Monday, November 23, 2009

Great Free History Resource

America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty is a free educational program developed originally for the Houston Independent School District. It has been made available from the American Heritage Education Foundation for all teachers. You can visit their website to download the free e-book or request a free CD. If you'd prefer, you can order a print copy for $19.50.

I received the CD to review. The CD includes lessons for elementary, middle grades, and high school on the same CD. The basic information is the same for each level, but the activities are tailored to the proper level. My children are in elementary, so we started those lessons. Because the program was originally designed for the public school classroom, I thought it would be more fun to include some friends in the lessons. I had a total of 6 students, ranging in age from 4 to 14. We had to make some adjustments and skip some things with the 4 and 7 year old, but the others all did very well. There are a total of 16 units. Each unit gives a breakdown at the beginning. It tells the purpose, objective of the lesson, and theme for that unit. It also tells what educational requirements that lesson meets based on grade level. It gives and approximation of how long it will take, what materials are needed, and what to prepare. I found the program very easy to use. I also love that the activities for each lesson are very different from each other. It is great for keeping the student's attention, so that they don't get bored by doing the same thing each week. It is not a comprehensive American history curriculum, but rather teaches an understanding of the foundation of our country. It helps the students understand why the government is set up the way it is.

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