April 18, 2009

America's Fabulous First Ladies

This book:

Plus our favorite timeline method:

Equals one of the most fun, informative, enjoyable unit studies we have ever done on our own!

I'm all about keeping things simple. So I created a template in word and converted it to a pdf so that you can use it if you'd like.

We (as in me too!) took turns filling in a card. I'd read about a first lady from the book and then we'd talk about and appreciate her life. Whoever had her card to do would write the years she served, who she was married to and 1-2 interesting facts about her life.

Then we cut out the page, glued it to one of our cardstock pieces and put in on our plastic timeline.

Mabry did the above card about Jane Pierce who hated that fact that her husband was even in politics. She buried her favorite son days before her husband took the oath of office; she felt her son's death was God's punishment for politics. Sad.

But then there was Grace Coolidge, a fabulous first lady and a favorite of both Cayli and me. Cayli did her card after we learned that Grace kept a pet racoon in the White House and supported deaf causes. Sadly, she lost a son during her White House years, but remained near her husband's side for the rest of his term and life.

We'd also pull picture books from the library. Two favorites were of Eleanor Roosevelt's time:

The DK book came with a poster with pictures of all the first ladies. It also came with a CD of clipart images with helped in creating our timeline cards, but I mainly googled images and utilized the First Ladies Library for extra bio info and pictures.

Oh, one other--believe it or not--indispensible resource: YouTube! We found videos of Jackie Kennedy's televised tour of the White House.

Our next venture will be the US presidents and the historical events of their presidency. I'm betting that American history is much more interesting when viewed through the life of the commander-in-chief. I'll let you know how that study goes.

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