Tag Archive | Magic Tree House

Abraham Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence

As I write that it totally looks like I am saying Lincoln was AT the signing… rather we covered BOTH of these rather interesting topics recently and I figured why not bundle the two together for the blog post?

The 2016/2017 school year has had a focus more towards history and the United States of America. It has been a learning experience for students AND teacher. These two topics were the twins’ choice. We started with the Declaration of Independence. Such an important piece of paper. We used a lot of sheets from Education.com HERE.

We had a few books we requested from the library that were helpful:

  • What is the Declaration of Independence by Michael C. Harris HERE
  • The Declaration of Independence by Don Nardo HERE
  • American Documents: The Declaration of Independence by Judith Lloyd Yero HERE
  • The Declaration of Independence by Lori Mortensen HERE

I have to share a rather interesting link passed along by a good friend (and fellow twin mom)… this one looks at what happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence AFTER they signed at USHistory.org. They truly risked life and limb to do so, as they were really committing treason against the crown and King of England. The twins spent quite a bit of time picking out some interesting people to put into our hand out and report folder.

Abraham Lincoln was a huge success. The boys have always had a vague interest in him with his distinctive look and hat that he apparently kept things in. Our final conclusion was that Abraham Lincoln was a great president, one of the best, BUT his life seemed rather miserable. Granted there was a shorter life expectancy and much higher general death rate but… wow… so much sadness, death and difficulty in the life of someone who now is seen as such an inspirational figure.

We ended up choosing a labook set up that was not free, but it was well worth it. We went with a Knowledge Box product you can find for 5.00 (US) HERE. They have a study guide, lapbook and clear instructions.20170320_200116

20170320_200124You can check out my Education.com collection of worksheets HERE. Activity Village has some very helpful worksheets as well (sadly these are all pay for sites to get the full experience, but we have found it well worth it.) HERE. You can do a helpful search on EnchantedLearning as well to get these pages HERE.

Books:

  • I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer HERE
  • Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, President, Emancipator by Pamela Hill Nettleton HERE
  • Abraham Lincoln by Barbara Knox HERE
  • Abe Lincoln: The boy who loved books by Kay Winters HERE
  • Abraham Lincoln by Tanya Lee Stone HERE
  • Encyclopedia of Presidents and Their Times by David Rubel HERE
  • Magic Tree House #47: Abe Lincoln at Last! by Mary Pope Osborne HERE
  • Abraham Lincoln by Sarah Hansen HERE

DVD:

  • Getting to Know The U.S. Presidents: Lincoln HERE

These were wonderful topics for us to cover one after the other. We really haven’t spent as much time on US history as we have researching countries from other parts of the world. I can’t say we will stick with these kind of topics, but the more we can cover and find interest in the better. From Lincoln it is a quick jump to Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. I will share our resources from these topics to. From slavery to a country declaring independence, to a man realizing that a whole group of people also deserved their independence… then to a man who made sure that it was realized that segregation is wrong and a woman who helped courageously help attain that dream. Not bad for taking topics the kids chose themselves!

History, Snacks and Other Fun

February 22-25

What to do on a weekend when we plan to be home for it? Well… have company! Childhood friend Christopher and his wife Renee who is due any day with their 3rd (boy) and their sons Nathan and Evan. They came over for lunch and playtime. Younger than our boys the kids still managed to have a lot of fun. Of course Skylanders came out and Legos and such. It was nice to have company over where the adults could just sit around and chat (or craft).101_6276

Walking Tacos

Walking Tacos

We ended our Saturday calmly with a movie. Really not much to report beyond a great visit with old friends.101_6278

Sunday was totally a crafty day… after Sunday school. I had to get EVERYTHING out and package up my big commission from a friend up north… she requested I make her a variety of critters for her to gift etc this year… I think I covered the spectrum and had a blast honing my skills while doing it. Is it ever hard to wait until she gets it to find out her thoughts!!!101_6279

And then for a more local (but still mailing away) craft… one I have not done in ages – an infant knotted tutu. Using glitter tulle so I am on the hunt for the escaped glitter now. Really glitter is EVIL!101_6280

Monday was back to work… and back to swimming for the twins. I am really impressed how much more RELAXED they are each time.

We had some more sporty drawing to enjoy. Art for Kids (on right) put up a stick figure figure skating… something Trinity was quick to say SHE wanted to draw.101_6281

We decided to create our own Olympic medals. I love the 4 different interpretations… Zander’s all had his name on them, Gavin recreated the official ones for this year… the other two were equally creative. I got our template from Activity Village HERE. We used the 3 sizes of circles to show the different places as I really didn’t want to print out enough that we had 4 sets of large circles!101_6282

Emanuel and I are working on our Magic Treehouse dinosaur themed story still. It is so much fun reading one on one with him. His own reading skills are increasing by leaps and bounds!101_6283

We added a new animal to our Wild Kratts list – the Meadow Vole. The twins have come up with a new idea along the same lines. They want to watch Dirty Jobs episodes with Mike Rowe and pick one of the jobs of the episode to research further. We have been working on our Google searching and how we type in a specific topic or sentence and then reading through articles… with adult supervision of course.101_6286

The weather is just too yuck for the little ones so we pulled out our rainy day fun bucket and did some creative sticker and face shape crafting. Echo especially found this  to be great fun!101_6287

101_6289Tuesday was a rather special day… of course we still did our basics including some Lego time…101_6291

BUT Tuesdays 5-8 pm are free admission at the Minnesota History Center!101_6295

101_6335There was tons to see and do and not enough time for us to do it all. We had only an hour (5-6) before we needed to be back for Ken to go to his weekly gaming night but we made good use of it. We went straight to the area that was the most hands on for the kids. I want to go back and see the prohibition era limited time display in the following weeks.

There was tons about the fur trade and the Native Americans…101_6304

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Reproducing bead patterns

Reproducing bead patterns

A great display about the use of Bison…101_6321

And so much more.101_6297

101_6312101_6326The 4 big kids and Ken tried out the mine area as Echo was having nothing to do with the noise and darker ambiance.101_6330

It was so much fun to head out and just enjoy learning about the state we now live in. Together time well worth it! And how to end the evening with Daddy gone to gaming? With a late snack food supper and a movie… THOUGH I hasten to say – fun mommy was only for ONE night… the next night we planned bacon wrapped pork and vegetables…101_6337

The joy of learning not only at home but out in the open air!

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Paul Bunyan and Other Topics of Interest

February 19-21

Mid week and we dove right back into the stories. I am loving our reading time. There can never be enough of it!101_6261

We watched a great episode on Minnesota from an aerial series. I asked the kids to draw what they thought was the most interesting, most memorable. And for the first time in ages the three boys drew the same thing – PAUL BUNYAN. So guess what Mommy has to jump on the internet to research and request? I thought for sure one of them would want to learn more about the Mississippi river or… some sort of city building or something but NOPE giant lumberjack and blue ox for the win! So keep an eye out for our further information! Watch the video HERE thanks to the Smithsonian Channel.101_6258

The kids and I finished our Chinese New Year binder. It is amazing how much we actually end up doing when we totally get into a topic! So much creativity and learning. You can, of course, check out the resource blog entry HERE.101_6259

Thursday was a read to the family sort of day. The twins are totally our leaders of story time and WILLING leaders now!101_6256

Emanuel read this one to me!

Emanuel read this one to me!

I found a wonderful resource to split up the portions of a story into sections to map out a story in a castle shape that the twins tried as well. Anything to get us looking at the parts of a story to make more in depth and well thought out stories. You can find this amazing resource HERE thanks to This Reading Mama.101_6262

Trinity and I are still trucking through the Valentines books…101_6263

And Emanuel and I started a Dinosaur book that was sent to us in a set from Gammie for Valentines. We are going chapter by chapter and then I write down  a couple sentences that Emanuel remembers as the main details and he draws a picture. It is fun reading together and including dinosaurs. I totally want to get back to the dinosaur research we have been doing but I admit it – we have been lazy. The obvious dinosaurs are covered.101_6264

We borrowed a series of 10 Veggie Tales videos from the library as well. So each day we watch a video and then I have been printing out Sunday School resources… the little 3 do the colouring page and the twins the 4th page. The next day we do the first two read and discussion pages together. You can find the pages we have been using HERE. I am not including A LOT of religion in our class time but this is a chance to enjoy a wholesome program and reflect on some very important lessons for life and love. Lets use any resource we can to find the best ways to interact with each other.101_6265

101_6266The kids all finally got around to wearing their Valentines day craft t shirts. Gotta love the heavy Minecraft theme. But it was so much fun and definitely something we want to repeat!101_6268

And then…. MORE SNOW… I swear we have feet and feet of snow!!! The kids are getting sick of it even!

The inside of their snow structure looks so cozy!

The inside of their snow structure looks so cozy!

101_6271With more snow comes more inside time… so more books…101_6273

101_6272Dressing up…101_6274

Playing on the electronics…101_6275

And then BANG the week is done! The time goes fast but slowly at the same time it seems!!!101_6255