America the Beautiful combines the flexibility and richness of a unit study with the simplicity of a textbook-based approach to history. Daily lessons guide your child chronologically through American history, highlighting key events, people, and places. With 150 lessons, this curriculum is designed to be completed in one year by a 5th - 8th grade student.
All of the instructions for how to use the course are included in America the Beautiful Part 1 and Part 2 so you do not need a separate Teacher's Manual. The daily instructions are very easy to follow. Most children will be able to follow the instructions on their own. At the beginning of each weekly unit, an introductory page gives an overview of the unit, a list of the lessons, and a list of what additional books the student will be using while studying that particular unit. Following the unit introduction are five daily lessons, one to be read each day. Your child can read the daily lessons on his own or you can read the lessons aloud.
The lessons are richly illustrated with historical photographs and illustrations. Many lessons feature color photos and artwork. At the end of each lesson is a list of four to six activities. Students are not necessarily expected to complete all of these activities. You may choose which activities you wish to assign. Depending on how many activities you assign, most students will need 45-90 minutes to complete one lesson. The types of activities vary from day to day. They include:
Map work in Maps of America the Beautiful
Entries in Timeline of America the Beautifu
Reading assignments from We the People and the literature titles (see list below)
Creative writing Assignments in the Student Workbook or Lesson Review
One special family activity is assigned each week. These include craft and art projects, recipes, and other multi-age activities. Each activity is assigned with its related lesson, but you may do it any day of the week. You will need to allow extra time to complete your America the Beautiful assignments on the day you do the family activity.
The Curriculum Package includes these six items:
America the Beautiful Part 1: America from 1000 to 1877
America the Beautiful Part 2: America from the Late 1800s to the Present
We the People (historic documents from American history)
Maps of America the Beautiful
Timeline of America the Beautiful
America the Beautiful Answer Key
(Two optional books are offered separately to help measure your child's understanding of the material--a Student Workbook, designed especially for 5th- and 6th-graders, and a Lesson Review book, designed especially for 7th- and 8th-graders.)
The ten works of literature listed below are assigned in the America the Beautiful curriculum to give your child a richer perspective on the various time periods studied. The student is given 1-2 weeks to read each book, with 1-3 chapters assigned each day. These books DO NOT come in the curriculum package but instead must be purchased separately.
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (Units 4-5)
Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Units 6-7)
Brady by Jean Fritz (Units 9-10)
Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen (Units 12-13)
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (Units 14-15)
Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Units 16-17)
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (Units 19-20)
Blue Willow by Doris Gates (Units 21-22)
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey (Unit 25)
Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass (Units 29-30)