Illinois: My State History Funbook Set
My State History Funbook is a color-cut-and-paste activity book which provides an introduction to your state through fun activities on an elementary or pre-school grade level. Your student will construct his own colorful scrap-book about his state, using pictures and cutouts that we provide along with pictures from free tourist literature. My State History Funbook is sold as a packet which includes the spiral-bound, pre-formatted activity book along with the Activity Pages for your state (color state symbol pictures, colored sheets with informational cutouts about your state, a simple lesson schedule and instructions for the teacher, and a list of sources for free tourist literature). The Funbook is correlated with our upper level course (State History from a Christian Perspective), so if you are teaching state history to your older students, your young ones can join right in the fun! The Funbook covers state symbols, history, important people, geography, weather, citizenship, state government, industry, agriculture, plants and animals, scenery, and recreational spots. You will need one copy per student. Teacher lesson schedule and instructions are included in the Activity Pages. Classroom teachers will need their own reference copy of the Funbook.
Considering the fact that it's a subject almost everyone has to study some time, it's been surprising that there are so few really good state histories available. Well, thankfully, with State History from a Christian Perspective, the whole family can learn the history of your state (or any state) at the same time. Each student prepares a project notebook - in keeping with his grade level and abilities. Ages 4 through Grade 2 can use the My State History Funbook. Grades 3 through 12 will use the State History Sets (with teacher direction) and can prepare a project notebook in a separate binder. Older grades (7th through 12th) using the same State History Sets can prepare a project notebook in a binder as an independent study. There's even an option for using ABeka's My State Notebook. This state history material from Helping Hand provides a lot of flexibility - think field trips, local museums, and pictures here. You can teach different levels simultaneously and you can study through different states simultaneously. Furthermore, you can choose your own course length - it's easy to adjust the program's 30 lessons for a six week session or up to a full year. You can also adjust the difficulty level for the individuals in the family. There is even an option for a six week independent study on your state's constitution.
There are two "hearts" to this program. For the teacher, it's the Master Lesson Plan Book. This is the booklet (spiral-bound, 60 pgs) that provides an overview of the study and the instruction for all the different study options. It also provides the lessons - thirty of them, each with steps for your young child (PK-grade 2) using the My State History Funbook and for your older children (grades 3-12) using the Student Booklet plus expansion suggestions for each lesson. Getting Started information is provided and then it moves into detailed lesson plans which cover interesting facts; geography and geographic features; flower/bird/motto etc; weather; early history - exploration and settlement; history - timelines and events; people, landmarks, major cities, state and local government; capital city; industry; careers; plants and animals.
The second "heart" of the program is the Student Booklet for your state - or the state you wish to study. These "booklets" are really a 130 page resource/worktext. Plan on one for each student. In addition to supplying all the textual information for the various topics covered, these books also provide full color pictures (seal, flag, flower, etc) to be used in the project notebook as well as six quizzes and two exams (non-reproducible, answer keys included).
My State History Funbook is designed for the youngest age range (age 4 to Grade 2). The actual funbook itself is generic - a spiral-bound blank set of templates all ready to receive your state-specific information. The accompanying activity pages provide some of that information as well as page by page instructions that correlate with the daily lessons from the Master Lesson Plan Book (you can use this course alongside the upper-level books or as a stand-alone course). Parents/teachers are encouraged to "round-up" much of the rest from tourist literature, the internet, and even by taking pictures of their children at various field trip locations. These are a variety of materials - full-color pictures to cut out and paste, map puzzles, specific tidbits of interesting information, and other material to cut and paste. The pages are a variety of colors to add interest to the finished Funbook project. The idea is to make it both a personalized and a comprehensive compilation of facts, history, geography, and trivia.
The State History Set provides the Master Lesson Plan Book plus a particular state's Student Booklet and is available for each of the fifty states. The My State History Funbook sets are also available for each of the states. Extra Student Booklets for additional students in your family (each student needs one) are available as needed. ~ Janice