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American History for Kids: The Montessori Way

Over the past month I've tried to really focus in on ways I can teach American History for Kids the Montessori Way, and engage all of my kiddos, no matter their interest in the subject or their ability to understand it.

I have found U.S. history to be the most challenging subject to teach in a Montessori setting.  My kiddos either love it or hate it.

If they do love it, their knowledge of history far surpasses that of their peers.  Prepared work doesn't provide enough of a challenge and they become bored easily.

Those who hate it despise the prepared work and tend to avoid it at all costs.

Then there's the fact that creating history printables for the shelves is extremely time consuming!

(This doesn't mean we won't continue to do so, it just means we will be very selective about what we create.)

American History for Kids: The Montessori Way

American History for Kids: The Montessori Way

Today, after literally a month of planning and preparation, I unveiled my new plan.

In essence all of my kiddos were finally ready to transition from Montessori preschool style history work to Montessori elementary style work.

I had been waiting for quite a while for Bulldozer to develop the writing skills necessary to progress.

The kids went crazy over the new way of doing things.

Here's how it all works.

American History Writing Outline

I have created an American History Writing Outline to guide my kiddos through all of the important events in U.S. history.

American History Writing Outline (Free Printable)

This free 23 page printable pack will be used to introduce each new time period, whether it be a war, a movement etc.  The specifics of the time period will determine what pages from the printable pack are necessary.

The kiddos are expected to research the time period in American history and fill out all relevant information.  They may use books, documentaries, historically accurate movies, music, field trips etc. to obtain information.

American History Research for Kids

The printable pack is open ended so that students can pick and choose what information they'd like to include under each section.  It is expected that completed printable packs will look different from each other.

The American History Writing Outline includes the following sections:

  • Event Overview
  • United States of America Point of View
  • United States of America Allies
  • Opposing Point of View
  • Opposing Forces
  • Important Battles/Events
  • Effects of Conflict
  • Role of Women
  • Important Women
  • Role of African Americans
  • Important African Americans
  • Role of Native Americans
  • Important Native Americans
  • U.S Military Information
  • Military Opposition Information

If we find a need or interest in adding more sections we will!  We hand out a U.S. History Writing Outline at the beginning of the month.

American History for Kids through Books

The American History Writing Outline is a Subscriber's Only Freebie.  To receive your free copy follow the directions at the bottom of the post.

American History Time Period Project

By the time kiddos have filled out their printable pack, they've done enough research to discover what aspects of the event they're interested in, and which ones they prefer not to learn more about.

At this point they decide on an American History Time Period Project to create and present to their peers in a class setting.

If a child loves art, they may choose to create and present a detailed, historically accurate masterpiece that depicts one aspect of the time period they enjoyed.

If a child loves writing, they may choose to create and present a written report, biography, poem, etc. that depicts one aspect of the time period they enjoyed.

If a child loves science, they may choose to develop a project that proves or explains one aspect of the time period they enjoyed.

If a child loves music, they may choose to compose a piece of music that portrays one aspect of the time period they enjoyed.

If a child loves math, they may choose to create a time line or present one other mathematical aspect of the time period they enjoyed.

If a child loves geography they may choose to create a map or flags to explain aspects of the time period they enjoyed.

The sky is the limit so long as the kiddos are making sure their projects are historically accurate and appropriate.

All projects should take an extended period of time to create after initial research has been done.  They are not to be rushed or thrown together last minute.

Kiddos will check in with an adult and show their proposed project plan before they begin the creation process.  A teacher can at that point give any support and guidance each child needs to ensure a successful project.

Projects will presented to the class at the end of the month.

How is this Montessori?

In the elementary classroom history lessons are given with the purpose of introducing a topic to students.  It is then that the teacher provides resources for further exploration and discovery.  Students are encouraged to find subtopics that interests them and dig deeper.

Elementary classrooms encourage independence in learning.  Teachers are encouraged to follow the child's lead and help them develop skills that are necessary for success as an adult.  

The American History Writing Outline guides children through initial lessons about historical events. It provides varying levels of support depending on the needs of the individual students.

American History for Kids: Teaching Research Skills

Required research encourages children to explore history in a variety of ways.  Not every child learns history in the same way.

The American History Time Period Project encourages individual growth in every student.  It teaches so many skills including but not limited to planning, preparation, follow through and time management.  

The project also provides opportunity to work on public speaking skills, grace and courtesy (while others are presenting), and teaching others.

American History for Kids: Preparing for Projects

Our kiddos are so thrilled about this new approach to history.  Dinomite, who is incredibly passionate about history right now, is so excited to share more about one of his favorite topics with peers.  His biggest challenge is narrowing down what he wants to focus his project on after the initial research.

Bulldozer is so elated to have a writing outline to guide him through his studies.  He is particularly excited when he knows an answer to a question before he takes the time to research.  The outline is that extra layer of support he needs to be successful in learning history.

Princess has never been a fan of history.  She has always avoided history work on our shelves.  The American History Writing Outline has helped her think about history in different ways, more than just an event that occurred a long time ago.

When she realized that she could research historical events in a variety of ways, she became excited to find resources that suited her individually.  These vary significantly from those her brothers prefer.  And the project that follows... Princess is so excited to create something that depicts an event in history.

If you'd like to see the results, be sure to check the post out below.

American Civil War Projects for Kids

American Civil War Projects for Kids

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the resources below.

United States Presidents Activities for Preschoolers with Free Printables Presidents of the United States Activities for Elementary Learners with Free Printables Montessori-inspired Native American History Printable Pack Civil Rights Movement Activities for Kids with Free Printables Montessori-inspired Explorers and Colonists Printable Pack The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Montessori-Inspired U.S. Presidents Bundle United States Constitution Printable Pack Memorial Day Learning Activities with Free Printables

American HIstory for Kids: The Montessori Way

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