Tree-ear is a homeless orphan. He has spent months secretly observing master potter Min and dreams of someday making beautiful pottery. One day, he accidentally breaks a pot. To pay for the damage, he goes to work for Min. This story takes place in twelfth-century Korea. Winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal. ~ Anh
I am excited that Ray and Charlene Notgrass have written this excellent, one-year world history course! While many families enjoy a chronological, multi-year approach to world history, others prefer to study history in a more traditional manner - one year at a time. Written in the engaging narrative voice that has made the Notgrass courses beloved by many homeschool families, this new World History begins at the very foundation of our Christian foundation- Adam and journeys to the end of the 20th century, with a final unit on our interconnected world (from the thrill of world-wide sporting events to turmoil in the Middle East).
Containing 30 units, with 5 lessons per unit, this course will take students one year to complete. It is anticipated that daily lessons will take 45-90 minutes per day, although it is naturally flexible for homeschool families to set their own pace. While the target grade range is 5 through 8, families with younger children will find this a perfect read aloud curriculum, as the text has been clearly and engagingly written.
Let me give a bit of an example of how the unit lessons are laid out. At the start of each unit, there is a brief introduction to the lessons including the recommended literature selection to accompany the reading. Each weekly unit has one lesson from each of five categories: Our World Story (major events in history); Gods Wonders (impact of the worlds created wonders on history and culture); World Landmarks; World Biography of some of historys most influential personalities and Daily Life (an inside view of everyday life). Daily lessons are richly illustrated with graphics and photographs, including maps of historic places and regions. At the conclusion of each lesson (approximately 5-8 pages), parents and children will select assignments to complete from a list of 5-7 assignments. Older students may be able to complete all the activities-but again- there is built-in flexibility for your individual familys needs. Assignments include readings from the Our Creative World book (collection of original documents); Map Book assignments; Timeline Book assignments; assignments from the Student Workbook and Lesson Review Book (optional resources), as well as language arts assignments covering vocabulary, creative writing, literature selections. Thinking Biblically assignments are also included with most lessons and are designed to engage students in applying Scripture to history and life. Each unit also provides a suggested weekly family activity-projects vary and include arts and crafts, recipes and games. Materials are easily found for the projects and are designed to bring the family together to enjoy time together building memories.
Curriculum package contains From Adam to Us Part 1 and 2; Our Creative World, Map Book, Timeline Book and the Answer Key to end of the lessons questions as well as the activities and tests in the Student Workbook and the questions and tests in the Lesson Review. Although it is possible to share the Map and Timeline books, they are available separately, allowing each child to have their own copy. I suspect that most children will be eager to create their own map and timeline.
If you would like to add more supplemental instruction or review, consider the Student Workbook (5th-6th grade) or the Lesson Review (7th-8th grades). Both include additional assignments that correspond to the daily lesson as well as unit tests and questions related to the literature selections. Most literature based questions are recall based. However, there are a smattering of higher level thinking questions.
Middle school children will be enthralled as they view world history through the lens of a Creator God who is alive and active, from the very foundation of our world through present day. ~ Deanne
Language arts programs listed in this section cover most areas of language arts (reading/literature, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting) in one curriculum, although some skill areas may be covered with less intensity than a focused, stand-alone course.
Please note that a brief synopsis of many of the books included here are provided in our Library Builders section. Study guides for the same book are often available from several publishers, so we found it more efficient to give a description of the book only once.
The set of all 12 literature units at each level are intended as a complete language arts curriculum teaching vocabulary, grammar, writing, spelling, story elements, and figurative language in the context of popular children's books. However, they are more than this, bordering on unit studies because of their strong social studies, science, critical thinking, and art/design components. Available at seven levels (ages 7-9, 8-10, 9-11, 10-12, 11-13, 12-14, and high school), they correspond to concept units in the Moving Beyond the Page curriculum.
These use literature as a springboard for investigation, exploration, research, creativity and expression; the focus moves outward from the book. This is unlike most purely literary study guides which bring everything in toward a focus on the novel itself. Another unique attribute is the amount of creative expression involved, from identification with particular characters in the book to developing plotlines or stories having some common theme - there is much more running with a train of thought stimulated by the book than responding directly to the book.
Motivated, artistic, imaginative, creative children will love all of the extension activities here! They will have many opportunities for creative expression as they write stories, draw and design things, use critical thinking skills, journal, reenact scenes, and mentally put themselves in the characters' shoes. Also striking is the rigorous nature of some of the assignments, especially at the lower levels. I can see why these are recommended for gifted students. Since these guides were originally created to enhance a science and social studies driven curriculum, there are many activities that get fairly deeply into these subject areas. This is especially the case in pre-reading activities as you set the stage for the time and location of the novel. The author utilizes these research opportunities to maximum advantage - and it does help to put the book in context. Often, this facet of literary analysis is skipped or passed over too lightly when we read a book, making it difficult to really understand some of the conflict, circumstance and social culture/customs that are critical to comprehension.
While it's difficult to get a bead on the comprehensiveness of the guides for spelling, vocabulary, and grammar with only a small sampling, I can say with certainty that there's plenty of composition integrated into the units. Besides a large number of writing activities, the student keeps a journal which is used for some of the discussion question responses each day. In some guides, the journal is also used for other creative responses (such as retelling part of the story as diary entries through the eyes of Anna each day in Sarah, Plain and Tall).
Other language arts areas seem to be covered in a solid, serious, and thorough manner, based on the samples I've reviewed. Vocabulary work is significant with children looking up words and writing definitions and using target words in compositions. Students learn how to use a dictionary and thesaurus to their advantage. Many activity pages are devoted to grammar, mechanics, and punctuation. Spelling lists, including common and challenge words, appear at the end of each guide.
Each Literature Unit is in a standard format. Lessons are structured and easy to use. There's no guesswork involved. Each one includes most of the following elements:
- Questions to Explore - the Big Picture ideas and concepts for the lesson
- Facts and Definitions - any knowledge or vocabulary learned during the lesson
- Skills - objectives, identified by subject area
- Materials - everything needed for the lesson, even included activity pages
- Introduction - exactly how to introduce the lesson to your child (almost scripted)
- Activities - generally from 1-4 of these which vary widely by lesson
- Conclusion - summing up the ideas from the lesson along with response from your child
- Real-Life Application - an extension activity which takes a concept from the story and applies it to a real person or situation
While the format is standard, the lessons themselves are extremely varied. In one lesson, the concentration may be on a grammatical or literary aspect. The next, you may have a lot of social studies related activity. One lesson will have your child writing a persuasive paper; the next a poem. She may study prefixes and suffixes today and be baking cookies tomorrow! Today a science experiment; tomorrow planning a party! You get the idea. Moreover, there are often several options for an assignment, so you can choose the most appealing or beneficial one. If you are using these guides as the basis for a language arts program, you will probably want to leave most of those activities intact, but you may still want to moderate some of the writing assignments. And while the lessons are easy to use and complete, there is still a lot of parental involvement required. Some activities are challenging, others need adult help and guidance - which is not unusual at these grade levels. Lessons that include reading in the novel have a series of questions about the chapter(s). These are not all recall questions, but include more in-depth and subjective discussion questions. You should read the book in tandem with your child in order to assess her responses.
The number of lessons varies by guide. Some of the units include other books and resources (see below). Typically, a unit will last from 2-3 weeks, though you may take longer with some lessons, especially with some of the more involved activities. Every unit ends with a final project, some of which may take a few days to complete. There are three literature units for every concept per level. Using all three would allow your child to compare and contrast themes and characters across novels within a thematic framework. Literature units and novels also become more advanced through each level. Please note that this is not a religious curriculum. It does, however, encourage character development.
Concepts and units by age are listed below. Each literature package contains the literature unit guide AND the corresponding novel. Where other components are included, they appear below the package in italics. NOTE: Student Activity Page sets are NOT INCLUDED in the packages. A single copy of each is in the study guide. Although you are not allowed to reproduce these pages from the guides, they are all single-sided and usable, so you do not have to purchase a set of student pages unless you want to leave your guide intact.
Beginning with ages 9-11, the guides are Student Directed Literature Units. All instruction is written directly to the student in a conversational tone and the guides are a worktext with no separate student activity pages. Each package contains the SDLU, the corresponding novel, and sometimes other books (listed below the package in italics). Occasional tests are provided with an answer key at the back of the unit. Also in the back are several references/helps: spelling lists, handy guides to writing and grammar, and a writing rubric.
The guides for ages 12-14 and for high school are structured around two semesters, with five literature guides per semester. Publisher recommends the literature guides be completed in order. Each literature guide provides 12 lessons and a final project. In-depth analysis of story elements and figurative language, challenging essays and comprehensive grammar assignments will enable students to appreciate and emulate the craft of great writers. Thematically, guides will aid students in gaining a deeper understanding of everyday life in the past through the selected literature and reading assignments.
A set of Literature Units (LU) is a complete language arts curriculum teaching vocabulary, grammar, composition, spelling, story elements, and figurative language in the context of popular children's books. LUs each explore one facet of a concept that ties three units together. Each unit has a primary book that is studied for 2-3 weeks and may include additional titles. these concept-based studies allow your child to compare/contrast themes and characters across novels.
Lessons are structured and easy to use but extremely varied, often with several options for an assignment. Beginning with Gr 4-6, the Student Directed Literature Units (SDLU) are Worktexts with instruction written directly to the student. Each package contains the SDLU, the corresponding novel, and sometimes other books. Upper levels provide rigorous and challenging studies with occasional tests (answer keys included).
These autobiographical books by Tomie dePaola share his childhood experiences with great humor and detail. The personal memories are funny and unforgettable, even though Tomie comes from a normal family, living in a normal New England town. The text is fairly easy to read, so these beginning chapter books are great for young readers or read-alouds (average of 5 pages per chapter). In the first book, 26 Fairmont Avenue, Tomie's family builds a new house and moves out of their small apartment, Tomie attends his first day of school, the family survives the hurricane of 1938, and Tomie has a funny reaction when seeing Snow White in the theatre for the first time; 58 pages. In the second book, Here We All Are, the family continues to love their new house, a new baby is expected, and Tomie takes tap dancing lessons and tries out for the school play; 72 pages. Black and white drawings illustrate the books. Both are softcover. ~ Rachel