Warning: Soapbox Post Ahead
The printables and Free Curriculum Offers are at the bottom, scroll if you must.
So, what do you think?
CAN History be engaging?
If you would have asked me that 20 years ago,
I would certainly answer that with a big fat,
I can even go further and tell you the specific night
that I decided that I HATED History.
I would use a milder word,
but it really wouldn’t convey my actual (10 year old) feelings about History
(and yes, if you do the math that makes me 30)
So, it was 20 years ago and
I vividly remember sitting in my uncomfortable wooden chair,
with my gigantic 5th grade (public school) History book propped on it’s spine.
The tendons between my thumb and pointer finger ached from holding
this monster of a book upright.
It was massive.
I was tired.
It was late,
Homework was due,
and I had more pages to read then I cared to count.
I tried my best to read. I willed myself to focus.
Self motivation kicked in; “You can do this!”
With heavy eyelids I read a full page.
Until I realized,
I hadn’t a CLUE what I just read.
(ever done this?)
Giggling at myself,
I started to read again…..this time outloud.
An hour passed, until I just couldn’t stomach any more.
I had no idea who these “historical” people were.
I had no personal frame of reference for where they were at in the world,
or even what period of time they existed in.
There were dates and numbers and facts,
graphs and arrows and lists of accomplishments.
I had no connection to any of it.
My brain was jumbled.
That was the moment I realized my complete
hate disregard towards History.
(yes, I was a moody young girl and my feelings quickly swept from hatred to apathy)
I closed my book,
went to bed and
took an incomplete on my lesson the next morning.
Big fat ZERO.
And, now that I’ve written that all out,
It is almost sad to remember how much
I actually loathed History lessons.
I know better now.
I’ve actually become quite fond of History over the past few years,
Mostly from reading His-Story from an entirely different perspective,
but also out of a necessity to teach it to my own children.
I want my children to actually connect with the people and stories they read about.
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So mostly I’ll be assigning these living books during independent reading time,
but for some of the titles I’ll be following up the reading time with
actual assignments. It is for those times that I made a set of Notebooking pages:
And of course I couldn’t wait to share them with you too!
If you use living books or any kind of chapter book as part of your weekly lessons,
you’re going to love this 5 day spread of self-guided notebooking assignments.
TIP: Print up an extra set and keep them in a folder
for one of those “mom is sick, everyone pick a book” moments.