You might also enjoy A Detective’s Guide to American History: 1900-2000.
Are you looking for an engaging full-year American history curriculum that will introduce your elementary students to key people and events of the 1800s? Take a look at A Detective’s Guide to American History: 1800 to 1900.
A Detective’s Guide to American History: 1800 to 1900 includes 30 lessons and 10 optional extension lessons and can cover a full year of American history.
Each lesson – or Case File – includes five short sections of text that can be read over the course of one or more days depending on your schedule.
Each section of text is followed by two questions.
- The first tests reading comprehension and is taken directly from the text.
- The second shares more information about the person or event through a decoding puzzle that reviews addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. More information about the math is included below.
- A code wheel and everything students need to decode the puzzle is included.
Each of the first four Case File readings also includes an optional Gathering Evidence assignment that can be used to help students learn more information about the topic and develop research skills using books, Internet sites, the library, or whatever resources you have available.
Each lesson also includes:
- Five vocabulary words and a vocabulary activity, covering a total of 150 vocabulary words through the course
- Room for a Case Sketch, an opportunity for students to draw something related to the lesson and help them visualize and retain what they’ve learned
- Basic map work that allows students to record the location of one or more places from the lesson; bonus in-depth optional map work is also included
- A Solving the Case activity where students copy the facts they learned, practice reducing the information into simple sentences, and retell what happened in the unit to demonstrate comprehension of the material.
Each optional lesson – or Dossier – focuses on a specific person, one from each decade covered in the curriculum. These are shorter units that do not include vocabulary practice or bonus map work. A suggested plan for when to do these units so they flow chronologically is provided.
As a bonus, a checklist your student can use to keep track of his or her progress through each Case File or Dossier is also included.
What topics are covered?
The main units cover the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, the Cumberland Road/National Road, the War of 1812, the First Seminole War, the Erie Canal, Texas independence, Samuel Morse and the telegraph, the Trail of Tears, immigration, the Oregon Trail, the Mexican-American War, the California Gold Rush, events leading to the Civil War, the Pony Express, the tensions building before the Civil War, the Civil War, President Lincoln’s assassination and Reconstruction, the Homestead Act, the Transcontinental Railroad, the Great Chicago Fire, the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone, Thomas Edison and his inventions, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Johnstown Flood, the Columbian Exposition of 1893, the first Modern Olympics, and the Spanish-American War.
The optional units cover Robert Fulton, John Jacob Astor, John Quincy Adams, Cyrus McCormick, John C. Fremont, Harriet Tubman, Mark Twain, Crazy Horse, Geronimo, and Herman Hollerith.
All lessons, optional lessons, bonus map work, and answer key total 445 pages.
Are additional resources needed?
The only resource needed to do the core assignments is an atlas or similar map resource. Access to books or the Internet is required for the optional activities.
What level of math do the puzzles review?
The codes review addition and subtraction skills as well as basic multiplication (up to two digits by one digit) and simple division (two digits by one digit). A few multiplication or division problems include two digits by two digits, but those problems only use numbers from the 1-12 times tables.
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