I have enjoyed a break from my normal routine but have been hard at work lesson planning. This week I finished my plans for Social Studies. We will focus on the Oregon Trail and Westward Expansion when school resumes in one week. It looks like it will be a fun unit, and hopefully over the next seven weeks, I will be able to share some of the best activities on Teaching Tip Tuesdays. For now, I want to share two teaching kits that were extremely helpful in my planning this week.
I ordered Living Long Ago from http://www.lakeshorelearning.com (type in keywords "social studies resource boxes). Lakeshore offers a number of fabulous manipulatives, hands-ons supplies, and resources that will allow you to take your existing curriculum and make it pop. They have products for all core subjects. On the downside, they are a little pricey, but I find it worth the cost and splurge each year on a couple of new resources. Also, their products are not specifically designed to promote a Christian world view. However, I have never encountered anything contradictory either. Though I exercise caution when considering readers, their hands-ons materials are, imho, exemplary.
The LLA kit contains activity cards and a guide book, picture cards, writing prompts, time-period doll clothes, and a model Conestoga wagon. My boys have already dressed their "Piggy" as the frontiersman. We are still searching for a wife who will fit into the dress! LOL!
Pioneer Piggy and the Living Long Ago Resources
I also purchased Exploring Primary Sources: The Western Frontier in the 1800's from http://www.schoolbox.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=37454. This kit contains thirty-six picture cards depicting events and issues of the westward movement. The back of each card contains a thought-provoking narrative. It also provides questions and prompts for thinking and discussion. For example, "Sodbusters" (pictured below), asks, "How do you think the people in this drawing feel about their lives on the prairie?" It also challenges them to describe this family's daily life: What type of work did they accomplish each day? Where did they get supplies?
I hope you have all enjoyed your week. I have mine. I look forward to another week together. Now I'm off to lesson plan some more.
Your Bloggy Friend,