips silver and waiting for them to dry, I decided to use sparkly, silver card stock I happened to have. Continue reading »
Chapter 33 covered the end of Napoleon and the craft was really exciting. I had no idea it would be so easy to create our own snow globe with a soldier inside to represent the poor French soldiers trudging through Russia in the winter.
Snow globe soldier craft
We made sure the pronunciation of Napoleon’s name is different from that of Neapolitan ice cream. We love Neapolitan ice cream at our house and they asked me if it got named after Napoleon. That’s when I realized we needed to clarify some pronunciation. Continue reading »
Chapter 31 deals with a different kind of rebellion: the factory workers in England smashing machines for being abused in the work place. This chapter is our opportunity, parents, to steer young minds away from entitlement.
Coloring pages – our only craft for this chapter
Why? Because this chapter talks about children working in factories starting at age 8. That’s right. Let that sink in, especially if you have normal children, like I do, who are still learning not to complain when they hear they have to study or read or practice an instrument. Continue reading »
Chapter 28 is titled “China and the Rest of the World.” It is meant to contrast how the Chinese viewed themselves versus how the world (mainly Great Britain) saw China. If you ever needed a conversation starter on the topic of illegal drugs, this would be it.
Working with air dry clay and a toy pottery wheel
By now, you know I use these history lessons to make applications to our daily lives. Because the opium trade is discussed in the second story of the chapter, this was my opportunity to cover the bad long-term consequences of drugs. Continue reading »
Chapter 27 deals with the beginning of the industrial revolution: the cotton gin in the US and Watt’s steam engine in the UK. My son is into technology, so he was eager to learn more about these events. My daughter came along for the ride. As long as there is a coloring page, she is happy.
For our activity, my son drew his own invention
The world has changed dramatically since the invention of the steam engine and this chapter describes very well the lives of people before and after Watt’s invention. I like Ms. Bauer’s writing and my children do, too. Continue reading »
The French Revolution is the subject of Chapter 25. It gets gory at times, the story line, but thankfully Susan Wise Bauer kept those details to a minimum.
Patriotic button during the French Revolution
My son is very interested in wars and battles so he was excited to hear our chapter dealt with fighting and conflict. Of course, they felt for the kids of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. Continue reading »
Chapter 24 deals with Captain Cook’s voyages and the beginnings of Australia as a British colony. Since we just finished “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” the kids were already somewhat familiar with the name “Captain Cook” and the whole idea of explorations. It was a happy coincidence that our literature selection and our history lesson overlapped in a way.
My son looking for Venus after sundown
I am more interested in the reading comprehension questions now, as the nationally standardized test is coming up in six weeks. There will be lots of reading comprehension items on that test and I want the kids to learn how to approach their texts. Continue reading »
Chapter 22 is titled “Revolution!” and it presents two stories about the American Revolution. The first, Discontent in the British Colonies, shows the reasons why Americans became more and more dissatisfied with England. The second, The American Revolution, presents the beginning of the War of Independence, highlights of it, and its outcome.
American flag craft made by my daughter
This is a rich chapter and we dwelt on the Review Questions to make sure most facts stuck. I read to them Longfellow’s poem, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” but decided against memorizing it. Not only is it too long, it is historically inaccurate. Longfellow took a lot of poetic licenses (artistic liberties) and only mentioned Revere, completely leaving out his worthy fellow rider, William Dawes. Also, he makes Revere into the recipient of the message by lanterns instead of being the one who actually gave the signal. And so on. Continue reading »
Chapter 17 dealt with Russia’s Peter the Great. I have mixed feelings about Russia. I grew up in Romania and Russia influenced our culture in a very tangible way. I do not like Russia because they brought communism to Romania, but I like Russia for its art and literature.
We used foam sheets with sticky backs for the medals.
Russian history explains a lot about its art and culture, so I am curious to learn more about all the details that have shaped this country. Continue reading »