Thursday, September 22, 2011

This is the United States--Unit Study of Landmarks and Symbols

We have been working steadily on our USA landmarks and symbols unit study. This is a unit that doesn't lend itself as well to pictures since I have pulled it together using history resources I have on hand. The kids each have a notebook and we've been adding to it steadily. Funny enough, LD has said he LOVES history and has been really into this unit.  That amazes me a bit because it has been less project-oriented than many of our units have tended to be (and involves a lot more writing on his part).

We've read and done sheets about the USA, the American flag, George Washington, the Thirteen Colonies, and the Liberty Bell. We also read about some landmarks out west such as the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and Arches.

We used a couple lessons from Art Projects for Kids - Desert Landscape and How to Draw a Cactus.
I read a review on Wright on Time at Almost Homeschoolers and decided this might fit in well with our unit study.
 The kids like the fact that the kids in this book were homeschoolers. This first book mostly focused on the two kids as they explored a cave out in Arizona.  We were lucky to be traveling when we read this and had the opportunity to visit our own cave!

They had colored lights, but the scene was still pretty, if not entirely natural
Okay--so back to our unit--we did more reading and worksheets, sang lots of US songs (Yankee Doodle, My Country Tis of Thee and the like).
 We've done quite a bit with US geography.
We've been playing lots of rounds of Mad Dash. This is a geography game I've had for years. We play it as a one-team game competing against our previous scores. We get 25 cards and then start the timer. The object is to place the state cards in a row (states have to touch their neighbors) trying to make it across the country as far as possible. The cards have a certain number of points and after the time runs out you add up your points. The more neighbors a state has, the fewer points it's worth.
 We've been using the landmark and symbols cards (note--our blog has moved. This link takes you to our new location... the cards are still free, but are hosted over at See you there!! ~Liesl)  I made last summer regularly and lay them out on a big map we have. 
We talked about the Statue of Liberty and did a couple crafts:
 And drew our own fireworks based on this project from Art Projects for Kids.
That's it for now!

You may be interested in these related posts:

Last year: Civics and Government Unit We went into much more depth about the US again. Not only did we go over some of the well-known American landmarks and symbols, but we went over some basic facts about the US government.  We have a new 40-page US Civics and Government Unit available which includes civics cards, pages about the 3 branches of government, sorting cards about the different responsibilities of the legislative, judicial and executive branches and much more.

We also have a World Facts Packet which has students identify the world's largest countries, the countries with the highest populations, the longest river in the world, the highest mountain, the largest desert, etc.  This packet also has a U.S. Facts pages (the largest/smallest states, highest mountain, largest cities, major rivers and lakes, etc.)

This packet goes over some basic world facts.  Do they know…
  • What are the four largest countries? (Russia, Canada, the U.S.A., China)
  • What countries have the most people? (China, India, the U.S.A.)
  • What are the world’s largest cities? (Tokyo, Jakarta, Seoul)
  • Which countries have the longest life expectancy? (Monaco, Macau, Japan)
  • What are the major religions?
  • Famous world landmarks
This packet also goes over some basic facts about America.
  • What is the U.S. capital? Washington, D.C.
  • What is the smallest state? Rhode Island
  • Biggest state? Alaska
  • What is the name of the tallest mountain in the U.S.? Mt. McKinley
  • What is the longest river? Mississippi River
  • There is also a sheet so the kids can locate some geographic features of the US: the larger rivers, the oceans, Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes

If you do a lot of Montessori activities with your students, you might check out this post: Various Free Montessori Cards.

See you soon over at our other location: or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page. ~Liesl

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