I have some friends who claim that I know everything. While I like to think I know everything, I obviously don’t. I do, however, know a lot of random facts about a lot of random subjects. I think it just comes from my love of learning and reading. I was happy to have the opportunity as part of This Old Schoolhouse’s Review Crew to review This Week in History, written by Rachel DeMille, for Thomas Jefferson Education.
This Week in History is a subscription website that provides correlated cross-curricular resources anchored in historical events for each day of the year. Sounds fancy, eh? It is actually an amazing resource that is a lot of fun for the entire family!
Every Wednesday I receive an email with the week’s historical information. Along with the information what happened in history on each day of the next week is a whole slew of ideas and resources on how to use the event as jumping off point for a lesson.
For example, on July 20, we learned that on that date in 1969 man landed on the moon. Under that fact are resources discussing Apollo II’s mission to the moon; facts about the moon; and even a discussion of “the man in the moon.” This was a really fun “lesson” for us because we were visiting grandma and grandpa on that day and they remember the moon landing. Both were surprised that the date was in July! My parents shared their memories about the moon landing with my kids, which was really fun. And then we discussed the man in the moon as we’ve been observing and discussing that phenomenon for a few months on our own.
I have been using This Week in History very informally with my 3 and 6 year old kids. I usually find a few activities and information I think they’d enjoy and do them during the week. There is a lot of information and resources provided that are easily adaptable for all ages. DeMille does an outstanding job providing information and activities for really fun historical events.
On another day we made mobiles and learned about Alexander Calder. We looked at the pictures of Calder’s mobiles on-line with the links provided in the This Week in History email and then made some simple ones using paper. I love that the mobile making suggestion went from simple to complex ideas. There was a lot more information provided about Calder and mobiles and tying them into physics and art that could be used with older kids. The cross curricular information that is provided is in the emails is excellent.
The only aspect of This Week in History that I don’t like is that the email is sent out on the same day the week starts. So the email sent July 19th is for the week of July 19-25. This really makes it difficult to plan ahead. There is a lot of potential with this program to be actually use it as a curriculum, but I would need more advance planning to make that work.
Overall, though, This Week In History is a great resource!