Saturday, January 31, 2009

World War I - Week 4

Here is an update to our cur
rent unit study.

We have 2 more weeks (of six) left to study The Great War, and have really enjoyed the books, disc
ussion starters, and activities from World War I Thematic Unit by Teacher Created Resources. I highly recommend these studies for 6th-8th, and one nice thing is that they can be downloaded instantly from CurrClick. I have used several of these units, and each has a literature book, a "spine" book, discussion questions, suggested schedule, and cross-curricular activities. It has been fun learning about The Great War, as it was a topic I knew very little about before. Gotta love homeschooling!

Here are some of the things Miss M did this week in our unit study:
  • Read Chapters 13-16 of World War I and discuss provided questions. (History)
  • Learned about the different types of gas used in WW I. (Science & Technology)
  • Discussion, "Is the use of chemical warfare ever justified?" (Critical Thinking)
  • The need for faster, quicker, more powerful weapons brought about numerous inventions during this time period. Research one WW I weapon, and create a scrapbook page to show what you learned. (Science & Technology, Language Arts, Design)
  • Create a short story of an imaginary war experience, using one of the story starters listed in the Thematic Unit. (Creative Writing)
  • Second Lieutenant Frank "Balloon Buster" Luke became one of America's greatest flying aces during WW I. Read about his problems as well as his triumphs. Discussion, "What makes a good hero?" (Critical Thinking, History)
  • Free Reading - Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (audiobook) - Miss M really enjoyed listening to this on audio. She says the story was exciting, and she loved it. She wrote down a recipe from the book for World War I time Spice Cake, and just announced that she wants to make it today. (History, Practical Life Skills).

Here is the WW I Cake (eggless, milkless, butterless) recipe from Hattie Big Sky:

War Time Spice Cake
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup shortening or lard
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 tsp each of ground cloves and nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and floud 8x8 inch baking pan.

Boil brown sugar, water, shortening, raisins, and spices together for 3 minutes. Cool. Dissolve soda in 2 tsp water, and add to raisin mixture. Add salt. Meanwhile, stir together flour and baking powder, and add to raisin mixture 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

Pour into prepared 8x8 inch pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes.

I will close with the poetry assignment Miss M completed this week, a World War I-themed cinquain.

"World War I" by Miss M
Gone forever
Lost to war
Never coming back home

Thanks for taking a peek into our homeschool. How was YOUR week?

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Great War: Week 2 - Life in the Trenches

We just finished a great week of schooling. I am so thankful that things are going smoothly around here! Here are some highlights from the second week of our World War I unit study.

  • Write 10 true or false statements from Ch 5-8 on 1/2 size index cards
  • Explore life in a Trench with the websites HERE and HERE.
  • Create a "Life in the Trench" scrapbook page

  • Mini-project choice #1 - Write a newspaper article covering the sinking of the Lusitania.

  • Digging Deeper: Do you think the United States should have joined WW I? Should it have waited so long after the Lusitania was sunk? Write down at least 3 good reasons to support your opinion in your notebook.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek into our homeschool happenings! I hope your week was blessed.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


We're back from Christmas with a new six-week unit study focus on World War I. I am so excited about this! Since I know next to nothing about this topic, I read an EXCELLENT book over Christmas break called The Yanks Are Coming. It pulled me into a topic I am a little reluctant about, and I can happily report that The Yanks Are Coming is back in print, published by Beautiful Feet! This is a factual history that reads more like a novel, and is perfect as teacher background or a high school level spine.

We are beginning a couple days this week by watching one of the excellent videos from the series
The First World War, an outstanding DVD series! The remainder of the day will be devoted to unit-related reading, research, writing, and student-selected projects. To keep our day simple, we are only adding math daily and alternating language arts and Bible.

Here's what we are doing our first week:
  • Family Read Aloud (girl interest): Rilla of Ingleside
  • Independent Literature Book (girl interest): After the Dancing Days - Ch 1-5
  • "Spine" Book: World War II by Peter Bosco - Ch 1-4
  • Videos: The First World War (Parts 1 & 2 of 10), The Trench
  • Discuss and or Define: Causes of WW I, The Central Powers, The Allies, Militarism, Imperialism, Nationalism, Alliance
  • Begin Making The Great War review game: We will create True/False questions from each WW I chapter and play a game with them.
  • Student-selected mini-project: Write a newspaper article covering the sinking of the Lusitania
  • Notebooking: Design a page on either "The Sinking of the Lusitania" or "Causes of The Great War"
  • Supplementary challenges, accountability questions, and cross-curricular activities: World War I Thematic Unit by Teacher Created Resources

I will post more over the next six weeks, and will be compiling a six-week WW I lesson plan AND WW I videos list, so please stop by again soon!