If there’s anything better than “being there” on a field trip, it’s getting your own hands dirty with the dust of history.
The pictures above (used with permission), are just a few samples of unit studies enjoyed by my own children and students at our homeschool co-op:
- One girl created a model wikiup, complete with fire pit and sleeping mats to scale. Our class also made pemmican (jerky mixed with nuts and dried fruits) and sampled cactus pear jelly as we talked about how the early Caddo Indians lived and preserved food.
- We made an astrolabe from a drinking straw, a cardboard protractor, and a washer on a string then learned how to use it to figure our latitude. This simple navigational tool guided European explorers across an uncharted ocean!
- One young man lashed branches together to make a travois. Tribesmen harnessed these to their horses or work dogs and used them to carry goods or people across the Great Plains. (When I asked him if it worked, he said his little sister enjoyed it and the dog didn’t mind it…but his mama did!)
- Another young man made an atlatl and demonstrated how South Texas Indians used them to launch darts and spears at greater speeds and for longer distances.
Unit studies take a bit of time and preparation, but there’s NOTHING that will create memories and give you a return on your teaching investment quite like helping your child experience history for themselves.
Go ahead! See, hear, touch, taste, and smell history!