American History Curriculum by Golden Prairie Press

The following curriculum download was provided by Golden Prairie Press for the purpose of this TOS Schoolhouse Crew review.

We received a digital download (sold for $98.99) of Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum by Amy Puetz. This elementary American History curriculum is designed for grades 1-6 but can be used with older ages. There is so much included in this 30 week set. We received the following three ebooks and three audio downloads. 
Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 1 ebook
Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 2 ebook
Additional supplemental Materials Downloads including printable timelines, instructions and entertaining videos, color artwork, coloring pages, and much more.
Historical Skits ebook 
Sing Some History MP3 

Listen to Some U.S. History MP3 CD
She also offers a Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Coloring Book for $9.99 and five relevant books which she has edited. 

Heroes and Heroines of the Past

We jumped into the middle of this curriculum at the end of the Revolutionary war and studied through the Period of National Development. We just moved into section 20, and I'm intrigued by the heroines of the Civil war. referred to the ebooks saved on my iPad, but we used the computer to access the songs, videos, and additional resources that were downloaded. The units in both books address the following periods: 
The Period of Discovery
The Period of Colonization 
The Revolution
The Formation of the Union
The Period of National Development
The Civil War
The Period of National Expansion
The United States, A World Power
Each lesson includes both an overview for younger students and more advanced information for older children. Memory verses are included each week. Black and white illustrations fill the pages. Color photographs of many of the suggested activities are shared, and the art reproductions are shared in color.  Maps to accompany each lesson are black and white drawings. 
Apple Charlotte
Apple Charlotte
Recipes were included in several of the lessons. Some did not appeal to us at all, so I didn't encourage the kids to try the ones I thought they might not enjoy. My daughter made the Apple Charlotte which was sort of an apple crisp and French bread combination. It all was quickly consumed. Information about dinner at the White House during James Monroe's presidency accompanied this recipe. Hardtack was one of the recipes that we didn't try. Other recipes closely resemble ones we already enjoy such as tea biscuits that are very similar to our scones. Instead of making them exactly, we substituted scones with our tea. 

Songs were frequently incorporated into the lessons. At times we were directed to listen to selections on the download. Other songs were included in the ebook, words and music were provided. Heather helped her little brother play the Star Spangled Banner after we read together and performed a skit about when it was written. The audio collection download includes original speeches, poems, sermons, and documents that are mentioned in the book. Recordings of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and 17 other historical selections added another component to help remember the events as we learned together. 

The activity above actually was shared over several lessons. After one lesson we followed the instructions for antiquing paper using tea bags. Making the ink from berries that we picked was fun. Writing with straws cut into quills was difficult. Copywork suggestions can be found throughout the book. Heather attempted recreating the Gettysburg Address. Emily copied one of the provided copywork selections by William Penn. Joseph wrote his name and a note to his pen pal. Writing topics are also provided with many lessons. 

Games and projects were liberally shared in the lessons. We danced the Virginia Reel with Grandmommie one afternoon when she joined us for tea. My son continues to challenge us with the "hide the thimble" game. 

Suggested activities and crafts used items that were easy for us to find around the house. For the hoops game pictured above, she suggested a hula hoop. Mulberries are ripe right now, so we substituted them for the blackberries in the berry ink activity, but she shared that even frozen berries would be sufficient. 
Another cultural component in many of the lessons is examining historical art. In addition to the pictures being included in the ebook, they are also shared in a 48 page supplemental download for easier printing. 13 pages of related maps were shared in both formats, too. Seven illustrated timeline sheets cover major events from 1492-1945 and can be printed in four formats: with the date and event filled in, just the date, just the event, and both columns blank. I appreciated the questions provided in the ebook with each picture which encouraged more thought about the selections. 
Most of the historical skits had 3-5 characters so were easy for our family to read together with one person reading each part. One had two and one had ten characters, and the skits with more characters just required some or all of us to assume more than one role. The skits were one of my favorite components. Unlike read alouds which have in the past actually put me to sleep, these were interactive history lessons. After reading the lessons in the ebook, the skits added another dimension to the same material. The kids had fun with these. My son dressed up (substituting his Star Wars light saber for an oar for one skit) for his characters. My in-laws have been visiting, and Grandma even read through one skit with us. She stopped my son when his character saluted (actions and sounds were provided as well as speaking parts for each character) and suggested he ask Grandpa to teach him a proper salute. These lessons went far beyond the recommended 1-6th grades for engagement in our family. Nineteen skits were included and the ebook directed the appropriate times to add them to our lessons. They did help up bring history to life. 
You can also connect with Golden Prairie Press on Facebook. Click the graphic below to read more reviews of this elementary history curriculum by other Schoolhouse Crew reviewers. 

Click to read Crew Reviews



  1. We reviewed this one too. I think the girls favorite part was the cooking and games. We've played the hoop game before.~I think I might have Poppa make some for us~And the Apple Charlotte looks delicious!

    1. Cooking is always a highlight for my kids, too. There are so many recipes shared in this. I want to make hard tack for the experience of sampling it.

  2. The hard tack is actually soft when it is first cooked and tastes a little like biscuits (add jam or honey and it is pretty good). But after it sits for 24 hours it starts getting hard, by the end of a week it is really hard! The Apple Charlotte recipe is really good! Thanks for the review, Jennifer!

    1. Thank you, Amy, for this review opportunity. I know we will continue to learn with these resources. I like biscuits, so might enjoy soft hard tack though it is funny to think of like that.


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