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A review of American history (4-8)

A review of American history (4-8)

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Written by Hunter   
Monday, 23 March 2009 15:50
american history
Dolores Carnahan, West Park School District, Fresno, CA


Appropriate for grades 4-8.

OVERVIEW: A good knowledge of the past is essential to understanding the present as well as the future. Students need to appreciate that the present comes from people and events from the past and that history is a chronological record. To be responsible citizens in the world today and tomorrow, students need to comprehend the historical concepts of time and chronology, cause and effect, continuity and change, major historical events and periods, and the impact of religion, philosophy, and other major belief systems on history.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this lesson is to review the importance historical events and time periods of United States history from discovery to the present. Through the use of art, crafts, drama, music, and dance, students can acquire a better understanding of the important contributions of individuals as well as cultural groups, and their impact on U.S. history. This lesson is used to culminate all the units studied during the year.

OBJECTIVES: Students will be able to:

1. Understand that life is influenced by man's physical environment, heritage, and cultural interchange.

2. Understand that people of all races, cultures, and religions have made a contributions to world history.

3. Develop a sense of pride and appreciation for their own as well as other's work.

4. Develop the ability to work well in groups as well as independently.


1. Students will write and illustrate a time line depicting major time periods or interesting facts. They can work in groups or independently to make single panels for a time line or use butcher paper to make longer ones.

2. Students decorate a shoe box into a mini-float showing their research. Use small toy figures, rocks, vehicles, sotto, and other materials for construction.

3. Children can pick an area of interest and write and/or act out a play or recite a speech (Ex. Gettysburg Address). Students can make a background and costumes reflecting the time period. Puppet shows are another good source especially for shy students.

4. Make dioramas or murals. These are best when done in small groups. Nothing beats the hands on approach.

5. Learn songs and dances of the different time periods. Patriotic songs will only be learned if taught as part of the curriculum.

RESOURCES/MATERIALS NEEDED: Some of the potential resources might include:

- American history textbooks
- Encyclopedia
- Books on plays
- Music books, tapes, and records
- Educational magazines and periodicals

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: A year end program culminating the years work allows the students to perform and/or display their work to classmates and parents. Display time lines, murals, dioramas, and floats at Open House, school assemblies, or in the classroom.  Children can act out plays, perform dances and/or sing songs from the era studied. A tape of patriotic songs can be played as people view the floats and awards for the best floats may be given.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2009 12:21
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