Are you looking for an engaging full-year American history curriculum that will introduce your elementary students to key people and events of modern history? Take a look at A Detective’s Guide to American History: 1900 to 2000. It starts with the Wright Brothers and ends with the International Space Station! Along the way, students learn about the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, the Titanic, World War I, the Nineteenth Amendment, the Great Depression, Roosevelt and the New Deal, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, the end of World War II, the Korean War, Alaskan and Hawaiian statehood, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the space program, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and so much more!
A Detective’s Guide to American History: 1900 to 2000 includes 30 lessons and 20 optional extension lessons and can cover a full year of American history.
Each lesson – or Case File – includes five short sections of text that can be read over the course of one or more days depending on your schedule.
Each section of text is followed by two questions.
• The first tests reading comprehension and is taken directly from the text.
• The second shares more information about the person or event through a decoding puzzle that reviews addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. More information about the math is included below.
• A code wheel and everything students need to decode the puzzle is included.
Each of the first four Case File readings also includes an optional Gathering Evidence assignment that can be used to help students learn more information about the topic and develop research skills using books, Internet sites, the library, or whatever resources you have available.
Each lesson also includes:
• Five vocabulary words and a vocabulary activity, covering a total of 150 vocabulary words through the course
• Room for a Case Sketch, an opportunity for students to draw something related to the lesson and help them visualize and retain what they’ve learned
• Basic map work that allows students to record the location of one or more places from the lesson; bonus in-depth optional map work is also included
• A Solving the Case activity where students copy the facts they learned, practice reducing the information into simple sentences, and retell what happened in the unit to demonstrate comprehension of the material
Each optional lesson – or Dossier – focuses on a specific person, two from each decade covered in the curriculum. These are shorter units that do not include vocabulary practice or bonus map work. A suggested plan for when to do these units so they flow chronologically is provided.
As a bonus, a checklist your student can use to keep track of his or her progress through each Case File or Dossier is also included.
What topics are covered?
The main units cover the Wright Brothers, Panama Canal, San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, Titanic, World War I, Prohibition, Nineteenth Amendment, Charles Lindbergh’s Transatlantic Flight, Mount Rushmore, Great Depression, Empire State Building, Roosevelt and the New Deal, Dust Bowl, Hindenburg, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, End of World War II, Korean War, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii, Cuban Missile Crisis, Apollo 11, Apollo 13, America’s Bicentennial, Miracle on Ice, Mount St. Helens, Space Shuttle Program, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Hubble Space Telescope, and the International Space Station.
The optional units cover Milton Hershey, Henry Ford, George Washington Carver, Jim Thorpe, Duke Ellington, Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein, Jesse Owens, Code Talkers, Jackie Robinson, Virginia Apgar, Ray Kroc, Katherine Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., E. B. White, Hank Aaron, Willem Kolff, Ronald Reagan, Norman Schwarzkopf, and Clarence Thomas.
All lessons, optional lessons, bonus map work, and answer key total 532 pages.
Are additional resources needed?
The only resource needed to do the core assignments is an atlas or similar map resource. Access to books or the Internet is required for the optional activities.
What level of math do the puzzles review?
The codes review addition and subtraction skills as well as basic multiplication (up to two digits by one digit) and simple division (two digits by one digit). A few multiplication or division problems include two digits by two digits.