Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Elementary Modern History and Geography {Pre-K-3rd}




Week 1: Scramble for Africa
  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 346-347. Discuss pictures as you read. In your history notebook, write down three things you learned in this lesson. Jot down some keywords and important names of people and places as well.
  • Why did Dr. Livingstone first go to Africa? Was he successful? 
  • How did King Leopold manipulate events so that he could claim lots of African land as his own? Why was this period of African history called “The Scramble”?
  • Can you find the places where Dr. David Livingstone traveled? Color the Kalahari Desert. Trace the Congo, Niger, and Nile rivers. Label the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea or Complete a timeline/world mapping activity, such as the one here.
  • Also label the following: Egypt Liberia Ethiopia Cape Colony Mark the path of the Great Trek with red arrows 
  • Read-Alouds: The Zulus, Robert Nicholson and David Livingstone: Africa's TrailblazerJanet Benge
  • Writing Project: Pretend you are one of these people—David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley, a Boer, or a Zulu in 1879. Write a journal entry describing where you are and what is happening around you. Why are you there? Who is with you? Are you in danger? Put your finished journal entry in your history notebook.
Week 2 The Crimean War and Victorian England
  • On an appropriate map, label the Baltic, Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian seas. Next label England, Spain, France, and the Russian Empire. Find the Crimean Peninsula and label and color it. Label Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Constantinople (Istanbul), and Sevastopol. Shade France, England, and the Russian Empire different colors. 
  • Read the poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 
  • Read Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Which of the mysteries in the book was your favorite? Why? How was Sherlock Holmes able to solve the mystery? What new fact or facts did you learn about the Victorian Era from the stories?
  • Research about Florence Nightingale and write down two or more things you learned in your history notebook, making a note of any keywords or important names. 
Week 3: Europe
  • On a blank map of Europe, write in the names of each of the countries and shade them each in a different color.
  • In 1853 composer Richard Wagner published the operatic series Th e Ring Cycle. Th e Ring Cycle set old Germanic and Norse mythology to music. Th is work is oft en regarded as one of the single most ambitious undertakings in musical history. Locate the coloring page based on a scene from Th e Ring Cycle. Try to listen to a portion of the music.
  • On a map of the United Kingdom, label Ireland, England, and Scotland. Also label the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, and the Irish Sea. Draw and shade the areas in Ireland that were most affected by the potato blight. 
Week 4 : The Ottoman Empire
  • On an appropriate map, shade the Ottoman Empire. Label Anatolia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Look in your atlas to find the modern-day name for Anatolia.

Weeks 5-6: Civil War in America and The Growth of the USA
Quentin, September 2010

Week 7: Canada
  • On a map of Canada, label the following provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Label the United States. Finally, label the city of MontrĂ©al. Shade each province a different color. 
Weeks 8-9: Asia 


  • Celebrate Chinese New Year.
  • Writing project: Asian Poetry: Tanka There are five lines in a tanka poem. Each line has a maximum number of syllables. Line one has five or fewer syllables; line two has seven or fewer syllables; line three has five or fewer syllables; line four has seven or fewer syllables; and line five has seven or fewer syllables. Haiku poem only has the first three lines. When you’ve finished writing your poem, find ink and paper colors that suit the poem and write or print out your final draft in those colors and decorate it.

China: Ming and Ching Dynasties


  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 352-355. Discuss pictures as you read.
  • Write down two things you learned in this lesson. Did you jot down important names and keywords as you read?
  • Challenge your students to a Ming Vase Treasure Hunt on the Internet.
  • How were the Taiping rebels like Robin Hood? On a map fo Asia, shade the area in green that the Taiping rebels controlled.
  • On a map, label French-Indo China, Weihai, and Beijing. Shade in the area in which the Boxer Rebellion took place. Use the maps on page 355 on UILE as a guide.

Changes in Japan

  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 352-355. Discuss pictures as you read.
  • Write down two things you learned in this lesson. Did you jot down important names and keywords as you read?
  • What do the words daimyo and feudal mean? What does conscript mean? 
  • Find and label Japan and Korea. Next label the Pacific Ocean, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan. Now find the city of Edo and label it. What happened to the city of Edo? Write the new name alongside or below the old name.
  • Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun, Rhonda Blumberg (age 8 and up)
  • Shipwrecked! The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy, Rhonda Blumberg (4th grade and up)

Weeks 10-11: Russia: Russian Revolution, Stalin's Soviet Union, People's Republic

  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 352-355. Discuss pictures as you read.
  • Write down two things you learned in this lesson. Did you jot down important names and keywords as you read?
  • What is autocracy? Would you say that Alexander III was an autocrat? How did Alexander III save his family’s life? 

Week 12: Oceania
  • On an appropriate map, label the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Ocean. Now label Tasmania and New Zealand. Label the Australian provinces—Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. Finally, label Melbourne. Shade each province a different color. 
Week 13: First World War
Week 14: Good Times, Bad Times

  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 366-367. Discuss pictures as you read.
  • Write down two things you learned in this lesson. Did you jot down important names and keywords as you read?
  • Complete some 1930's activities.
  • Read Lentil and Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey and complete some Between the Wars with Robert McCloskey activities.
Week 15: Rise of Fascism

  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 368-369. Discuss pictures as you read.
  • Write down two things you learned in this lesson. Did you jot down important names and keywords as you read?
Week 16: World War II





Week 17: From Colonies to Countries
  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 374-375. Discuss pictures as you read.
  • Write down two things you learned in this lesson. Did you jot down important names and keywords as you read?
Week 18: War in the Middle East
  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 376-377. Discuss pictures as you read.
  • Write down two things you learned in this lesson. Did you jot down important names and keywords as you read?
Week 19: Cold War
  • Read Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 378-379. Discuss pictures as you read.
  • Write down two things you learned in this lesson. Did you jot down important names and keywords as you read?
Weeks 20-21: The Sixties: Space RaceFall of Communism and Rights for All



4 comments:

  1. I am sure your kids know a lot more about history and geography than graduates from elementary school. So far they have hardly studied any world history and geography, and my daughter is in the fourth grade already!

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    Replies
    1. I would like to think that they do.

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  2. Sweet! This will be super helpful for next year.

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  3. This is very thorough :)

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