Golden Prairie Press- Heros and Heroines of the Past

We've been studying American history this year so when we had the opportunity to review Digital Heros & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum from Golden Prairie Press, we jumped at the chance. I thought it would be a nice change to dive deeper into the people who have helped shape America.

What's included:
  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 1
  • Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 2
  • Additional Materials Download
  • Historical Skits ebook
  • Sing Some History CD
  • Listen to Some U.S. History MP3 CD
American History Curriculum

What it is:

Heroes and Heroines of the Past is an American history curriculum that makes history come alive through many creative activities & resources. This curriculum is intended for grades 1st-6th grade though older students can use it as well. We received PDF's and downloads of this curriculum though the ebooks can be purchased already printed out (the photos will be in black and white whereas the PDF has many beautiful colored photos).

American History Part 1 has 380 pages and American History Part 2 has about 400 pages. Between both books, there are a total of 30 units with 5 lessons in each unit. While the books list the history chronologically, you could pick and choose what unit to work on if you wanted to study a certain time period. The first part of each lesson is geared for the 1st-2nd grader with larger font and a simple, shorter version of the lesson that comes after that which is for the 3rd-6th grader. The second "edition" of the lesson is longer and uses larger vocabulary. Each unit also has a Bible verse you could use for memorization if you wish.

At the end of each lesson, there are other suggested activities to accompany what was just read. They vary by lesson but some of the extras are things such as:
  • games to play
  • recipes to make
  • questions to answer
  • crafts
  • experiments
  • writing topics
  • maps
  • timelines
  • examining historical art
  • suggested additional literature books
  • act out historical skits
  • sing some history (songs)
  • listen to some history 

How we used this:

We did a lesson each day for about 4-5 days a week. Even though it's for 1st thru 6th grade, my 7th & 8th graders also participated. We each took turns reading aloud the text from the computer and then passing it around to view the varying pictures that was in the lesson. They took turns answering the questions orally that were at the end of the lesson. For the older ones, sometimes they would do the writing topic that was suggested. I had also printed out the blank timeline that was in the "Additional Materials Download" for each of them to fill in when indicated.

They enjoyed listening to the "Listen to Some History" audio files such as The Declaration of Independence and the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. We also listened to some of the songs from the "Sing Some Songs" section and followed along with the music that was in the lesson. Occasionally one of my children would even use the music to play it on the piano.

We used our own map to locate the different places when it suggested to in the lesson because scanning back in the PDF to go to the map that was in a different lesson took too much time. (This is where a printed version would be handy as all you would have to do is page back). I wonder if including the PDF page number would've made it easier since you can just type the page number in at the top?

We loved looking at the historical art that was included and finding what they were asking us to locate. We didn't do many of the crafts as my children thought they were geared toward younger kids using this curriculum. I did scan through the lessons we haven't yet covered and saw a neat experiment making invisible ink we plan to try!

My children had fun acting out the skits that went along with some of the lessons. I would print a copy for each child then highlight the characters line they were going to read. Sometimes we just read the skit, other times they got into really acting by following the prompts listed and changing their voices! We thought that including the skits was a great idea to help make history relatable! There were also some games scattered throughout the lessons and 2 of them that my kids thought were fun was the "Thimble" game & "Stir the Pot".

Overall, we really enjoyed this curriculum and the many ways it brought history to life. I personally would've liked to have had this printed out, and I still may do that and take it somewhere to bind but you can purchase it already printed out for the same price as the PDF version. I loved all the extras that came with this curriculum but would possibly have liked to have seen the lesson number listed with the file to make finding them a bit easier.

Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum is available for $98.99.

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