Everyday Life Series

I'm betting the author of these "cross-curricular" books from Good Year had no idea he was designing an awesome unit study companion! Each of these activity books focuses on a period of history, or on inventions throughout history, and features 11 chapters, all focusing on a different related topic. In Exploration & Discovery, chapters cover the travels of Marco Polo, Portuguese exploration, Columbus' discoveries, the Spanish conquistadors, French exploration of the New World, and more. Units that focus on a specific period in history offer chapters geared towards daily life in that time. In the Renaissance unit, chapters examine humanism, marriage/home life, fashion, fun, scientific discoveries, religious changes, and more. Each topical chapter opens with a "Background" section, which contains a four-page reading selection that introduces the student to the time period and topic. Following the reading, four different activities incorporating different subject areas are included, examined in the light of the topic. For example, following the chapter on Classes and Occupations in Colonial Times, activities include: writing a letter to a friend after supposedly seeing a slave market while on a visit to Charleston, matching the craftsman with his work, picking out the main idea from different paragraphs of the chapter text, and converting units including barrels, bushels, hogsheads, and more. With 92 pages of well-written information and activities in each volume, these would make great accompaniments to any history unit study or a "field trip" on everyday life during a more structured study. Worksheet activities are reproducible and answers are included. - Jess

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