Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
A time from the past can be interesting, fascinating even, when approached through story and activities to help get the full “feel” of the time. Rebecca Locklear enjoys history and sharing that history through activity and story. She has a background in several levels of teaching and writing materials for teachers. Knowing the strength of integrating hands-on with other aspects of learning, Rebecca Locklear has created two unit studies. We have used Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities with our family. She also has one titled The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today that other families on the Crew worked with.
Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities is for teachers with students in grades 4-12. It is 120 pages and we received it in PDF format. There is a purchase option for both digital and print on her website. The book covers everything from how the US Life-Saving Service came about to what daily life was like to how and what they cooked, medicine to survival skills. There is a lot of information packed into these pages.
There are 17 lessons, or workshops. Each is set up very well for teachers, with the objectives of each workshop and activity clearly stated. It also includes a list of materials needed for each workshop. In addition to the 17 workshops, there is a section on “Expanding the Life-Saving Vision Through the Arts” which includes visual art and musical art. There is also a list of topics that might be of interest for further study with a short summary of the information. Appendix 1 covers the topic of why ships would sink. Appendix 2 is recipes. A glossary and a list of sources closes out the study.
We found the story and information part of this study most interesting. As a family, we read the Introductory Workshop. It discusses much of what the purpose of the U.S. Life-Saving Service was about, how you became part of it, and what life was like. This was a great introduction to service, which my girls knew nothing about.
We really enjoyed looking at the many authentic photographs included and the explanation of them. A few of the pictures included things in the description that we didn’t understand so we did some quick research to answer those questions that we had. One thing that we looked up was a map of Massachusetts, especially finding one that focused in on Chatham, which is the station that is referenced quite a bit. We also looked up the other stations mentioned, including some in MI, CA, and WA.
After our initial gathering together as a family, each of the girls chose something to read and work on. One of the girls wanted to know more about the music, as violin is a instrument dear to her. So we pulled up the Perform Music section. We read about the instruments that might have been around and we sang the song Buffalo Gals, which is included in the book. Other songs were listed and we sang some that we knew and pulled up some others to listen to.
Our youngest enjoys learning through video and in the workshop Molasses and Gingerbread, she learned a lot. There is a short discussion on molasses and a link to a video on how it is made. We watched a couple of other videos as well because it piqued her interest.
It led us to read the included story about the wife of a captain who watched men in Louisiana stomping on something, probably sugar cane, and causing her to never eat molasses again because she didn’t want to eat something anyone had stomped on with their bare feet. We had a fun chat about that and also a quick review about the timing of this (it was in the 1860 but the specific date is unknown so these could have been either freed men or slaves working the sugar cane) and a review of the Civil War.
Jumping off points can happen all over the place with a unit study like this. It is rich and full.
We were unprepared for this approach to the U.S. Life-Saving Service. This is promoted as a book and so we were expecting a lot of reading and longer stories, with a few activities to bring it to life. This is more accurately a unit study, in my opinion, as it is a lot of activities with short quotes or readings from primary source material as the jumping off point.
This will work well for a classroom setting, a co-op setting, or a family with multiple ages wanting to study together. It could also work as an independant study. There is a lot of flexibility in the use of the study and it would be simple to adapt activities to fit the level and ability of the students involved. Rebecca Locklear has created a wonderful unit study with Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities . There is a newsletter that she sends out that includes teaching tips and student resources among other information. You can sign up for it from the Contact page on her website.
Lori, At Home.
The Homeschool Review Crew has been reviewing these two unit studies. You can read about the other families experiences by clicking on the image below.
Tagged: reviews, TOS, unit study
i agree with your assessment that it is a unit study much less than a book.
That difference in expectation definitely changed how we were able to use the material during this period. I had planned on the two older girls reading a book on their own. Lots of interesting primary source material, still, and that is interesting.
very, I thought it was well done
[…] This will work well for a classroom setting, a co-op setting, or a family with multiple ages wanting to study together. It could also work as an independent study. There is a lot of flexibility and it would be simple to adapt activities to fit the level and ability of students involved.” Lori H., Educator FULL REVIEW HERE […]