She didn't have to think for long. Her hands-down favorite study was our study of the Civil War -- a unit study that lasted most of a year and included readers, read-alouds, computer simulations, a huge lapbook project, and best-of-all at least a dozen field trips to Civil War Battlefields.
1. Great books
A small (perhaps very small) sampling of the Civil War resources we used:
2. Computer simulations
Tim found wonderful computer simulations that showed where the troops were standing at various point during a specific battle, how they moved, where reinforcements were coming from, etc. Instead of hearing that one side won that battle, we saw the outside factors at play and often why that battle ended the way it did.
I snapped this picture the night before we visited Gettysburg.
3. Walking along the battlefield, visualizing what we'd studied.
We didn't just drive past the battlefields. I remember holding Lauren and listening to Tim show Addison where the troops were standing and which directions they moved during the course of the battle. When we walked Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, we could see what the Confederate troops were facing and ultimately why they weren't successful that day.
4. Capturing the information and the memories in a lapbook to treasure.
Addison still has the lapbook she finished in fourth grade, and she is still very proud of it. When I wanted to take a picture of it, I found it on the bookcase in her room beside her school materials for this year. She's studying American History for her freshman year of high school and wanted the lapbook for easy reference.
I sometimes wonder if Addison would be so interested in the Civil War if we hadn't immersed ourselves in that study. I definitely know that she wouldn't have remembered nearly as much if we had just read a few chapters in a textbook.
Perhaps what I should be wondering tonight is how I can apply these ideas to our other studies. The Schoolhouse Review Crew has been blogging about Teaching Creatively this week. I think I need to find some ways to add some much needed creativity to our days.
If you want to see what everyone has shared, be sure to click on the links below or visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. Also, don't forget that today is the last day to enter the Teaching Creatively Giveaway.