Monday, February 16, 2015

Teaching Pennsylvania History-Part 1

I've been teaching Pennsylvania history for a long time now, first to our four children, and then to other children at homeschool co-ops. One thing I've discovered is that the mass of information to be taught needs organized.

State history study can be arranged chronologically or topically. I always pick the topic way because it is easier to gear the lessons to students’ interests. To give the study a sense of order, I have them fill out a timeline. I use label paper to print stickers with date, subject, and a small picture while using small timelines in group classes. What I really like read more
though is butcher shop paper or larger so students can draw pictures on the time line. Drawing pictures takes more time, but can also serve as art instruction. We keep a Pennsylvania map handy as we study to look up mentioned places. Sometimes I provide an empty map for them to write the names of places at the right spot.

I choose from these topics:

Origin of the State

Early Settlers

Native Americans

The History of Transportation


Major Events

Famous People

Historical Sites and Tourist Attractions

Pennsylvania’s Involvement in Wars


Natural Resources


State Government

Topics will overlap at times and provide a good opportunity for review. My favorite one to start with is the “History of Transportation” because transportation played such an important part in the development of my state. My book, The Flying Banana and Other Pennsylvania Transportation covers this subject for the state of Pennsylvania and includes map/timeline work. 

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