Are you a homeschooler with a little girl who loves the American Girl dolls? Does your child (boy or girl) love American History? Perfect!!
What is Girls of American History
Justine Gamble of Girls of American History has created a multisensory, curriculum unit for each of the Historical Characters of American Girl. Each unit corresponds to the fiction, history-based books about the life of each girl. The units can be used alone to study the time period, but are also an excellent supplement to a nonfiction history unit.
Girls of American History creator Justine Gamble, believes that for everything a child studies, they should read it, write it, see it, hear it, and do it. Therefore, each unit includes:
- Reading with the books
- Arts and crafts activities
- Suggested field trips
- Lapbook activities.
- A Resource page full of additional ideas and activities
Lena received the unit study for Kaya, a Nez Perce Indian girl from the Pacific Northwest in 1764. Lana reviewed the unit study for Josephina who lived on a ranch in the southwest US during the early 19th century.
Kaya – Nez Perce
My girls really enjoyed reading about the life of Kaya and learning about the Nez Perce Indians from the Pacific Northwest. The lessons in this unit were mapped out so that I just needed to get the materials together for the day and take off! We even incorporated language arts, geography, art, and even a little math in with this unit. We did not do the lapbook because my girls are really still too young, but we did incorporate some of the activities into our discussions and lessons. We absolutely loved the suggested crafts and field trips.
The girls loved listening to the stories of Kaya and drawing pictures about what we had read. They also enjoyed the crafts. They each made a canoe (though the unit calls for it to be made of leather, we did it with construction paper) and also a vest (with an old pillow case because we had a difficult time finding brown paper bags).
The best part of the whole unit, according to the girls, were the field trips we took. The first thing we did was have a camp out in our living room. We discussed the structure of a teepee and how it would be different from sleeping in the living room floor (hey, I don’t like bugs, ok 😉 ). We also discussed things that the Native Americans in Kaya’s time would have done in their teepees at night. The girls, ok, all four kids, loved this activity. Not only was it a change, but it was a lot of fun and an educational experience to sleep in the living room by the light of a fire place on the computer screen. haha
While Kaya was from the Pacific Northwest, we attended a pow-wow for a Native American Tribe in North Carolina. The Haliwa Saponi Pow-Wow is the longest running annual pow-wow in the state. We all really enjoyed learning about the structure of the tribe, seeing the phenomenal art of the tribal members, and of course seeing the performances. The regalia (outfits worn by the performers) was breathtaking. By the end, both girls had declared that they would love to become Native Americans so that they could also perform!
Josephina – SouthWestern
I was sent Girls of American History Curriculum Unit 3, Southwestern America.
It consisted of A Literature Guide and a Unit Study for Josefina, An American Girl-Time Period 1824.
This was perfect for our family since we had just did a huge series of field trips to out West including New Mexico and West Texas.
One of the cons of this study, the crafts were expensive for our budget. So we opted for the field trips. It doesn’t hurt that we live in the Southwest and a lot of the crafts that were listed are still in our culture today.
We made so many memories being able to travel and see how Josefina lived. My children were able to see first hand how an adobe house was built and how it kept the people cool in the heat. They also loved seeing a full size loom that Josefina used in the book.
I really appreciate a multi-sensory curriculum – it seems to hit all my children’s learning styles and likes.
Get your own Girls of American History units!
The ladies who reviewed these units have said they are worth every penny!
The great news is, the wonderful Justine has offered one of our readers a full set of these units, a $45 value! The set includes a unit for each of 8 of the Historical characters from the American Girl line (the curriculum includes pdf units only: the dolls, books, and other supplies are not included).
You can read more about these units, or order your own on the order page for the Girls of American History.