A Glance at How We Do History: First Americans Unit

This week of the Homeschool Help Series is "History. How do you do it?" It's great timing because we just finished our first U.S. History unit.

Over our short homeschooling adventure, we have tried several ways of "doing" history, but this year has by far been our favorite. I admit it was quite a bit of work to prepare, but it has been well worth it!

To get an idea of what history looks like in our home this year, I thought I would take you through the unit we just completed.

Unit One: Native Americans
6 Weeks

Spine: The Complete Book of U.S. History

Books Read: 

Read Alouds: Who Were the First North Americans, If you Lived with the Hopi, North American Indians, If You Lived with the Iroquois, If you Lived with the Cherokee, If You Lived with the Sioux, Om Kas Toe, Naya Nuki (audio) 

Readers: Matchlock Gun, American Girl Kaya series

Engaging the learners:

I applied a lot of discussion to our readings. We talked, asked and answered questions, did notebooking pages, and worked on memorizing history sentences from our timeline cards. This has been my favorite part! It has kept our history studies from being a mile wide and an inch thick, and the kids have engaged the material and enjoyed the process!

Projects completed:

We very much enjoyed the Scholastic ebooks Easy Make and Learn Northeast Indians, and Easy make and Learn Southwest Indians. My kids LOVE cut and paste projects and these perfectly met that need! This also kept me from feeling the need to do too many elaborate projects and overwhelm myself which i have a tendency of doing!

A few samples:

Pictograph Dictionary


Iroquois Village Scene


Pueblo Village



Iroquois Longhouse


Beaded Belts and Head dresses

Playing a Hopi children's Game: shooting an arrow through rolling hoops!


Final Unit Project: For our final unit project, (we have one bigger project per unit planned) the kids constructed Tepees. It was a great end to a great unit! 



It would be easy to camp out longer here as there is so much to learn, but I know they have learned so much and even more importantly, the learning process has been a blast! To hear my daughter say she loves reading now all because of the American Girl Kaya series has been an amazing blessing!

Planning out our own history took some work up front but the targeted individual approach has been well worth the effort!

Want to see how the other Homeschool Help Series 
Bloggers do history?


  1. I love the teepees and my daughter enjoys all the American Girl books. I can also related to the amount of work you put in to organize this unit. It looks like you did a wonderful job.

    1. Thanks! We really had so much fun! I am seriously amazed at how much we all learned. One of the greatest joys of homeschooling is learning right alongside your kids...who knew I knew so little about history! :)

  2. Wow! Your activities look so much fun! I'm definitely bookmarking this for when we do American history - thanks Nicole! it sounds like your children are getting a very thorough and enjoyable history programme :-)

  3. Unit studies are so great for this age group. Thanks for being a part of the Homeschool Help Series.


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