Friday, December 6, 2013

All American History Review Games

I love my Schnickelfritz dearly and I’m the first to admit he has a great memory….for the things he’s interested in: Hank the Cowdog titles by number, the names of the bones in your body, the distances of all the planets from the sun.  For other things we have to drill, drill, drill. History falls into this category.  I can’t blame him as I didn’t like history that much in school either.  I probably knew some/most of this stuff at one point in my education but flushed it out to make room for the dates, names, and places I would need for the next chapter’s test.  So I’m leaning this stuff right along with my son (and old brains need drill, drill, drill too!).  This summer while reading through  the Teachers Guide to prepare for for All American History I found review games for each quarter.  

Here’s my take on the first two (I’ll be preparing the second semester during our Christmas break).



1st Quarter: Explorers

We have 17 explorers to remember: their countries of birth, the country that sponsored their voyages, and key faces about each.  I added a few more explorers because I’ve been combining AAH with the New World Explorers study by Homeschool in the Woods .  Using Photoshop Elements, I began by making baseball card sized flashcards with the facts from the quarter review.  (You can read my post about using the PE Type Tool in my 5 Days of Photoshop Elements for School series).  After saving the fact cards file, I cleared the words and used the blank cards as a template to fit images of the explorers that I found on the internet.  Everything got printed on cardstock and laminated for sturdiness (we did a lot of reviewing).

For storing everything in our notebook, I placed pockets on cardstock.  Each pocket had a flag on it so we could store the explorers by where they were born or sponsoring country.  For the few explorers that worked for more than one country, Fritz could use either country’s pocket and just mention the second nation although you could make two cards for those individuals.  There were separate pocket pages to hold the key fact cards.  Some countries (like Spain) have a lot of explorers so make sure you allow for a deep enough pocket to fit them all.

2nd Quarter: American Colonies

We’ve got thirteen colonies (you probably knew that) to identify on a map along with key figures, reasons for colonization and sponsoring country(ies).   I started by finding a map on the internet showing the original territories rather than the modern state shapes.  I manipulated it with PE to make it as large as possible while still fitting on a page, but that left very little room to add pictures as the teacher's guide suggested.  I worked around that by creating a three-paneled foldable.

Each colony  was numbered on page 1 and the pertinent cards could be placed in corresponding boxes on pages 2 and 3.   Careful observers will notice that there are two #11’s to account for the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies.  In hindsight, I wish I had included the names of the key figures (as I did with the explorers).  After all, I want to remember who each man was not necessarily pick him out of a line up.  Since the portraits were already printed I wrote the names on the back before laminating them.

To include this fold-out in a notebook it’s helpful to trim about half an inch from the width of pages two and three so they’ll fold nicely without interfering with the binding or hole punches.  I added storage envelopes to the back of the center panel.

Incidentally, I found an error in the key figures provided by All American History.  The sketch for John Wheelwright shows a man dressed more for the Civil War era than the founder of a colony in 1622.


The AAH portrait is based on this image of a William Wheelwright  who played a key role in transportation in Chile in 1838, but I found numerous places on the internet where the figure was referred to as the founder of New Hampshire colony – proof that not everything you read on the Internet is true

A real portrait of the 17th century minister.

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