American History Club is meeting next week. It’s our third meeting on Texas and the Alamo and that general time period. That means the kids will be doing presentations on a topic of their choice. As per usual, there’s lots going on in that time period to choose from.
Mr. Curiosity decided he wanted to learn about the Texas Republic. He has primarily used Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State by Randolph B. Campbell. The subtitle of the book is quite accurate, since it covers Texas from its first Native American inhabitants through 2001. There’s a chapter on the Texas Revolution and another on the Republic of Texas, with enough detail he probably won’t need to look elsewhere for information. If he does, he can read A History of US: Liberty for All?: 1820-1860 by Joy Hakim. This is a YA level book that tries to cover most of the major events of U.S. history. There’s not much detail, since it covers 40 years in less than 200 pages of text, including lots of original photographs, maps, and cartoons from the time period. It will put the details from the first book into a larger U.S. perspective.
Miss Curiosity decided she wanted to learn more about James Bowie. One of Calpurnia Tate’s brothers (from The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate) was named after Bowie. There are many biographies of Bowie – the trick is finding the one at the right reading level. We settled on Jim Bowie: Frontier Legend, Alamo Hero by J. R. Edmondson. It provides a history of Bowie in just about 100 pages, which is probably just a bit more in-depth than Miss Adventure would prefer, but again, will have all the information she needs.
One last book to mention that I found for Mr. Curiosity at the library: Randall Monroe’s Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words. The purpose of the book is to explain different concepts of science, engineering, and even history using only the ten hundred most common words of the English language. Half the fun of reading the book is trying to figure out what the words are referring to. Can you guess that a shape checker is a lock and a food-heating radio box is a microwave? As a bonus, if you want to try your hand at explaining something using the same set of words, you can put your text in a website to see how you did. Mr. Curiosity wrote an explanation of math equations and succeeded in using only the most common words.
And those were the book we used this week. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up
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