The Activity Book offers parents and teachers a complete history, geography, and literature program when used with The Story of the World Vol. 2: The Middle Ages, Text. Though designed primarily for grades 2-5, the map exercises and many of the other activities are appropriate for grades 6-8.
Any textbook can tell your child that, “Many of Shakespeare’s plays include battles, duels, and murders.” But our activity books offer more practical tips, such as “Raise your sword over your head and chop downwards as though you were intending to cut your opponent in half down the middle.” We like to think we’re giving your child an education he can use.
Color a picture of a Viking warrior, make an edible oasis, create a Moorish ruler’s turban, craft Aztec jewelry and more.
Don’t just read about history — experience it!
The Activity Book contains two parts.
The first section includes: A Pronunciation Guide, Review Questions with answers, Narration Exercises, Additional History Reading lists, Instructions for the activities in the Student Pages, various Projects, information for the Map assignments, Encyclopedia Cross-references, and Corresponding Literature Suggestions.
The second section includes: The removable Student Pages which are given to the student to complete. These pages include: maps, puzzles, games, and, in Volumes 1-3, review cards and coloring pages. In Volume 4, timeline figures and outlines replace the review cards and coloring pages.
Do you have more than one student? If you purchase the Activity Book, you have permission to copy the Student Pages as often as you need for use within your own family. But if you want to save yourself the trouble of lugging it to Kinko’s, you can simply purchase an additional set of Student Pages for Volume 2.
How to Use this Activity Book
1) Read one section from The Story of the World to your child. Longer chapters are divided into several sections; each section is appropriate for one session of history. Good readers can read the section to you instead.
2) Review Questions: These test the student’s comprehension. The student should answer these questions orally without looking at the book. Encourage him to answer in complete sentences when possible. This is training in reading comprehension (and it will help you evaluate whether the child is listening with attention and whether he’s really understanding what he’s reading). Answers given are approximate; accept any reasonable answer. You can also make up your own questions. If you have an older student and prefer that they answer these questions in writing, you can purchase our Written Comprehension Responses where these Review Questions are already typed for you, including plenty of lined space for your student’s response.
3) Narration Exercise: Have the child tell you in two to five sentences what the history lesson was about. You can prompt the child with the Review Questions. Encourage the child to include the major facts from the history reading, but not every fact. We have supplied sample narrations simply to give some idea of acceptable answers. Write down the child’s narration if the child is not writing independently. Good writers can be asked to write the narration down themselves. For any given section, you can instead ask the child to draw a picture of her favorite part of the history lesson and then describe the picture to you. Write the description at the bottom of the picture. Put the narration or the picture in a History Notebook—a looseleaf notebook that will serve as the child’s record of her history study.
4) Additional Reading and Activities: This Activity Book provides titles of books that you can find at your library for additional history reading. When you reach a topic that has a wealth of interesting books and activities connected to it, stop and enjoy yourself; don’t feel undue pressure to move on. The recommended titles range in difficulty from books for reading aloud to first graders to advanced books appropriate for fourth graders to read independently. When appropriate, ask the child to draw pictures, to narrate, or to complete brief outlines about the additional reading as well. Put these pictures and narrations into a three-ring History Notebook. This should begin to resemble the child’s own one-volume history of the world. Don’t ask the child to narrate every book or she’ll grow frustrated; use this as occasional reinforcement for a topic she finds particularly interesting. Because students from a wide range of grades will be using this Activity Book, we have tried to provide a range of activities, appropriate for different levels. Some are more appropriate for younger students; others will require more in-depth thought. We encourage you to select the projects most appropriate for you and your students.
5) Maps: Almost every section has an accompanying map activity. Instruct the student using the provided information. The corresponding blank map is in the Student Pages; an answer key-showing the correct, completed map is in the back of the first section.
6) Encyclopedia Cross-references: The appropriate pages in The Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World, The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (revised), The Usborne Book of World History, and The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History are listed for you.
7) Recommended Literature Lists: Choose appropriate titles from the list and read these with your child. Classical philosophy discourages the use of “reading textbooks” which contain little snippets of a number of different works. These textbooks tend to turn reading into a chore—an assignment that has to be finished—rather than a wonderful way to learn more about the world. Instead of following a “reading program,” consider using the “real books” from these literature lists. Following each title is a range of grades showing the appropriate reading level. (RA=read aloud, IR=independent read)
8) Review Cards: Every four chapters, you should take one history class to prepare your history review cards. Photocopy or (print from the PDF) the history cards (use cardstock for longer-lasting cards) and cut them out; have the student color the picture. Use them once or twice a week to review material already covered.
9) Optional: You can administer written tests (available separately) if you desire a more formal evaluation or wish to develop your child’s test-taking ability.
The Story of the World series is intended for children in grades 1–4, but is often used by older students: Volume One is written primarily for grades 1–4; Volume Two for grades 2–5; Volume Three for grade 3–6; Volume Four for grades 4–8. The maps and many of the activities in this book are also appropriate for children in grades 4–8. To use The Story of the World as the center of a multilevel history program, have your older child independently do the following: Read The Story of the World; follow this with the appropriate pages from the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia; place all important dates on a timeline; do additional reading on his or her own level. Optional: Your student can answer the Review Questions in writing instead of orally. Have your student write out their answers to the Review Questions on loose-leaf paper, you can type up the Review Questions yourself and include space for their answers, OR you can purchase our Written Comprehension Responses where they are already typed for you with plenty of lined space provided for your student’s response!