Making History Fun!

Hello fellow students of life! Today I wanted to show you how we make our history lessons more fun, hands-on, and memorable!




It is my belief that when students are creating things themselves they tend to remember it better. And since history isn’t always the most exciting subject for some kids, we like to do things to make it a little more fun. And to help them remember all of the main events and things that are important!

To help supplement our history curriculum this year we’ve been adding in the Evan-Moor History Pockets and the Scholastic Interactive 3-D American History maps. I shared a post already on how we love them, but now that our year is coming to a close I wanted to show you some of what we’ve created over the course of the year.

Most of these are from the Life in Plymouth Colony History Pocket. Since we were studying American History for the majority of the year, these fit in really well with our units. And like I mentioned, they are a lot of fun, and really help our kiddos remember people, places, and things from our early settlements!


Plymouth Colony:

We started off with a unit called “Voyage to the New World” where we discussed the actual journey that the pilgrims made, what it was like, and what they found when they got here.



Next we did a unit called “The New World” where we learned about the Mayflower Compact, a little about the land itself, and about the first Thanksgiving. We also learned what a town crier was and made up our own news announcement to share. Below Turbo is laughing as he reads his…



Next we did a unit called “Building a Village” where we talked about coming to the new world, what it was like, various terms such as militia and musket. And we learned what it was like to build a village from nothing.




Our next unit was called “Home Sweet Home”. This unit was all about what the pilgrim’s homes were like, what they age, how they cooked, and some of the things they ate.



We also made diorama’s of the inside of our homes. Strawberry Shortcake took hers a little further and made a two room home with added embellishments. I love her creativity!



Our next unit was all about pilgrim families. We learned all about their clothing choices, and what it meant to have good manners. We also made pilgrim puppets with the various outfits they wore.





We also did a unit on working in Plymouth Colony where we learned about the various jobs that were available and necessary for building a community. Then each of them got to pick a vocation and create a sign for their shop. We also did a small unit on quilting and colored various quilting patterns as well as created our own.



Of course we did a unit on “Going to School”! This was mostly review, but they got to create their own horn book, New England Primer mini-book, and read all about going to school back in the day!




We completed our unit with a reflection on some of the things that the Pilgrims gave us as a nation. We talked about manners, customs, herbs, gardening, and the various crafts the pilgrims contributed. We even tried a hasty pudding recipe. Which didn’t go well. But at least we tried!

And we finished off by pretending we were pilgrims, and writing a letter to a friend back in England telling them of our journey and adventures!



We really enjoyed this unit, and now we have a momento of our studies as well.

As you can see, it’s not too difficult to make your curriculum a little more exciting!

Hope you enjoy, and happy homeschooling :o)


Disclosure: This post was not sponsored in any way. All products were purchased using our own money and I’m sharing them because we love ‘em!


  • Karen May 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Hi Erica,

    I just had to comment on these history packets…… Love, Love, love them! I purchase this one when you previously posted about them. So fun and educational! I was even more excited when I learned about all what Evan-Moor has to offer. I am ordering their science experiments for next year! Whoo Hoo! Can’t wait! Sharing is so fun, isn’t it?

    Thanks Erica!

  • Carrine May 15, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    We love the History Pocket series as well…they do make history more fun to learn when there are hands on activities to do.

  • Genevive May 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    We have found the history pockets also and I love the idea of them. I have struggled with the best way to format them so they are easy to use and find for each child. I notice the ones you pictured are spiral bound. Did you print and bind the books yourself or were you able to buy them in spiral form?
    And in case you didn’t know, they also have Literature Pockets!

    • erica May 16, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Hi Genevive,
      Yes, I take them to Office Depot and get them spiral bound. It’s so much easier to make copies!

  • Kayla May 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I’m so glad you posted about these. I have been looking through curriculum for next year and came across these. I was wavering on whether to buy them or not–you convinced me. Thanks! Everything I plan for my kids has to be visual and hands-on. My kids are all hands-on learners and this would be great for multiple levels too. You are awesome!

  • Denielle May 15, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this informative post! I am looking at curriculum supplements for my 2nd grader, and this looks like a great option for History! Can you tell me how long you spend on each unit?

    • erica May 16, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Hi Denielle,
      I gave them about 15 minutes each day to do the history pockets. It didn’t take too much time, but they enjoyed it. If we didn’t finish in one day, we just finished the next day. They’re really easy to add in.

  • Kristina Womack May 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Would these History Pockets work well with your Road Trip USA? We’ll be using that this fall.

    • erica May 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Yes you could use them with that as well. But keep in mind Road Trip is already pretty hands on and has lots of activities to go with it, so you don’t want to get overwhelmed with additions.

  • Sara@Save Money, Live Joyfully May 17, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for this post! I just ran out to Lakeshore and bought the Ancient Civilizations one for my 1st grader. I think it will go well with our Classical Conversations and Mystery of History curricula. One question-how long does one folder take to make, usually? I can’t figure out if there is a lesson plan on it, or just “do an activity here and an activity there”.

    • erica May 20, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Hi Sara,
      We do one activity at a time, and I usually spend about 15 minutes on it. There are several items per pocket, so I’m not sure how long it takes total as each one is a little different.

  • Grace May 18, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I posted about your Road Trip USA and Expedition Earth curriculum on my blog.

    For the first time in a long time my kiddos are actually excited about school (and so am I)!! I definitely have you and your curriculum to thank for that!!

    • erica May 20, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Hi Grace,
      Thanks so much for sharing it on your blog! And I’m glad you’re enjoying it too!

  • Ashley Barrett May 19, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    A friend recommended the Liberty Kids series which I got for $8 on Amazon for the whole series. My boys love it! We watch episodes together. It starts with the Boston Tea Party and goes through the Constitution. There are a bunch of episodes. Anyways wanted to share because it has totally changed how we do history around here 🙂

  • Pauline Foster May 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Have you done the Moving West one yet? We LOVE the History Pockets, but found the Moving West one to be lacking in activities and crafts. I ended up supplementing a lot. Our all time favorite one was Native Americans.

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