American History

American History – John Smith

Have you ever had a notion about someone in history but once you did some research on there life, you were surprised? I just had that with John Smith. Quite honestly, the only thing I thought I knew about him before was from the Disney movie Pocahontas. Needless to say, that cartoon (as much as I enjoy it) does not follow facts. =)  John Smith, is the last explorer we are discussing in our American History Unit.  (Please refer to that post for information on topics we have already done or a quick outline for what is planned for the future).

We started this lesson with a short you-tube video.  I had a hard time finding any videos that I liked. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one but it was the best I could find. The run-time is 6:38. The women’s voice is fairly monotone through-out and pictures are mainly just paintings of him.

The book we read was Captain John Smith by Henry Kurtz. This book was written in 1976. We checked it out from our local library and it had old yellow pages with a musty book smell. We LOVE those older books. Unfortunately, Caleb found the book quite boring. I on the other hand was really intrigued by it. John Smith really wasn’t a nice person and for some reason that fascinated me. It is a longer chapter book, so I won’t recommend it unless your child really enjoys reading.

Next, Caleb did the John Smith pocket out of the History Pockets: Colonial America by Evan Moor. It offered us a nice change of pace from the reading that we had been doing lately. We did this pocket when I was at my parents. We go to my parents house weekly to do school and visit. That is where we completed this pocket. Unfortunately,  I think we (or I) left it there because I can not find the finished project anywhere. So sorry, but no completed photos for this one.  Oops..should I tell Caleb yes even Mom misplaces things sometimes? 😉

We ended the unit with Caleb writing a short paragraph giving a general overview of John Smith’s life. He also had to draw a picture of him on our timeline and provide 3 highlights of his life.

This was our last explorer, so now we are going to spend some time learning about the ocean and ocean currents. We have just spent a good few months talking about different explorers crossing the big blue ocean. Now let’s get a feel for what that might have been like and learn how the ocean works. Stay tuned for a post on our ocean unit. =)

Happy Learning Everyone!




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