History is an important part of any school experience. We must know where we’ve been to be able to navigate where we’re going, as a society and a species. Evolution builds on the past and it is important to try not to repeat our mistakes. We know this, and we need for our children to know it, so we include history in our homeschools and do our best to teach our littles about the good and the bad.
A key part of that is letting our littles know the people who have changed the world in one way or another. Caesar, Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, Christopher Columbus, Lewis and Clark, John Adams, Martin Luther King, Jr. Good or bad, right or wrong, it’s important to learn the lessons they taught the world.
But, mama. Biographies can be b.o.r.i.n.g.
Remember the ones we had to read in high school? I still shudder when I think of them. Ugh.
So let’s not make it like that for our littles. There are things you can do to make biographies engaging and exciting. I swear.
Tricks to Make Biographies Interesting
The first thing you should consider is whether there is a nearby historic site you can make a field trip of. For instance, Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home is within driving distance of our house, so we visited it when we studied him for the Civil War. It struck the boys as a lot cooler to learn about Lincoln while being able to touch places he had touched and see things he might have seen. The US has such a rich, harrowing, interesting history, and there are little gems of historic sites in every state. Make use of them. I mean, I guess that’s true of every country in the world, so no matter where you are, find a field trip you can link to a biography
You might also consider making a diorama of a particular moment in an historical figure’s life. Get an old shoe box, and some thin carboard or paper. Fashion the person and some relevant pieces, then add small toys to make it more real. For Lincoln, you could make a diorama of him giving the Gettysburg Address or signing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
Visit a wax museum. Better still, put together some costumes and hold one of your own. My littles Loved creating costumes to go along with their studies when they were small.
Pretend to interview the subject for a newspaper. Write down the relevant questions and answer them from the biography, then write a newspaper article. Oh, you want a free printable? I’ve got your back.
Oh, and find interesting books. Some of our favorites are The Royal Diaries, Dear America, and Robert Lawson’s amazing books told from an animals’ point of view, like Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos.
What to Read Wednesday
The most popular post from last week was:
And now for the link up!
Our hosts will still share a themed selection of our favorite books each week.
If you’d like to join us as a co-host for What to Read Wednesday, please contact Anne.
This list has our book themes for 2016, but you don’t have to stick to that to link up–any family-friendly posts are welcome. So, come on! Join in the fun!
If you’d like to link back to What to Read Wednesday, here is a pretty button for you!
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