America the Beautiful Curriculum
1 year ago
over 2 years ago
Category Description for America the Beautiful (Gr. 5-8)
History is only the beginning of what this well-planned and user-friendly curriculum from the Notgrass family has to offer. The history is there, of course, in two large (about 500 pgs each) hardcover Texts. Part 1 takes the reader from the Native American nations (excellent coverage, by the way) through Reconstruction; Part 2 covers from the late 1800s to the present. The same comfortable readability we½ve seen in other Notgrass courses is divided into daily lessons (150) and grouped into weekly units (30). If you½re emphasizing America½s beauty, it helps to have full-color pictures among the carefully selected artwork, and they do! Each unit is introduced by a short overview and a list of the lessons and books needed. Accompanying activities for each lesson might include "thinking biblically" (scripture copywork or Bible study), vocabulary, map study (weekly), literature (readings from We the People along with other suggested readings), creative writing, timeline work, and a family activity (more about these later). Each lesson also includes optional assignments for the Student Workbook or the Lesson Review book. If this sounds like a lot, keep in mind that this course only really needs a little additional grammar study to be social studies, Bible, and language arts all in one.
The Curriculum Set includes the two texts mentioned above as well as We the People and a comprehensive answer key along with both the Maps and the Timeline books (six books total). The original source reader that accompanies each Notgrass course is one of my favorite parts. We the People provides the same variety books and stories, newspaper articles, documents, poems, journals, memoirs and biographies, speeches, letters, and songs as their other courses, and skimming through it took me for a trip down memory lane and long ago classroom recitations. It½s obvious that creative planning went into the family activities provided for each unit and found in the back of each text. Family Commemorative Coins, a Cupcake Factory, an Erie Canal diorama, and a Liberty Bell mosaic give an idea of the breadth of ideas.
It½s hard to imagine a thorough study of American history without good map and timeline work. There are no worries here! Maps of America the Beautiful provides both a high quality map and accompanying assignments for each weekly unit. Corresponding to the chronological development of our country, you½ll find the expected maps (colonies, westward expansion, battles, etc.) but also some more unusual sets America½s Islands, for example. You½ll want a quality set of colored pencils (the authors recommend Prismacolor pencils and I second this) red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, black, gray, and brown to complete the map assignments. Timeline of America the Beautiful provides an enjoyable timeline-creating experience. Arranged vertically (what a great idea!) on the page, each page depicts a ten-year slice of American life. Some events are noted already, but others are to be carefully written by the student as part of daily and weekly assignments (lines are provided). As space permits, high-quality line-art pictures are provided which can be colored (another use for those Prismacolors).
Two optional supplements coordinate with the course. The Student Workbook provides an activity page for each lesson. Offering plenty of variety, activities include crosswords, word searches, matching, rebus stories, fill-in-the-blanks, illustrations, multiple-choice and more. The Lesson Review book provides five questions for daily review and for literature selections as well as unit quizzes. Answers to both of these books and the timeline book are found in the Answer Key. ~ Janice
Customer Reviews4.7 / 5.011 Reviews<p>I used this curriculum for 3 of my 5 children grades 3rd 5th and 7th I did the reading out loud with all of them and then together we did the maps (which my kids LOVE) and the timeline My 7th grader then would complete the literature and review work alone It was a perfect fit for our family and my husband and I would "fight" over whose turn it was to teach history because we both enjoyed it so much!!!</p><p>Warning: this curriculum did cause my children to want to visit every spot that was talked about and now have a goal to go to all 50 states! We did take a big family trip up through several states and visited several of the locations that were talked about in the books These are also great books to take with you on road trips we've found! We stopped in at Mammoth Caves because of a lesson and otherwise would have missed it completely so glad we were able to go!</p> <p>Great curriculum can't say enough wonderful things about it! History is fun and my kids are begging to do 2 lessons every day (that has NEVER happened with history curriculum before!)</p>July 29, 2015<p>Notgrass America the Beautiful is a wonderful middle school American History program It is not the usual textbook It is so enjoyable We loved it as a family The great Literature books that goes with it The pictures of all the different places in America makes you feel like you have been on a field trip</p><p>You can use this with a Charlotte Mason education or textbook friendly It is NOT twaddle</p>July 28, 2015<p>My 12-year-old son eats this up! He actually spends his "free time" working on maps re-reading the text and/or looking up other books at the library to supplement what he is learning He's excited to share his new knowledge with the rest of the family at mealtimes We've all benefitted from what he is learning This curriculum really seems to make history come alive My younger daughter is begging to know when she can do the same history books</p><p>Books are beautifully formatted Lots of variety in reading/activities Easy to use: Student can forge ahead independently Would highly recommend!</p>August 4, 2015<p>This is a wonderful program I used it with my fifth grader and plan to use it again in a future year The photos are stunning and the information is very interesting Each lesson is the perfect length for us The text is just beautiful </p>July 28, 2015<p>This curriculum is definitely a wonderful American History course It is definitely very detailed and thorough There are 150 lessons divided into two volumes map study lesson review historical reading and chapter books We used Volume 1 and about 10 lessons in Volume 2 for 4th grade There is little to no prep for the teacher If you are using this with a younger student be prepared to do some of the work with them It may take longer than a year to complete both volumes We will use Volume 2 next year</p>May 14, 2012<p>This is a beautifully designed and thorough history curriculum using a clear Christian worldview I urge parents to not be overwhelmed by the number of books included (as I felt at first) The various workbooks allow a child to work with the information in different ways without being repetitive It is especially helpful for children who absorb information in ways other than just reading The mapping and timeline books give very clear instructions and are wonderful ways to reinforce what is taught It is well written with plenty of photographs and primary resources to make history come alive With the English and Bible lessons included all that I needed to add to it was a large three ring binder to keep everything organized My daughter really enjoyed this program</p>July 28, 2015<p>This is our first year to homeschool When I found this curriculum both my son and I looked at it Amazed at the beauty of the textbook and the quality - I was sold These books end up everywhere from the back room the bedroom the car and even outside under the trees I don't have to worry about it falling apart in a month But more important is the lessons themselves Wonderfully done Well written easy for my 10 yr old to pick up and do on his own Two thumbs up - both his and mine</p>July 29, 2015<p>Beautiful and fascinating coverage of history American landmarks and lifestyles Bright quality photos The workbooks and supplemental textbooks (We the People) are fantastic The lesson activities incorporate vocab creative writing and Bible Love it!</p>August 1, 2015Best for younger gradesI ordered this curriculum to use for eighth grade with my son. It is written at a low level, around fourth grade. Would probably work well with a fifth grader or a reluctant reader, but not for an eighth grader who enjoys reading and finds information and details fascinating. He needed more depth.September 10, 2016Purchased
1 year agoEnjoyable and well-writtenMy girls are working through this curriculum and they have loved it so far. I have loved that it is self-directed! I highly recommend it. We are not doing the literature part as they are taking an English class at a tutorial.October 31, 2015Purchased
over 2 years ago
Q & A
Browse 3 questions Browse 3 questions and 42 answersWhy did you choose this?Rainbow Resource Center StoreAre these text books only or are work books included?BEST ANSWER: Textbooks include Parts 1 and 2 of America the Beautiful and We the People. The Answer Key is just that. The Timeline and Maps are workbooks (we had 3 people using the course, and each worked on their own map workbook while we shared the timeline). Then, additionally, you need to choose the Student Workbook or the Lesson Review book. These last two are not part of the curriculum; the Student Workbook is more an activities/puzzles workbook (geared toward grades 5-6), while the Lesson Review asks 5 questions per lesson, requiring short answers (geared toward grades 7-8). We actually used an activity book for each student and answered the lesson review book together as review. But the activity book really is more suitable for the younger ones. Hope that helps.I want to get this for my soon-to-be 5th grader who gets overwhelmed easily. How long would you estimate it would take to get through 1 lesson? Do you do it every day? Do you do all activities listed? It looks like an awesome program. Is there a lot of independent reading? or would I be reading most of it. He's an advanced reader, but gets overwhelmed with assignments, etc. Thanks so much!BEST ANSWER: My 7th grade son really enjoyed this curriculum. He is a strong reader and worked independently for each assignment. He did one lesson each day and I would say it takes about an hour to complete. We did all the activities each day with the exception of the family projects and creative writing. We use another program for writing. The map work, timeline, and student workbook worksheets are simple and don't take much time. By far the most time consuming activity is reading the textbook and literature selections. We combined the suggested books with literature guides and counted this as his reading curriculum. One of the nice things about this curriculum is the flexibility to choose which activities to complete. Don't feel like you have to do them all each day. I would suggest picking a few to start and seeing how it goes. You can then determine if you want to add more or scale back. You can mix up the activities for variety or stick consistently with the same ones depending on your child's preferences and educational needs. I really like that this curriculum is adaptable because I plan on using it with my younger son also when the time comes. I really appreciate that this program presents the information from a biblical perspective and covers some very interesting more obscure topics that you won't find in other textbooks. Overall we really liked this curriculum and I have ordered another Notgrass History product to use next year.
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