Ever wish you could just hand your highschooler a curriculum that they could totally handle themselves? While this is not our normal way of learning, there have been times I've contemplated the existence of such a tool.
I was about to find out if this was such a curriculum with my highschooler and US History Detective Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Company.
US History Detective Book 1 Review
Covering 9 sections over 65 chronological lessons, your 8-12th grader will learn in depth information on the Colonial era to Reconstruction Era. US History Detective can be used as a a stand alone text, a supplemental resource or a review course for older students.
Major stops include: Colonial Era, Revolutionary Era, Federal Era, Nationalism Era, Reform Era, Expansion Era, Sectional Conflict Era, Civil War Era, Reconstruction Era.
[caption id="attachment_26681" align="aligncenter" width="550"] A portion of the Table of Contents from US History Detective Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Company[/caption]
Each section is introduced with an overview. Then the lessons are read followed by questions. These questions consist of multiple choice, short answer and some short essay. In any case, evidence is requested plus supporting evidence to back it up. This includes primary source (a first hand account) or a secondary account such as a historian's account who has written about a particular time period. And of course, an answer key for all questions is provided. The essay answers include key points.
[caption id="attachment_26677" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Sample of the reading portion from US History Detective Book 1[/caption]
Within the reading sections are colorful and vibrant maps, diagrams and eye catching pictures!
[caption id="attachment_26675" align="aligncenter" width="371"] Colorful Maps - US History Detective Book 1[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_26678" align="aligncenter" width="351"] Colorful Diagrams - US History Detective Book 1[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_26679" align="aligncenter" width="320"] Eyecatching pictures! US History Detective Book 1[/caption]
After reading, it's time to answer some questions! Don't forget you NEED to support your answer with evidence!!!
"A conclusion is a person's decision to believe something an inference is a conclusion, based on evidence. Critical thinking teaches us to draw our conclusions based on our evaluation of the evidence." - US History Detective Book 1
An example of the essay questions
Our Thoughts on US History Detective Book 1
US History Detective Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Company takes quite a comprehensive look at US History! It's JAMMED with information! With that, we've previously studied US History in depth, so, for us there wasn't a lot of NEW material that my son learned. However, it was valuable for him to be able to go back and prove his answers WITH direct evidence. And, this is a curriculum he was able to work on totally on his own.
It was neat to see some of the bonus activities too. My son's favorite was "Fun with the Dollar Bill" in which a picture of the back of a dollar is displayed and questions about our currency are posed.
Two things to note about the short essay questions. First, these questions are commonly found in college-level and AP level classes. Second, they make great discussion questions! So, don't be afraid to include some interactive banter with your student!!!
Check out what other crew members had to say about this selection AND Fun-Time Phonics, Surfing the Net: Science, The Basics of Critical Thinking and Practical Critical Thinking all from The Critical Thinking Company.
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