Free Modern American History Curriculum
Modern American History:
The Turn of a Century to a New Millennium
If you’ve been following along with our other Free History Plans,
We now have posted FREE History Curriculum
from Ancient Civilizations to Modern American History !
*Modern American History Outline:
Turn of a Century to the New Millennium
*Week 1- The Turn of the Century (1900)
*Week 2- World War I (1914-1918)
*Week 3- The Great Depression (1929-1935)
and the Dust Bowl
*Week 4- World War II (1939-1945)
*Week 5- 2 Wars & a Race to Space (1945-1980)
*Week 6- The Civil Rights Movement (1955-1963)
*Week 7- The Vietnam War (1964-1973)
*Week 8- Terrorism & the Gulf War (1999-2000’s)
*Week 9– Show What You Know Week!
*Week 10- Notebook It !
*Note: I realize a quick glance at the outline above would leave the impression that I only focused on the most depressing parts of this period of history. It’s true that there are a significant amount of wars and a yes, even a great “depression”, so it’s kind of hard to ignore. However, I have included many of the exciting and frankly AMAZING advances that were made during this time, not only in science and technology, but in the hearts and spirits of men.
SO PLEASE READ ON!
There are so many stories of bravery and compassion, ingenuity and genius, and a lot of downright plain grit found in the men and women who have lived during this time. I hope you and your children will be humbled as you study and inspired as you learn together !
You can now print the ENTIRE Modern American History Curriculum in a quick print PDF Version !!
108 Pages- Just PRINT & GO! This will make your life so much easier!
I have also included lots of super fun Field Trip Ideas, planners, and other helps for this curriculum.
Finally, we can add the Modern American History Printable History Cards!
The set is complete! YAY!!!
**You can find all of the great historical fiction books, resource guides, hands-on activity books, and movie suggestions for the Modern American History Curriculum by clicking HERE or on the image below ! ENJOY !!
*Note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these books/resources I’ve suggested, I’d appreciate it so much if you’d click through my links. I will receive a small commission from any sales at NO EXTRA cost to you ! I try to keep all of my curriculum free and so any Amazon purchases through my site helps me make a bit back on expenses. THANK YOU friends ! 🙂
*Modern American History Learning Objectives:
+ Be able to sequence the Modern American History cards
The cards are listed below this section, along with vocabulary.
There are 3 sets of cards: Events, People, and Places
You can choose to review by sequencing only the events, or by sequencing the events cards and then matching the people and place cards to the event. We played all kinds of relays and games with these to review. You can find more ideas for how to use these below. I am working on making a set of these to print HERE ! Stay tuned…
+ Be able to tell at least 3 facts about each card
+ Be able to tell what the Industrial Revolution was and how it changed America.
+ Be able to tell why America entered into WW1, WW2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.
+ Be able to explain very generally what each war was really about.
+ Be able to locate on a map (included in the lessons) New York (Ellis Island), Europe (as a whole), Bulgaria, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman-Empire, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, France, Hawaii (Pearl Harbor), Asia (as a whole), Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East (as a whole), Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan.
+ Be able to define/describe what it was like to live in America during:
–The Turn of the Century
(think a wealthy business owner, or a new immigrant, or a child working in a factory…life was very different for each person).
–World War I
–The Great Depression
–The Dust Bowl
(how did it affect the lives of those in different parts of the country)
–World War II
(be sure to remember how many immigrants that were now Americans- including those from Japan!)
(though it didn’t happen IN America, I think this is so very important to note- especially if you are studying this with your older children)
–The Cold War
(think drills at school and bomb shelters buried in backyards)
–The Space Race
(phew! finally something a little more fun!)
–Civil Rights Movement
(I am always amazed to let it soak in how NOT SO LONG ago this happened!)
(I still remember exactly where I was when this happened!)
(Another sad, sad day in our history that every one who is old enough remembers vividly. I love to think on what Mr. Rogers said he did, and “find” the helpers in this heartwrenching time. I think this is a great way to help balance what children are learning- always overcome evil with good !)
+Be able to name some of the incredible innovations and inventions that marked the turn of the 19th Century. Spend some time trying to notice how many small things we depend on every day that were just being invented at this point.
+Note the art of the period. I will be adding an Art History section to each of these studies at some point… in the meantime you may like to have your student take note of one American artist each week, whose work inspires them.
I HIGHLY recommend “Discovering GREAT Artists” for this.
It is my absolute favorite and the short bites of information and quick, easy art activities are PERFECT for adding art into your history studies.
+ Add at least one page per event (see events list) to your binder
(be sure you are including some important people and places on these pages!)
*If you would just like to SEE THE CURRICULUM
and not read all the details, ideas on how to use it, etc…
Just scroll on down! I PROMISE IT’S THERE ! 🙂
Below is an outline of reading/activities for a three day schedule. You could easily change this to a 5 day plan by adding in some hands-on activities (listed at the bottom of each week’s lessons), if that fits your needs better.
I’ve listed TONS of hands-on activities ideas, and you can also check out my Modern American History Book List which has all kinds of Hands-On Project Books, Kits, Historical Fiction, Great Biographies, Movies, and lots more.
**Another option if you’re a history loving family, is to stretch each DAY into a WEEK! There are more than enough ideas suggested for each day to easily do this…..especially if you add in some good historical fiction reading, a field trip or two, some movies, and lots of creative projects!!
This curriculum, Part 1: Early American History & Part 2: Modern American History would then last an entire year or more !
These are the kind of projects that will make MEMORIES !
I never realized how much studying history in this way would impress my kids….
Kind of like the time we were studying Ancient Egypt and a mummy LITERALLY showed up at our Thanksgiving table 😀 If you missed that, you can read about it HERE . I think we talk about this pretty much every year (it happened when my now 27 year old son was about 4)! lol
You can find TONS more super fun projects and learning ideas on my other American History Pinterest Boards. I’m always adding as I find the best FREE ideas !
How Our Family Used This Curriculum
We read piles of historical fiction (and non-fiction) books for “Language Arts” during our “history” studies. I put “history” in quotes because there really isn’t a single subject area that isn’t at least touched on through the exploration of history. This serves as a great way to have more time to ENJOY reading and cover two “subject areas” at once.
NO RUSHING THROUGH READING !!!
Perhaps one of the biggest bonuses is that this approach also makes it super easy to teach ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN AT ONCE ! I’m a believer in keeping a basket full of books of various reading levels on the focus topic somewhere where your children will spot them. On library days I made a point to stock up on any picture books, beginner readers, chapter books, and upper level reading books that were related to our study. I’d often find my older kids leafing through the easier books (or reading them aloud to a sibling)…and my Littles looking for pictures in the upper level books. That left me the middle ground to assign for independent reading and choose for our family read alouds.
More On Teaching All Ages At Once-
The lessons I have written in this series are meant to be self directed for middle school ages . But if you are using this for multiple ages like I did, it is VERY EASY to use the plans for teaching all your children at once.
Also –> This post contains affiliate links. There will NOT be any additional charge to you if you click to Amazon through these links, but I will make a small commission if you do! So thanks ahead for supporting my work ! 🙂
* I simply read the Story of the World OR Child’s History of the World
out loud to everyone, and some other historical fiction we chose. My Littles (and sometimes the Big) enjoyed coloring related pictures or drawing something for their timeline binders while I read aloud.
* I assigned each child some independent reading on their level. Most often I chose fun historical fiction books or non-fiction color filled guides. I tried to make sure to have at least a few fun picture books for the Littles too. You could use the Story of the World/Child’s History of the World suggestions as assigned reading as well if you prefer.
* The plans below also include lots of online resources to broaden the topic (especially good for your visual learners!). These can be completed independently by older students, or done together as part of the lesson. There are lots of links to videos too…so please be sure to review them for sensitive material and so that you deem them suitable for YOUR family!)
* We kept a constant review of our studies going with a history timeline binder. You can read more about how we used those HERE . The older students can add in the events, people, places, related field trips, etc… as they study and the Littles can add in coloring pages or drawings as well. As they search through the chronologically arranged pages in order to add a new page, it serves as the perfect mini visual review. You’ll be amazed at how well this works !!
**WHAT is a history binder?**
You will see mentions in this series to add pages to your “history binder”. So what do I mean?
Here is how we made ours…
As we studied through each section of history, we each kept our own 3-ring binder- an ‘all in one place’ type of timeline. We filled the binders with fun facts, history related coloring pages, drawings, print outs, etc… each page with a date on the bottom (or at least stuck in the appropriate “period” of history). We even added brochures from the art museum and other field trips that tied into our ancient studies! In planning out our year, I also included biographies of important people, great artists, musicians, authors, scientists, etc. as applicable, and added them into the binder as well. The suggestions you will find under “People”, “Places”, “Events”, and “Vocabulary” all would make great page headings to include in these binders. As you flip through your binders to add pages, it is an automatic visual review of how these things fit together in a chronological history of our world. The Printable History Cards also make a great addition!
Do you have to use a history binder?
No. You could make a huge timeline on the wall, or you could simply keep a notebook with tabs for vocabulary, important people and places, etc… This curriculum is meant to simply give you an outline to work from. Add or take away whatever you want to make this a perfect fit for YOUR family!
* And last, but certainly not least, the Hands-On Projects and Activities are a must ! (I think I kinda stressed my opinion of that before lol) This is another super simple way to teach history to ALL your kiddos at once. Super easy to find- buy some coloring books or just print off some free coloring pages online (HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE) to keep on hand when the wiggles strike.
I was amazed at how much is absorbed just by coloring and listening !! They are great to add in to the timeline binders for the big kids as well 🙂
The 21 History Activities Series is my favorite for short bites of information that is paired with really creative hands-on learning ideas. These activities can easily be leveled up or made a bit more simple, but enjoyed by everyone !! There are so many choices that would be good for this unit… here are just a few to give you an idea. Click on the picture to check them out.
PHEW! FINALLY !
So…HERE WE GO !
Just a short list…add as you go if you’d like or make your own list
-century -immigration -revolution
-industrial -philanthropy -tenement
-allies -suffragist -fascism
-nazi -dictator -communism
-democracy -alliance -concentration camp
-armistice -neutral -propaganda
-inflation -rations -economic depression
-shanty -drought -migrant
-Arms Race -satellite -Sputnik
-discrimination -socialism -segregation
-integration -civil rights -terrorism
+These are essentially the same as the weekly topics of studies, and what I use on our History Cards. You could add to these for older students (or make subcategories for details)…or choose less for younger students.
-Spanish American War
-Turn of the Century
-World War I
-19th Amendment- Women’s Vote
-The Great Depression
-The Dust Bowl
-The New Deal
-World War II
-Attack on Pearl Harbor
-The Korean War
-The Space Race
-Civil Rights Movement
Try matching the people, places, & events !
-Theodore Roosevelt -The Wright Brothers -Albert Einstein
-Henry Ford -Thomas Edison -Woodrow Wilson
-Archduke Ferdinand -Franklin Roosevelt -Harry Truman
-Benito Mussolini -Winston Churchill -Dwight Eisenhower
-Anne Frank -Corrie ten Boom -Richard Nixon
-Joseph Stalin -Mikhail Gorbachev -Allies
-Central Powers -John F. Kennedy -NASA
-Martin Luther King, Jr. -Ruby Bridges -Neil Armstrong
-Alan Shepherd -Ho Chi Minh -George HW Bush
-Saddam Hussein -Taliban -Osama bin Laden
-New York (Ellis Island) -Europe (continent) -Bulgaria
-Austria-Hungary -Ottoman Empire -Russia
-Germany -Great Britain -France
-Normandy -Versailles -Hawaii (Pearl Harbor)
-Hiroshima -Korea -Vietnam
-Middle East -Saudi Arabia -Iraq
When I wrote these units, I initially used only ‘A Child’s History of the World’ for the main spine. However, I often added in sections from ‘The Story of the World’ (Vol. 4), because I already owned a copy and had an older child in the mix . Therefore, I am including reading from BOTH of these books in all of my plans. However, you DO NOT need to use both books unless you just want to. I would say that ‘A Child’s History of the World’ is written to a bit of a younger audience than ‘The Story of the World’ series is.
And the same is true for the suggested daily plans. I include way more than you’ll probably use in a day. I have tried to include information and activities for several different levels so everyone can use this curriculum 🙂 I have included additional corresponding reading online as well, so you could essentially do this unit and add in your own reading choices, or even none at all.
*WEEK 1 :
1900- The Turn of a Century
+Suggested Supplemental Reading:
*NOTE: I’ve just selected 3 intermediate level books for each week.
You can find appropriate leveled books for your Littles up to High School on the Modern American History Book List .
I have also written a much more detailed unit study for
1900: A Turn of the Century !
You can check it out by clicking HERE or on the image below.
*Day 1- Ellis Island and the Great Melting Pot
*Immigration and Ellis Island
*What is Ellis Island?
*Eyewitness to History- Sadie’s Story
*Ellis Island Immigration Story
(Be sure to click through the BEAUTIFUL photo gallery !! )
*Who Was Annie Moore ? (Text and a short video- about 4 minutes)
*Read Seymour’s Story
*Ellis Island Virtual Field Trip & Interactive Tour
*DK Ellis Island (for younger students)
*MissionUS- A City of Immigrants (Interactive Game)
*From Ellis Island to Orchard Street
*They Came to America (Webquest)
*1900 Tenement Treasure Hunt
*Take a Virtual Tour of the Statue of Liberty
*Ellis Island the Gateway to Freedom (about 10 minutes)
*The Great American Melting Pot (Schoolhouse Rocks!)
*Arrival at Ellis Island
(from the History Channel- about 4 minutes; Be sure to scroll down to see lots of other related videos)
*Ellis Island – A Kid Explains History
(about 4 minutes…includes a nice interview with his grandfather)
*A Virtual Voyage to Ellis Island (about 5 minutes)
*Ellis Island Coloring Page
*Immigration Coloring Pages (from Dover)
*What Would You Pack ? (Printable Worksheet)
*Ellis Island Immigration Process (Printable)
*How to Draw the Statue of Liberty
*Statue of Liberty Coloring Pages
*Ellis Island & Immigration Wordsearch
*NOTE: I will include ideas for the Hands-On Activities and projects for each day at the end of this week’s lessons
*Day 2- Innovations & Inventions
*CHOW- Chapter 82: The Age of Miracles and Chapter 83: A Different Kind of Revolution
*SOTW 4- Chapter 16: The Expanding United States
*The Industrial Revolution in America
*Industrial Revolution Inventions and Technology
*Inventions of the Early 1900’s (You’ll be amazed !)
*Alexander Graham Bell and Henry Ford (short biographies & some activities)
*The First Airplane Flight
*Innovations Debut at the 1904 World’s Fair
*Footage of New York City- 1903 (about 4 minutes)
*The Early 1900’s (A great introduction! About 52 minutes!)
*Mother Necessity (Schoolhouse Rocks!)
*The American Industrial Revolution (about 27 minutes)
*Come to the World’s Fair ! –> Also explore some of the fun food HERE
*Wilbur & Orville Wright’s Flying Machine
*The Titanic ! (about 4 minutes) or The Titanic a Remembrance
* Start adding this section’s vocabulary words to your history notebook
(in vocabulary section)
*The Industrial Revolution Lapbook
*Ice Cream Cones – World’s Fair 1904 Coloring Page (Dover)
*Inventions- The Grocery Cart Coloring Page , Band Aids , Levi’s Jeans
*Wright Brothers Coloring Page
*Henry Ford’s Invention Coloring Page
*Day 3- Theodore Roosevelt
*Biography of Theodore Roosevelt
*Theodore Roosevelt (History Channel – older students)
* 1901 – The Roosevelt’s Move Into the Whitehouse
*Theodore Roosevelt and the National Parks and Kids Page
*The Story of the Teddy Bear
*“Speak Softly, Carry a Big Stick” Speech
-> What did he mean?
*Meet Theodore Roosevelt (about 6 minutes)
*Theodore Roosevelt Song (Did you think I’d leave these out ? lol)
*Roosevelt’s Bear (about 3 minutes)
*John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt and Our National Parks (11 minutes)
*Virtual Tour of Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace
*The Roosevelt’s (Interactive Timeline)
*Virtual Tour of Sagimore Hill
*Virtual Tour of Roosevelt National Park & The Badlands
*Finish this section’s vocabulary words
*President Roosevelt Coloring Pages (from all parts of his life)
*More Roosevelt Coloring Pages
*Theodore Roosevelt Worksheets and Coloring Page
*Notebooking Pages & Worksheets (Theodore Roosevelt)
*Our National Parks Coloring Pages
*Week 1- Hands-On Learning !
*Make a Family Tree !
How far back can you go? Did any of your family members pass through
*Can You Pass the Tests ?
Ellis Island Medical Exam- Would You Pass?
–> And Medical Inspection
* Naturalization Test
AND the current New Naturalization Test ?
*Write a letter home.
Imagine what life in America would be like as a girl or boy your age just arriving. Choose your “home” country, and write a letter to your friend there describing all the new sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes of your new country !
*Build a 3D Statue of Liberty
(I think this would be fun to use in creating a whole diorama of New York Harbor!)
*Try a recipe for one of the new foods at the World’s Fair 1904
*Create Your Own Invention (Step by step guide printable from MIT )
OR Try making some of these inventions HERE
How to Be an Inventor (good for younger inventors!)
*WEEK 2 :
World War I (The Great War)
*Day 1- The Start of the Great War
*CHOW- Chapter 84: A World at War
*SOTW 4- Chapter 20: Revolution in the Americas…War In the World
Chapter 21: A Revolution Begins, and the Great War Ends
*Causes of WWI
*Discover History – WWI (from NatGeo- REALLY good intro to WWI)
*10 Ways Children Took Part in WWI
*WWI from the BBC– read about The Great War from almost any angle on this site !
*Surprising Communication Techniques of WWI
*Stories of Faith from WWI (if you scroll to the bottom you’ll find many more!)
*Listen/Read “Private Peaceful”
–> There are a lot of great activities and resources if you’d like to do more
with this book. Just scroll down a bit on the page
or click –> Programme Notes.
*Modern Warfare! and Aviation and WWI
*Travel Through WWI to Armistice Day Interactive
(Note: click on Tell Us About You to start)
*Tales From the Trenches – From Those Who Were There
(Interactive from BBC)
*Virtual Tour of a Trench (from BBC) or THIS one from WWI Museum
*Explore this Animated Map
*Voices of the First World War
*Archie Dobson’s War
*WWI (Short videos covering start to end- from Scholastic)
*A Kid Explains History- WWI (about 4 minutes)
*Horrible Histories Frightful First War (the quality of this video isn’t very good since I couldn’t find the original… BUT it is the BEST and most simple explanation of the beginning of World War I that I could find anywhere!! Just over 2 minutes)
*Stubby – A Different Kind of War Hero
* History of WWI in One Take
(from History Bombs- about 6 minutes…Great visuals for these videos. They are not textbooky whatsoever and packed with info. Probably something you’d want to watch several times.)
*Click HERE to check out a good series of videos that cover this war in depth. You may like to choose one or many (there are over 200 videos) of these depending on the age and interest of your children. If you look to the right of the page, you will find the videos listed in chronological order.)
–>What Was Happening in America Before the War (about 9 minutes)
–>A Shot That Changed the World (Note: there is a less than polite word used in this video- not a curse word. Just letting you know so you can preview & decide. Video is about 8 minutes)
*World War I Cousins (funny short video from Horrible Histories)
*Mr. Betts World War One Song (may hurt the ears- ouch, but it’s a great review of a lot info in a catchy tune!)
*Day 2- America at War!
*The Zimmermann Telegram
–> you can see the original coded document HERE !!
*America Enters the War !
*The US in WWI
*Life On the Homefront
*Native American Code Talkers- Heroes of WWI
*President Woodrow Wilson and WWI
*The Allied Powers
*American Children in WWI
*The US Enters the War (about 2 minutes)
*The Near End of the War ? (about 10 minutes- really good, simple summary )
*Why Did the US Enter the War? (about 1 minute!)
*American Homefront During WWI (about 7 minutes)
*American Experience- The Great War (about 8 minutes)
*Sgt. York Wartime Hero 1918 (about 9 minutes with lots of original footage)
*Peculiar Planespotters (about 3 minutes…just for fun)
*DK Find Out- WWI !
*Interactive Map and Timeline of WWI
*WW1 Adventure in the Trenches (from the Canadian War Museum)
*Take a Virtual Field Trip Through WWI Museum and Memorial
*The Trench Experience (Interactive Game)
*WWI and American Art
*Day 3- The War Ends and the 20’s Begin !
*SOTW 4- Chapter 23: “Peace” and a Man of War
*The End of the Great War
*Wilson’s 14 Points
*Armistice and the End of WWI
*How Did WWI End ?
*The Remembrance Poppy OR The Poppy
*After the War… the Roaring 20’s
*What Happened After the War? The Roaring 20’s
*Invention 1920 !
*The 1920’s and Life After the War
*The Treaty of Versailles- The Big 3 (about 3 minutes)
*Armistice- The End of the Great War (about 6 minutes- animated)
*The US After the War
*“In Flanders Fields” (Charlie Brown – about 5 minutes)
*Story Behind “In Flanders Fields” and the Poppy (about 2 minutes)
*The Poppy Lady (Book read aloud- about 15 minutes)
*What was happening in the US after the Great War ?
*Dance Craze! Roaring 20’s (about 2 minutes )
*Schoolhouse Rocks Suffrage – The 19th Amendment (about 3 mins)
*Walt Disney , Babe Ruth , Amelia Earhart
*Test Your WWI Knowledge
*11-11-18 Armistice (Interactive Virtual Museum Exhibit)
*Picturing the First World War (Smithsonian Online Art Exhibit)
*Explore After the War – 1920 (Interactive Game)
*History Mystery Game- The Roaring 20’s
*The Roaring 20’s Interactive
*Armistice Day Coloring Page
*Wilson’s Armistice Day Solidier and Little Boy Coloring Page
*WWI Soldier in Parade
*In Flanders Fields Mini-Book
*Remembrace Day Coloring Pages
*Suffrage Coloring Page
*Fashion in the Roaring 20’s Coloring Pages
*Amelia Earhart Coloring Page
*Week 2- Hands-On Learning !
*Make an Army Helmet that you can wear
*Crack the Code ! An entire page of links to get you started!
*Make these Red Baron Airplanes !
*Whip up some Trench Stew, ANZAC Biscuits, and Bake a Trench Cake
*Recreate a model of the dreaded Trenches
*Listen to some of the Music from the War… can you write a song of your own?
*Treaty of Versailles Simulation Activity
*Plant a Remembrance Garden in your backyard !
You can find Flanders Poppy Flower Seeds —> HERE
*Or try making these Pinwheel Poppies
*Learn a Dance from the Roaring 20’s !
*WEEK 3 :
Depression & Dust
I have also written a much more detailed unit study for
The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl !
*Day 1- The Great Depression
*SOTW- Chapter 26: The Great Crash and What Came of It
*What is the Great Depression ?
*The Great Depression for Kids
*The Stock Market Crash of 1929
*President Herbert Hoover
*Daily Life in the City & Daily Life in the CountryDaily Life in the Country
*What Were Hoovervilles?
*Hoovervilles for Kids
*Franklin D. Roosevelt
*The End of the Great Depression
*History Brief- The Great Depression (4 minutes)
*Stories From the Great Depression (about 28 minutes)
*“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”
*10 Minutes Through the Great Depression
(Great review of ALL the facts-best for older students)
*FDR An American President (about 6 minutes)
*Great Depression Song
*This is a great full length movie depicting life and how drastically and quickly it changed for many in during the “Great Depression”.
( Watch Instantly on Amazon Prime- as of publishing it was $2.99)
*The Great Depression in Photos
*Art of the Great Depression
*Great Depression Simulation Game
*Explore the Great Depression (Interactive)
*Brain Pop, The Great Depression Game
*The Great Depression for Children and Government Aid
Explore some First Hand Accounts of the Great Depression and also
Letters to the President discussing citizens many differing opinions on
government aid. There is a TON of information in this handout
-> SCROLL to page 30 to find what is applicable to this section.
*Day 2- The Dust Bowl
*The Dust Bowl
*What Caused the Dust Bowl ?
(Be sure to click through the photos! Fascinating!)
*A Child of the Dust Bowl (A firsthand account)
*10 Things You May Not Know About the Dust Bowl
*History Brief: The Dustbowl (about 4 minutes)
*American Experience- Dustbowl (Chapter 1- about 9 minutes)
*Woody Guthrie and the Okies
(PBS- lots of videos about the Dust Bowl in general too)
Dust Bowl Blues and Dust Can’t Kill Me (Woody Guthrie with great photos)
*Grant Wood and American Gothic
*What If You Had Lived During the Dust Bowl (Interactive)
*An Eyewitness Account
*Explore the Dust Bowl Photo Gallery
*Dust Bowl Refugees – Explore more with this Photo
*Interactive Dust Bowl (PBS)
*People & Places Vocabulary in your Notebook (see list at top of unit)
*Day 3- Franklin D. Roosevelt & The New Deal
*Presidents of the US- Franklin D. Roosevelt (about 6 minutes)
*Roosevelt’s New Deal (about 5 minutes)
*New Deal (Uptown Funk- History Song)
*FDR New Deal Programs (about 5 minutes)
*New Deal For You (about 3 minutes)
*Short Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt (about 4 minutes)
*Eleanor Roosevelt and the Red Cross
(NOTE: There are some disturbing images of soldiers suffering mental illness as a result of war- caution if you are watching with the Littles ! About 3 minutes)
*The New Deal (NOTE: If you want to skip his intro skip to about 3:22…This is a more in depth conversation that pretty much sums up everything we studied this week. This is geared toward high school. About 20 minutes)
*Photos of FDR & Eleanor Roosevelt
*Listen to one of Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats
*Roosevelt Rap with Printable Questions
*BrainPop Franklin Roosevelt Game
*Roosevelt Interactive Timeline of the 1930’s
*Art of the New Deal Online Art Exhibit
*Take a Virtual Tour of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library
(There is also an AUDIO of the tour available…this is really cool!)
*Week 3- Hands-On Learning !
*Try a Depression Era Recipe
Such as Clara’s recipe for “Poorman’s Meal” or
one of these 8 Curious Recipes from the Depression
OR try coming up with 5 Frugal Recipes of your own.
How inexpensively can you make a filling meal? Figure out how much each serving would cost and how much money you would need to eat for a week…to feed a family of 5 for week… etc…
*The Great Depression Simulation
Families of the Depression Economy Simulation
(Though this activity is geared toward a classroom it could definitely be done within your family…or homeschool group. The video clearly shows how to use it.)
*Find Shelter! Whether they were called shanty towns, Hoovervilles, or Okievilles, the number of homeless families scrambling to create a shelter in which to live was heartbreaking. Without preparing, could you build a sturdy shelter out of just the odds and ends junk you have lying around? Think cardboard boxes, old blankets, pieces of wood, etc. This would be a great exercise to understand how difficult this would have been.
*Volunteer at a local food kitchen or food bank. Donate your time, some food, some money, or all of the above! Compassion and awareness of need may be a life changing lesson. Homelessness is still a problem almost everywhere in the United States. Your children may be surprised to see how many families with young children visit a food kitchen.
*Discuss FDR’s Political Ideology and Agenda.
Discuss the ideologies and agenda of America’s early government.
(For example- “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” – Thomas Jefferson)
Find a method you like to compare the two.
You could create a large chart and compare the two side by side, or draw a
Venn Diagram. If you need more ideas -> 10 Ways to Compare & Contrast
You may even like to make a third comparison with our Democrat/Republican
political ideologies of government presently.
These Hoover & Roosevelt Debate Cards would be a great way to get this
activity going… scroll down to PAGE 10 to find them.
Great family discussion !
*WEEK 4 :
World War II
*Suggested supplemental reading-
*Day 1- WWII Begins/ Pearl Harbor
*CHOW- Chapter 86: Modern Barbarians and Chapter 87: Fighting the Dictators
(you could continue part of this on Day 2)
*SOTW 4- Chapter 27: Civil War and Invasion and Chapter 28: The Second World War
*Causes of World War II
*10 Eye Opening Facts about WW2
*Who Were the Big 3 ?
*World War 2 in Europe
* WW2 in the Pacific
*What Happened at Pearl Harbor ?
*D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy
*Who Was Winston Churchill ?
*History of WWII in One Take (from History Bombs – about 7 minutes)
*America On the Home Front (about 26 minutes…narration starts at about 1 minute into the video)
*A Kid Explains History – World War 2
*World War 2- Crash Course
(Starts from Armistice to End of WW2- about 10 minutes)
*Pearl Harbor Explained (about 2 minutes)
*Short Bio of Sir Winston Churchill (about 3 minutes)
*Pearl Harbor Infographic
*Pearl Harbor True Stories Interactive
*The Music of WWII (just for something fun!)
*DK Find Out! World War 2
*Interactive WW2 Timeline for Kids
*Listen to FDR’s “Day of Infamy” Speech
*Interactive Map of Attack on Pearl Harbor
*National Geographic Remembering Pearl Harbor Interactive
(Super cool !)
*Virtual Exhibition: Pearl Harbor Attack
*Pearl Harbor In Pictures (Scroll down for 17 real photos that tell the story)
*Explore Life at Home in the 1940’s
*WW2 Begins Coloring Page
*Pearl Harbor Coloring Pages & Worksheets
*Attack on Pearl Harbor Coloring Page
*The American Home Front – WW2 , Women & the Work Force
*D-Day Invasion Coloring Page , Normandy
*WW2 Weaponry Coloring Pages
*Winston Churchill Coloring Page
*Pearl Harbor Notebooking Pages
*Fact Sheet Printables-
– Rationing – Scrapping
– V-Mail – Radios
*Day 2- The Holocaust
*What is the Holocaust ?
*Introduction to the Holocaust
*Adolph Hitler and the Holocaust
*What is Propaganda ? and Propaganda Today
–> If you’d like to explore propaganda more, HERE is a really good, but simple group of lessons. And you can view LOTS of World War 2 propaganda posters HERE )
*The Political Cartoons of … Dr. Seuss ?
*The Diary of Renia Spiegel
*Who Was Anne Frank ? (for younger students)
*Anne Frank (for older students- includes video)
*The Diary of Anne Frank
*The Life of Anne Frank
(includes an entire lesson- online activities, timelines, photos, videos, etc)
*Anne Frank’s Secret Annex and A Typical Day in the Annex
*US Holocaust Memorial Museum
(This Website has lots of videos, resources, and ideas for teaching this difficult but important topic. I just gave the direct link so you could decide which resources were appropriate for your family)
*Virtual Tour of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
*Americans and the Holocaust
*Stories of Courage
*Tour Anne Frank’s Secret Annex
*Take a Virtual Tour of Corrie ten Boom’s House
*The History of the ten Boom Family (Interactive Timeline)
*NOTE: This topic is absolutely horrifying and heartbreaking…but a part of history that, in my opinion, should be thoroughly discussed and remembered.
However, I found it difficult to find appropriate videos for families learning together. Reading (text only) allows a child’s mind only to go as far as previous experience (or previous visual images) has taught them…video may give them mental images that they are’t yet ready for. For this reason, I am not including many videos. There are some that are a part of the “Explore section” and many more are available on YouTube, or for purchase such as The Hiding Place and I Am David (listed below). The full length movies tend to not be as graphic in nature. Please preview like always.
*The Terrible Things
(This is a short story -animated video- that would make an EXCELLENT introduction and conversation starter for most all ages concerning the holocaust)
*The Story of Lala
(Love triumphs over hate! Just an animated story told by a holocaust survivor about his beloved dog)
*The Hiding Place
(I highly recommend this movie. “Overcome evil with good”)
Click the image below to watch on Amazon Prime, or you can find the
*I Am David
(Another movie that is good to illustrate this time..including the good that overcomes evil… Rated PG)
+Coloring and Notebooking Pages-
*The Holocaust Notebooking Page
*Anne Frank Notebooking Page
*Anne Frank Coloring Page
*Corrie ten Boom Coloring Pages 1 2 3 4 5
*Holocaust Remembrance Day Coloring Page
*Day 3- WWII Ends
*SOTW 4- Chapter 29: The End of World War II
*President Harry Truman
*The Battle of Midway
*Battle of Iwo Jima
*Who Was Albert Einstein ?
AND What Does Einstein Have to Do With WW2?
*The Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb
*Hiroshima and the Atomic Bomb
*The Atomic Bomb (DK Find Out)
*End of the War- The Bombing of Hiroshima
*The Marshall Plan
*VJ & VE Days –> Scroll to the bottom of THIS page to see photos
*Who Was Harry Truman ? (about 1 minute)
*Biography of Albert Einstein (about 4 minutes)
*Einstein’s Escape From Hitler (a clip from NatGeo- about 3 minutes)
*Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the End of WW2 (about 3 minutes)
*Hiroshima- A Survivor’s Story in Animation (about 5 minutes)
*Truman &the Atomic Bomb (about 5 minutes)
*World War 2- How Did It End ? (about 3 minutes)
(real footage of the announcement of the end of the war- about 3 minutes)
* Iwo Jima and Flag at Iwo Jima
*Atomic Bomb Notebooking Page
*The Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb Handouts from the NPS
*6 President Truman Coloring Pages
*Albert Einstein Coloring Page
*Week 4- Hands-On Learning !
*Plant a Victory Garden !
Read a bit more about Victory Gardens, HERE and HERE
You can watch how one family transformed their whole front yard HERE !
How many veggies can you grow in one large flower pot?
What kinds of recipes can you create using basic rations and what you grew?
Click HERE –> Family Garden Printables for extra fun !
You may also like to add these resources-
*Create Your Own WW2 Victory Garden Poster
Learn more about the beautiful, colorful posters made during this time and why they were created. Read more of the fascinating facts behind these artworks HERE , and find directions how to make your own!
*Get Scrapping !
Kids played a role in helping America during WW2 too. One way they helped was by “scrapping”. Check out these PHOTOS of kids scrapping during WW2. We might call this recycling today. Scrapping is STILL a good activity, not just during a time of war, but anytime! Recycling can help our land, animals, and even our own families.
Watch this video (Virtual Tour) and then try some of these SCRAPPING ACTIVITIES yourself !
+How Many Creative Uses Can You Find For Plastic Water Bottles ?
(see how many of these ideas you can DO yourself !)
+Go scrapping for an Art Project
(Ideas from Deep Space Sparkle- I highly recommend this site! SUPER ideas!)
+30 Ideas for Using Recycled Finds
+20 Ways to Reuse & Recycle Plastic Bottles
Show what you know! Choose one part of this study and create a shadow box about your topic. Think about how it could help others understand or learn something from this hard part of history! You could even create a Remembrance Box and bring it out during Memorial Day or Holocaust Remembrance Day each year to honor the memories of the fallen.
Click HERE for some examples to get you started.
Two Wars and a Great Race
*Day 1- The Cold War
*CHOTW- Chapter 89: A New Big Power and Chapter 90: Trying to Keep Peace
SOTW 4- p. 384-395 and p. 445-452
*What was the Cold War ?
*The 3 Major Conflicts of the Cold War
*The Cold War Begins
*What is the Iron Curtain ?
*The Arms Race
*What Was the Red Scare ?
*The Berlin Airlift and The Berlin Wall
*The Cuban Missile Crisis
*Bitesize History- The Cuban Missile Crisis
*Collapse of the Soviet Union
*Why Did the Cold War Begin ? (about 3 minutes)
*What is Communism ? (about 4 minutes)
*The Cold War in One Take (History Bombs – about 8 minutes)
*10 Minutes – The Cold War
*Cold War Explained (Hip Hughes- best for high school – 11 minutes)
*The Cold War and the Iron Curtain
(Really clear lesson – about 7 minutes… I never link to sites that aren’t free… this one is a subscription, but you can sign up for a free trial and watch this video)
*Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech
(Interesting presentation- about 3 minutes)
*Duck and Cover ! Life in the 1950’s (about 9 minutes- this is a video for children telling them what to do in case of an Atomic Bomb…good starting point for many conversations. Many of our parents lived during this time and could give great first hand accounts of this period of history.)
*Family Fall Out Shelters
*The Fall of the Berlin War (news footage from 1989)
*Interactive Cold War Trivia Game
*Cold War Map Activity
*Countries of the Cold War Map Game
*Simulation- Chocolates & Communism OR Socialism with Sweets
(Please read through this activity- there should be some great questions about government that it stirs up!!)
*Test Your Knowledge- Berlin Wall
*The Cold War Map (from Layers of Learning)
*Cold War Coloring Page
*Cuban Missile Crisis Page
*End of the Cold War Notebooking Page
*Winston Churchill Notebooking Page
*President Truman Coloring Pages
*Day 2- The Korean War
*SOTW 4- Chapter 33: Communism in Asia
*The Korean War
*Bitesize History- The Korean War
*Introduction to the Korean War
*The Forgotten War
*8 Facts You Should Know About the Korean War
*Who Was General MacArthur ?
*South Korea and North Korea
*Why is Korea Divided ? A Kid Explains History (about 5 minutes)
*The Korean War (about 5 minutes)
*Memestory – The Korean War (about 6 minutes- think history in memes)
*A History of the Korean War (about 5 minutes)
*Why Did America Fight the Korean War ?
(Did you know MASH was set in the Korean War? Best for older students)
*Day 3- The Great Space Race
*The Space Race
*Who Won the Space Race ?
*The First Moon Landing
(also this unit–>First Moon Landing<–from DIY Homeschooler is SUPER !)
*The Final Frontier- Space Exploration
(be sure to scroll and click for some super cool photos !)
*Human Space Flight ! (check out what people eat in space 😀 )
*Space Exploration Timeline- 1944 to Present
*Apollo to the Moon
*The Space Race (about 4 minutes- animated)
*A Kid Explains the Space Race (about 4 minutes)
*Who Won the Space Race ? (about 4 minutes)
*Man on the Moon ! Cronkite Broadcast CBS
(about 10 minutes- STILL AMAZING to watch !!)
*Apollo 11 videos from NASA
*Neil Armstrong (about 7 minutes- for the Littles)
*Space Race Song – Mr. Betts
*Apollo 11 Landing (about 2 minutes)
*The Story of Apollo 11 and the First Men on the Moon (about 15 minutes)
*Take a Video Tour of the International Space Station
(I love their sleep stations!)
*DK Find Out! The Great Space Race Interactive
*Experience the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing
*Space Race Interactive Quiz
*Explore the Great Race to Space !
*Space Race Interactive Timeline
*Virtual Field Trip to Air & Space Museum – Great Space Race
*Other Online Exhibits – Space Race
*Interactive Space Suit Experience (from NASA)
*International Space Station – Interactive Exploration
*TONS of fun Space Games Online (from NASA)
*TONS of Space Exploration Printables
*Explorer 1 Coloring Page
*John Glenn Coloring Page
*Apollo 11 Notebooking Pages (from DIY Homeschooler)
*Buzz Aldrin Notebooking Pages
*Neil Armstrong Notebooking Pages
*Week 5- Hands-On Learning !
*Write your own history song!
Show what you know by writing your own history song… like THIS ONE !
I love the creativity !
*Contemplate the Cold War Culture
Think about the “Climate” the Cold War created in our country. People were fearful and distrustful even of friends and neighbors sometimes. Research the terms “McCarthyism” and “The Red Scare”.
Did you know the famous chef Julia Child was even on the government’s watch list ?
To see what it might have been like during this time, gather your family (and even some friends) together and try playing the Dot Game or this Cold War/McCarthyism Simulation and talk through the questions included.
What would YOU have done as a leader of our country at the time?
How would you have protected the security of the nation and not
governed by fear ?
*Korean War Remembrance
Brainstorm how you might be able to remember and honor the veterans of the Forgotten War. Choose one of your ideas and put it into action !
Here are some ideas to get you started-
-Do you know anyone who fought in the Korean War? Contact someone at your local VFW. Maybe they could help you set up a meeting with one of their members. Interview them about their experiences…really listen to their stories. Think of a way you could honor them when you meet.
-After studying about this war, design and create a short YouTube video explaining the Korean War and why we shouldn’t forget about it. Think ‘A Kid Explains History’ videos as a place to start.
*Have Your Own Race to Space !
Make Your Own SpaceCraft (STEM activity from NASA)
OR Make this Bubble Powered Rocket !
*Build a Hand Held Hubble Telescope (several levels of difficulty)
OR try another Mission Module from Destination Space !
*Week 6 –
The Civil Rights Movement
*Day 1- The Montgomery Bus Boycott & Activism
* SOTW4- Chapter 36: Struggles and Assassinations
*What Was the Civil Rights Movement ?
*The Jim Crow Laws
*The Montgomery Bus Boycott
*Who Was Rosa Parks ? and you can also ready more HERE
*Want to Know What Mrs. Parks Really Thought ?
(You can read this interesting interview with her !)
*Brown vs. Board of Education AND Ruby Bridges
*Rosa Parks- Civil Rights Activist (about 5 minutes)
*The Montgomery Bus Boycott – American Freedom Stories (about 4 minutes)
*Facts About Rosa Parks (great for younger students)
*Join The Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit In
(Great Presentation by National Museum of American History )
*Ruby Bridges Goes to School (actual footage of Ruby going into school as well as Ruby’s own thoughts back on that day)
*How I Fought for Civil Rights (Interactive)
*Student Sit-Ins Interactive (Choose Your Path )
*History Mystery- Civil Rights Movement Game
*Civil Rights Game History Mystery Part Two
*Ruby Bridges Slide Show
*Brown vs. Board of Education (Explore this Smithsonian Exhibition)
*Before the Boycott (Interactive)
*Rosa Parks Printable
*Rosa Parks Notebooking Pages
*Montgomery Bus Boycott Coloring Page
*Civil Rights Printable Activity Book (includes all types of printables)
*Ruby Bridges Printables & Coloring Pages (for the Littles)
*Ruby Bridges Flip Book
*Day 2- Martin Luther King, Jr.
*Note: After reading about SO many years and years of war, this lesson is a great time to emphasize the impact of “peaceful protest” and the amazing change that one person can make ! A positive and inspiring message for sure.
Whether in time of war or in time of activism, these lives and sacrifices they made are appreciated and should be remembered always.
*Martin Luther King Jr. Biography
*Who was Martin Luther King Jr. ? (NatGeo – great photo biography !)
*What Was the March on Washington ?
*Civil Rights and the March On Washington
*History of Martin Luther King Jr. (History.com -includes a video as well)
*Full Text of “I Have a Dream” Speech
*The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. By Kid President (about 4 minutes)
*Martin Luther King Remembered (about 3 minutes)
*A Kid Explains Martin Luther King Jr. (about 4 minutes)
*I Have a Dream Speech at March on Washington (about 17 minutes)
*Kid President Has a Dream- March on Washington (about 3 minutes)
*Bob Dylan & Joan Baez Activism Through Song
Peter, Paul, and Mary at the March On Washington
(great footage and interview- about 5 minutes)
–>This is a good intro to a conversation about standing up for what is right no matter what your color or race is, or what it might cost you. I’ve read that Bob Dylan STILL sings this song at many of his concerts today!
*Mahalia Jackson at the March On Washington
*Martin Luther King Jr. From BrainPop (about 6 minutes)
*Take a Virtual Tour of MLK’s Home
*Interactive Timeline of the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
*Explore “I Have a Dream” Speech in Text, Audio, and Art
*Time Zone X – Martin Luther King Jr.
*National Mall Scavenger Hunt (You could find answers online)
*Explore Items From the March On Washington (Smithsonian Online Exhibit)
*Martin Luther King, Jr. Notebooking Pages
*MLK Printables (mini-books, puzzles, coloring pages, etc…)
*Martin Luther King Jr. Lapbook
*MLK Notebooking Page and March on Washington Notebooking Page
*Notebooking/Writing Pages for Younger Students
*Martin Luther King Printable Mini Book
*Day 3- John F. Kennedy
*Biography of John F. Kennedy
*Discover Kids- President Kennedy
*John F Kennedy History (Exhibit with Text)
*Civil Rights Act of 1964
*Read President Kennedy’s Speech on Civil Rights
*The Assassination of John F Kennedy
*John F Kennedy – 60 Second Presidents
*JFK and the Soviet Menace (about 2 minutes)
*American Experience – JFK Chapter 1 (about 10 minutes)
*President Kennedy’s Address on Civil Rights (about 6 minutes)
*Week 6- Hands-On Learning !
*Make a Dr. King Collage
Think of the many different art mediums you could use!
You could use words and colored paper torn from newspapers, magazines, or printed images like the AMAZING artist Gary Gresko (also known as MY dad) did in this collage of Martin Luther King, Jr.
You could use paint, pastels, pencil, even pieces of bark or other natural materials. Your collage could be flat on a piece of paper, or on a canvas, or even 3-D like a diorama ! Plan out your project and brainstorm ways you can best express the emotion and importance of Dr. King’s message. Click HERE for some quotes from other important speeches given by Dr. King.
You can find one example and some directions to get you started HERE
*Write a Freedom Song of Your Own
Music often moves people deeper even than the spoken word.
We learned about some musicians this week that wanted to use their talents to stand up for the rights of all people and make a change. Do you love to write music ? Try writing (and maybe even recording) your own Freedom Song !
*Be a Civil Rights History Reporter
Try to find a member in the community who attended the March on Washington. Listen to their first hand account of what it was like. Think of some questions you’d like to ask them after studying this time period and write up your news report !
You might like to research any Civil Rights activity/stories happened in your area. One class of students did this and made their own City Civil Rights Map complete with audio pod casts for each stop on the map. You can hear their Local Civil Rights History Podcasts HERE
*Create Your Own Campaign Poster
If YOU were running for President, what would your “platform” be ? What would you want people to know about you and what you planned to do if you were elected ? You can see some interesting campaign posters of the past HERE !
*Week 7 –
The Vietnam War
*Suggested supplemental reading for Vietnam War-
*Day 1- The War In Vietnam
*CHOW- Chapter 91: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
*Where is Vietnam ?
*Bitesize History- The Vietnam War
*Brief Intro to the Vietnam War (from Ducksters)
*Vietnam Facts for Kids
*Before America Entered
(Really good thinking activity that will set the stage for the rest of this lesson !)
*Take a Tour of the Modern Country of Vietnam (about 12 minutes)
*Overview of the Vietnam War (about 5 minutes)
*A Country and People Divided (about 2 minutes)
*Communism Versus Democracy (about 4 minutes)
*America’s Involvement Before Entering the War (about 2 minutes)
*Learning Adventures- The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
(Complete overview of the Vietnam Era- students learn outside history books from the music of the time, firsthand accounts, and visiting the memorial…from PBS, about 49 minutes)
–National Geographic Explorer- Vietnam (about 6 minutes)
-Longer Video about the Country of Vietnam (about 45 minutes)
*The Story of Dave Roever
(About 38 minutes- a bit dated, but Mr. Roever’s humor in this video as he speaks to high school students takes the harsh and life altering realities of war and uses it to inspire still today !)
*Day 2- America at War in Vietnam
*SOTW 4- Chapter 37: Two Short Wars and One Long One
+President Lyndon B. Johnson
+Richard Nixon- President
*The Vietnam War
*America Enters the War
*The War Escalates and America Enters
*Vietnam War at Home- The Anti-War Movement
*Vietnam: A History in Song
(Includes audio of the music of both the anti-war movement and those who supported the war…also highlights the continued racial tension in the country. NOTE: There is one graphic photo near the end of this article)
*America & the War- The Draft (about 3 minutes)
*The Vietnam War and The Draft (animated, about 3 minutes)
*Vietnam Song (Mr. Betts)
*Why Did America Fight the Vietnam War ? (about 4 minutes)
*The Unwinnable War (about 3 minutes)
*The History of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
(from the National Parks Service- about 25 minutes)
*A Time to Choose
(Choose Your Own Experience Interactive- NOTE: I haven’t tried all the possible scenarios so I can’t vouch for what might appear on screen… please use at your discretion!)
If you are using this history study in a group setting
(or if you have a big family 🙂 ) than this activity would be a GREAT hands-on, THINKING activity !
*Remembering Vietnam Exhibit from the National Archives
*Explore Vietnam War Interactive Map
*The Wall – Explore the Vietnam War Memorial Interactive
*Day 3- The War Ends
*What Was the Tet Offensive ?
*Ending American Involvement in Vietnam
*Negotiations to End the War – 1973
*Escape From Saigon- The True Story of Ba Van Nguyen
*Firsthand Account of the Fall of Saigon- A Child’s Story
*The Fall of Saigon – 1975
*The Napalm Girl- Story of Forgiveness & Hope
(This story does not include the famous (and heartbreakingly graphic) photo of 9 year old Kim Phuc… you can view the photo HERE on her website…. You can also read a bit more about what Napalm and Agent Orange are HERE )
*The Story of the Napalm Girl
(NOTE: Begins with graphic photo. Kim’s interview with CBS- amazing story! What an inspiration she is !)
*Coming Home (about 3 minutes)
* THANK YOU (about 3 minutes- activity to use with this video is found under this week’s Hands-On section)
*How is the Vietnam War Affecting You Today ?
(video of veterans and their families- about 5 minutes)
*Maya Lin and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (about 7 minutes)
*Week 7- Hands-On Learning !
*Thank a Vietnam Veteran
Watch this short video– THANK YOU (also in Week 3). This activity is more about being aware of those veterans who may not have been appreciated, or worse may have been terribly mistreated when coming home from Vietnam. Do you know someone in your family or in your community who served in Vietnam? You could even visit a nursing home and ask if they have any residents who are Veterans that you could visit with. (PLEASE don’t be offended… I do realize many veterans of this war are still young 🙂 You could also contact the VFW HERE to arrange a visit. Notice things like ‘Vietnam Veterans’ caps or tattoos (as the case in the video).
Tell them ‘thank you’ for their service. Or you could write a card or buy them a meal, or just take the time to tell them you’ve been studying about the war and ask a few questions about their lives. Showing you care about them and the sacrifices they made is important.
*Write a Song about the Vietnam War (or about the Veterans of this war)
Music has so much power to touch the hearts (and minds) of people. Write a song about this period of our history… OR write a song to (or about) one of the Vietnam Veterans you have studied about (or someone you know)!
*Design and Create a Memorial
After learning about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial created by Maya Lin, try designing your own memorial. Brainstorm all kinds of ideas and pick one to create! You could plant a tree or a beautiful garden of flowers… you could create a sculpture or even a painting! Be sure you keep in mind what you want to communicate with your artwork. You can find some more directions or ideas HERE
*Week 8 –
Terrorism and the Gulf War
*Suggested supplemental reading for The Gulf War-
*Day 1- The Gulf War
*SOTW 4- Chapter 38: Two Ways of Fighting -p. 426-431 (Terrorism) ; 464-468 (Gulf War)
*National Army Museum- The Gulf War
*The Persian Gulf War
*What Is the Persian Gulf War ?
*Where Is the Persian Gulf ?
*Geography of the Middle East
*Operation Desert Storm
*President George HW Bush
*George HW Bush Announces the Start of the Gulf War (about 6 minutes)
*What Happened In the Persian Gulf War ? (about 5 minutes)
*Memestory The Persian Gulf War
(just for FUN- think history in memes- about 5 minutes)
*Hip Hughes- Persian Gulf War (Best for High School- about 12 minutes)
*President Bush Announces the End of the Gulf War (about2minutes)
*Timeline of Persian Gulf War (and a good history overall! about 5 minutes)
*Persian Gulf War Coloring Page
*Gulf War Soldier Coloring Page
*Operation Desert Storm Notebooking Page
*Gulf War Unit Study and Notebooking Page (from DIY Homeschooler)
*President George HW Bush Coloring Pages
*Day 2- September 11th: Terrorism in the US/ The Iraq War
*Note: You may choose to swap Day 2 & Day 3 around since technically these events occurred after the turn of the millennium. I ordered the lessons this way so we would end on a happier topic 😀
*SOTW 4- Afterword- p. 477
*The Attacks on America- September 11th
*Bitesize History- 9/11 and the War on Terror
*7 Stories of Heroism
*The Iraq War
*Where Is Iraq ?
*Learning More About Iraq
*Bitesize History- The War in Iraq
*President George W. Bush
*A World Without Oil (as we’ve learned, some believed the Iraqi War was less about the threat of terror, and more about oil…. this article , without mention of this war, may be a good intro to a deeper discussion on this)
*The Little Chapel That Stood (about 6 minutes)
–> If you want to hear this book read by it’s author (starts at 7:44), and some
of her thoughts about writing it, you can watch it HERE
*President George Bush’s Address to the Nation on September 11th
*Why We Should Remember 9/11 (from Teen Kids News- about 4 minutes)
*9/11 Animated Video (BrainPop- good for younger children !)
*The Morning of September 11th (about 3 minutes…the most appropriate video I could find for all ages)
*September 11th in NYC – Video Timeline (about 5 minutes)
*Friendship in Gander, Canada (This day really did affect the world- thankfully in some very good ways too. Overcome evil with good <3 )
*Heroism on 9/11 – The Pentagon (about 5 minutes)
*America Reacts (about 2 minutes)
*The Iraq War (about 6 minutes)
*Why America Invaded Iraq (for older students but really ties this whole week together! About 5 minutes)
*Who Was Saddam Hussein ? (about 4 minutes)
*Virtual Interactive Tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum OR HERE
*Take a Virtual and Detailed Tour of the Ground Zero Memorial Plaza
*Interactive Timeline of 9/11 (caution: there are some disturbing photos)
*TPT September 11th Activity (Free)
*Explore Flight 93 (The Flight Story, The People, and The Memorial)
*Interactive Timeline of Iraqi War
*Day 3- The End of the 20th Century- A New Millennium
*Top News Stories From the Year 2000
*Y2K- A Kid’s Guide (It is amusing now, but this booklet for kids illustrates how serious the concerns were )
*10 Things You Didn’t Realize Were Invented in 2000
*Kids in the Year 1904 Predict the World in 2019
(Really interesting – with the exception of some acrid comments by the author at the very end)
*Read What Children’s Lives Were Like at the Turn of the 20th Century
*President Bill Clinton (President of the US at the Turn of the Millennium)
*International Space Station First Crew
*War in Afghanistan & Osama bin Laden
*America Elects It’s First African American President
*America, The Story of Us – The Millennium (about 45 minutes)
*The Y2K Scare (about 2 minutes- National Geographic)
*10 Catastrophies of Y2K (about 8 minutes)
*Kids React to the First IPod (about 7 minutes)
*Children Predict What the Year 2000 Will Be Like (in 1985…about 2 minutes)
*President Barak Obama (about 3 minutes)
*National Geographic Interactive Timeline (Super Cool! Scroll to the date you want and select on of the images… you can then select more information to explore!)
*Interactive Timeline of the New Millennium
*Check Out the International Space Station and read more HERE
*Week 8- Hands-On Learning !
*Send a Thank You Card or Package to a Service Member
You can find Free Printable Thank You Cards and a list of Organizations That Send Cards and Letters … Click on the highlighted links for lots of ideas !
*Participate In Wreaths Across America
You can find a full explanation of what this group is and what it does HERE. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom where you will also find all kinds of printables and ideas for activities that YOU can do !
*Remember and Honor Your Local First Responders
Many first responders (firefighters, EMTs, and police officers) acted with incredible bravery and heroism during the 9/11 attacks on America. Think of some ways you might be able to thank your local first responders today. These people risk their lives every day for our communities everywhere. It could be as simple as a visit and a thank you… or a plate of homemade cookies… or a holiday meal (my son-in-law is a firefighter and they so appreciate this when they are missing holidays with their families)… or just dropping off all the fixings for a giant batch of ice cream sundaes 🙂
*Write Your Own Prediction for the Year 2030 (or farther into the future)
After reading/watching the predictions for the future made by children of the past, write your own predictions for what life will be like in the year 2030 (or whatever time you choose). It might be fun to seal the letter and put it into a safe place to be opened on the eve of the year you chose.
*Week 9 – Show What You Know ! (optional)
*This week is all about taking what you’ve been studying in American History, and showing off what you’ve learned. If there
were more projects that you’d like to try (or finish), movies you wanted to watch, books you wanted to read, etc… this is a good buffer week to do that.
Find what aspect excited you the most…
What has been the most memorable fact ?
Is there an event, or a person, or a place that inspired you ?
How can you share what you’ve discovered?
Some ideas are:
-Create a piece of Art that represents the Modern Age of American History (sculpture, painting, collage, etc)
-Make an interactive flip boook timeline of famous faces
(or places, etc)
-Display/Museum of hands-on projects you’ve done
(don’t forget to include your notebook if you chose to do one!)
-Cook a meal & invite friends (or veterans) to come
-Write a play, a poem, a song, or a story
-Spend time in your community giving back this week
Be Creative !
There are endless ways to show what you’ve been learning about.
*Week 10 – Notebook It Wrap Up Week
*Days 1 and 2:
If you have been notebooking throughout this entire unit, then you can use this week to fill in any empty spots, add in some pages, watch some related movies, and review ! My kids really enjoyed showing off their notebooks after finishing a section ! You could really take a whole day for them to display all they’ve worked on, including their hands-on projects and these notebooks, and have them tell you all about their work !
+Make a Cover Page for this section “Modern American History- 1900 Turn of the Century to A New Millennium”, to add to your history binder. Be sure to put a line across the bottom of the page and note our “beginning date”.
+Make a History Notebook Page (if you haven’t already) for each of the
17 sections (see below). This can be print outs, coloring sheets, or hand written pages. BE CREATIVE! Just the heading and the line need to be done for each page today.
(Again, be sure to add the timeline date line at the bottom of each page)
1-Spanish American War
2-Turn of the Century
4-World War I
5-19th Ammendment- Women’s Vote
6-The Great Depression
7-The Dust Bowl
8-The New Deal
9-World War II
10-Attack on Pearl Harbor
12-The Korean War
13-The Space Race
14-Civil Rights Movement
+Add a bit of information for each of the 17 pages you made on Day 1.
You may write things you can remember…quotes…draw pictures, etc.
Add in any of the activities you tried on the proper page :
Recipes, pictures, or description of any food you cooked, drawings of any inventions you made, etc. You also could use main ideas from the reading
(cut & paste pictures, bubble notes, or bullet points…)
+ Review the 17 index cards.
+Try seeing how fast you can put the cards in order !
+ Do a Candy Quiz on these today !
You did it !
Hope you and your family enjoyed this study !
*Modern American History Printable Cards (coming soon!)
—> Also, be sure to check out my Early American History Pinterest Board for lots more fun ideas !
If you’re just finding these free history resources, you may also like to check out the Free Ancient World History Curriculum series as well. It makes a great starting point !
For an explanation and to check out the curriculum, just click
–> “Free Chronological World History Plan” .
You can find the daily plans for the following studies as well-
Section 1: Ancient Civilizations & the Old Testament
Section 2: Ancient Egypt (includes Ancient China)
Section 3: Ancient Greece
Section 4: Ancient Rome
Section 5: The Middle Ages
If you have ANY QUESTIONS at all, I’d love to hear from you !
You can either comment at the bottom of this post or you can email me at