The kids and I reviewed Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum by Golden Prairie Press.
We love history. If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that we love to do extra history studies, ready history fiction and non-fiction, and learn all about history and geography. We had the opportunity to review the Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum by Golden Prairie Press over the last few weeks and I must say we are glad we were able to.
We had not heard of Golden Prairie Press prior to our review opportunity. If you have not, let me tell you a little about them.
Golden Prairie Press has original downloadable history curriculum by Amy Puetz. Her newest history curriculum is Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum by Golden Prairie Press. Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum caters to grades 1-6, though can be tailored for older or younger students. It is a 30 week history curriculum.
As the name implies Digital Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History is a downloadable curriculum. Therefore, it is available for immediate download and use, which is great. The complete curriculum includes all the following:
- Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 1 e-book (lessons for the 1st half of the year.)
- Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 2 e-book (lessons for the 2nd half of the year.)
- Historical Skits e-book (nineteen skits from the time of Columbus to World War II)
- Sing Some History Audio Download
- Listen to Some U.S. History MP3 Audio Download
- Additional Materials Downloads (Printable timelines, instructions and entertaining videos, color artwork, coloring pages, and much more.
How We Used It
We had a great time using this curriculum. We started at the beginning with The Period of Discovery. Most of the lessons are broken into two reading parts. A reading geared toward 1st and 2nd graders and a second reading covering the same material in greater depth geared toward 3rd through 6th graders. Personally, I loved this feature of the curriculum. Since my Kindergartener was following along with us, we typically read the 1st and 2nd grade reading first and then he went on to play something or build with his Legos while we continued with the lesson.
The lessons this have discussion questions, which we would answer together as well. I would see if there were any for my Kindergartener to answer and then I would move on to the rest for my 3rd grader to work with. After we read the discussion question we would go back and read the section in the reading for the older kids, the 3rd grade through 6th grade reading, regarding the discussion question to go a little deeper on the question.
After the discussion question is a writing topic. My daughter really liked these topics. They were very original. Since she is only a 3rd graders, we kept the writing short but it really brought out some creativity. For instance, the lesson on Christopher Columbus, the writing topic was:
Pretend you are a person at the Spanish court. Write what you think Columbus says to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
She thought this was fun and wrote a whole dialogue between two Iroquois’s about the white men. Other writing topics throughout the 1st few lessons were of similar nature like pretending you are a part of history or thinking about describing what you saw on a voyage.
Most lessons also included a geography assignment to locate pertinent places mentioned in the reading on a map. I also liked that maps were typically included in the readings, which made a nice reference.
Historical art is also included after many lessons. A small color picture of a famous artwork was included and questions are asked about it helping students examine the art. Larger copies of the artwork were available for viewing and/or printing on the Addition Materials download file.
Other options for activities at the end of each lesson includes coloring, making crafts, timeline activities, singing songs, and doing skits. The kids REALLY liked the songs and skits. The download included songs and audio files of the songs, which was a nice bonus.
An options Literature Pack is available for 5th and 6th graders. These are mentioned where they fit into the curriculum throughout the manual. We did not review this portion as my kids are 3rd grade and under.
There are memory verses throughout the curriculum, spread out every few lessons to learn and recite later. This was a nice addition. We added this to our Bible verse studies. The curriculum asks the student to write the memory verse on a 3X5 card and then work on it each day to recite from memory in 5 weeks.
There are several activities with play-doh like making Viking Ships and Adobe Huts. These were fun and this was a great opportunity to include the little ones in the fun. My son really liked the play doh activities with the lessons.
At the end of each section is a list of recommended resources. These are books to further the study and there is a short explanation as to why it’s pertinent or what part of the resource is a good fit for what is being studied.
My daughter also enjoyed the Write a Story from the Picture activities that were included. And, of course, some of the recipes were nice. We enjoyed these as well. There were even some fun old times games sprinkled into the curriculum, which was a fun addition.
Overall, we thought the Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum by Golden Prairie Press was great and look forward to its continued use. The time needed for the lessons was very manageable and the list of activities provided a good variety to further the study of the lesson. We did at least some of the activities with each lesson, sometimes all of them if they were fun and we had the time.
Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum is $98.99 and available immediately through digital download.
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