Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving Beyond The Page {Review}

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In my participation with the TOS Review Crew I have had the opportunity to learn about curriculum companies that I was unfamiliar with. This was the case for my latest review of materials from Moving Beyond The Page. For this review, I was given the option of choosing one Language Arts package and either one Social Studies package or one Science package. I chose the age 9-11 age range and was sent the Language Arts Package - Lincoln Online Curriculum Guide ($30.83) and the Social Studies Package - Your State ($16.99). Moving Beyond The Page does offer full year curriculum packages for all ages, as well, although this review is for only two of their individual units.

I received these three physical books in the photo below and printed out the online guide and put it in a notebook for Benjamin to work through. 

We have been focusing on American history this year, since we are living back in the United States and since we live in an area that is rich in opportunities to visit historic sites, etc. I appreciated that I did not have to order the entire year-long curriculum package in order for these two units to make sense. They can be used alone or with the total package. So, because American history has been a focus for us, as well as living in a state we have never lived in before, these two separate units worked well to fit into where we are in life and in our schooling. 

The Language Arts Package - Lincoln is a unit study which uses the two books, Lincoln: A Photobiography and A Picture Book of Frederick Douglass to explore the life of Abraham Lincoln and his legacy, as well as to learn of the relationship between Lincoln and Douglass. Participles and appositives are introduced and studied in these lessons, as well.

The prerequisites for this unit include:
  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 5th or 6th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Usually used by children in fourth or fifth grade
The Table of Contents:
  • Lesson 1: Who Was He?
  • Lesson 2: Childhood
  • Lesson 3: A Lawyer and Politician
  • Lesson 4: Slavery
  • Lesson 5: Emancipation (2 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Civil War (2 Days)
  • Lesson 7: Assassination
  • Lesson 8: Words and Memories
  • Final Project: Lincoln Showcase
The Social Studies Package - Your State is a unit study on exactly what the title says, whichever state you call home. So we were glad to be able to study a bit more about our new state, Virginia.

The prerequisites for this unit include:
  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 5th or 6th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Usually used by children in fourth or fifth grade
Table of Contents:
  • Lesson 1: Geography of Your State
  • Lesson 2: State Symbols (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: State History (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: Famous People
  • Lesson 5: Places to See
  • Lesson 6: State Field Trips
  • Lesson 7: State Statistics
  • Lesson 8: State Maps
  • Final Project: State Book (2 Days)
Here are two pages from this unit . . .

These units are designed to be completed by the child in 19 days. Ben worked on these lessons several times per week, but we have not quite finished them, due to sickness in our family in the last two weeks. He did need help with understanding the participles and appositives exercises. 

It is so neat when school lessons and real life experiences compliment each other. We watched the newly released Lincoln film, starring Daniel Day Lewis, during this review period, which added to this study. We also recently went again to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia to explore the historic city a bit more. This time we toured through the lower town and because Frederick Douglass had come to Harpers Ferry to deliver a speech in 1881, he was part of the display. Here is a photo I took . . .

I ordered library books on the topic of the state of Virginia to assist in the Your State lessons. Ben also used the Internet to find some of the facts he needed for the questions he was asked. It was fun to learn more about Virginia, although we were already familiar with the state bird, tree, flower and capital city. Benjamin collects state coins, so we pulled out his Virginia coin to examine it more closely. We had not known the state song before this lesson. What an unexpected (and shocking) discovery that was. It has been fun to learn about the cities and sites we want to visit, the battlefields there are to explore and to continue to add to our already long list of "must sees".

Overall, I think these two units are fabulously written and well laid out for the student. The one drawback for me was the online version of the Lincoln unit. I would have liked to have the actually book or workbook in my hands. I am not a fan of either having my students on the computer for lengthy periods (we only have one computer right now) or having to print off multiple pages. I would have preferred the actual printed workbook, but again, this is just my person preference. I know many people would prefer the online version.

The TOS Review Crew was given a multitude of lessons and combinations of lessons to choose from, so please click the banner below to see what other units those families had the opportunity to review!


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