Friday, January 29, 2010

Home to the USA!

Continuing in North America, we come to our own beloved country. How on earth can you study America for ONE week? How can you possibly focus? Well, for one thing, we studied American History ALL year when Z-Man was in first grade.

One of the lanterns from Paul Revere's ride.

Then, in second grade, we studied a different state each week.

That's Arizona in back of Little Man.

So, for this week, I decided to narrow our focus to patriotism, immigration and symbols of America. Oh, and American artists. And composers. How's that for narrow?

First, the books we read and some of the related activities:

This one is packed with information. We used a couple pages from the teacher's guide and just explained/talked about the rest.

One of my all-time favorite Five in a Row titles. I was overjoyed to find it at a library book sale. We discussed our own family genealogy and looked at lots of old photos. We also watched the Schoolhouse Rock video, The Great American Melting Pot. Love those!

I strongly dislike books that make me cry, but I'll make an exception here. We watched two online videos on Ellis Island from the History Channel.

There are some books you just want to own and this is one of them. Naturally, we had to listen to people sing the National Anthem on Youtube. Whitney Houston during the Gulf War was my personal favorite. I'd love to hear someone sing the fourth verse at the Super Bowl.
...Blest with vict'ry and peace may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!

We made an adorable little paper Statue of Liberty from!

This book has Z-Man determined to ask Mark to run for president so that we can live in the White House.

OH MY! Could this be a cuter story? And the ducks REALLY MARCH into the fountain at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis! After we read the story, I started a Youtube video of it (there are many!) and the kids just stood watching, mouths agape. To this very day, there are ducks actually living on the roof of the hotel, in a little duck palace and they swim in the lobby fountain every day! That's definitely on our "places to visit" list now. (I feel I should note that several of the characters deceive someone - we explained that was wrong and were still able to enjoy the book. Just so you know.)

This also led to an interest in John Philip Sousa marches, so we first listened to several Classics for Kids shows about him, then to some of his marches on Youtube.

This one is just funny. We have the game too which is a lot of fun.

Z-Man made this free, printable file folder game of United States Landmarks. Scroll down to "Passport to America."

This is getting to be a long post, but stay with me - I've saved the best for last!

We took a look at Norman Rockwell's paintings entitled The Four Freedoms in a very old book we have here. We also did a limited study of John Singer Sargent. Our computer is in the dining room where everyone passes it frequently. I simply find paintings on Google Images and make them my desktop background for a week or so. Below is "Woman Fishing."

And last, but certainly not least, we listened to patriotic songs! God Bless America, America the Beautiful, Let Freedom Ring, etc. Here's my favorite. Enjoy!

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