Welcome to this week's edition of Nonfiction Monday! This is my first time as host for this round-up, and I'm excited you are here! Nonfiction Monday is simply a collection of links from around the blogosphere that highlight or recommend great nonfiction books for kids or other nonfiction posts of interest.
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Oh, Pioneers! Heading West
Fall is right around the corner, and it might just be the perfect time to pull out some great books or do unit studies about the pioneers or westward expansion in the United States.
Something about sitting around a campfire on a cool evening just makes me think of those brave men, women and children who left kith and kin to set out on a cross-country journey to find a better life or adventure thousands of miles away. The hardships were many, and danger was a daily companion, but the joy, excitement, and expectation of something better pushed them forward.
Children love to study this period of history, and the ideas for activities are countless. A great resource to use is Pat McCarthy’s book, Heading West: Life With the Pioneers, 21 Activities. Not only does it cover the life and daily activities of the pioneers; information about our country’s prominent leaders at the time, events that were happening in the nation, conflicts with Native Americans, etc. is also included.
According to information from the publisher, here is a synopsis:
“Tracing the vivid saga of Native American and pioneer men, women, and children, this guide covers the colonial beginnings of the westward expansion to the last of the homesteaders in the late 20th century. Dozens of firsthand accounts from journals and autobiographies of the era form a rich and detailed story that shows how life in the backwoods and on the prairie mirrors modern life in many ways--children attended school and had daily chores, parents worked hard to provide for their families, and communities gathered for church and social events. More than 20 activities are included in this engaging guide to life in the west, including learning to churn butter, making dip candles, tracking animals, playing Blind Man's Bluff, and creating a homestead diorama.”
Ms. McCarthy has done the research and legwork to provide educators and homeschooling families with a resource that is interesting and practical. The activities are fun and do-able, and they don’t require materials that are hard to find. Students will enjoy the experience of doing ‘pioneer’ chores and learning what life was like for children on the trail and out West. They will find out that everyone had to pull together to survive, yet they still found time to have fun and fellowship.
So why not consider a study about pioneers and the westward movement soon? You can use Pat McCarthy’s book, Heading West: Life With the Pioneers, 21 Activities to help you ‘hit the trail.’
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