Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
History is one of those subjects that can be absolutely fascinating and come to life in a number of different ways or be as dull as a doorknob. It all depends on how it is handled. Cathy Diez-Luckie has created articulated, historical paper figures for several history eras. These movable figures produced through Figures In Motion bring a hands-on aspect to your history studies and it brings the eras to life.
Famous Figures of the Early Modern Era includes 21 people from the mid-1500s through the mid-1800s. The famous people come from around the world and from many cultures. Catherine the Great to Simon Bolivar, Queen Nzinga to Rembrandt, Ch-ien-Lung to Robert Fulton, this book covers kings, queens, princesses, inventors, arts, revolutionaries, explorers, musicians, and more. Each figure comes printed both in full color to cut and assemble or in black-line to color and then assemble. In addition to the book, you will need a pair of scissors, a hole punch, and brads to assemble the figures. The hole punch and the brads we received with the book are of the mini size but full sized ones work as well. You can order these from Figures In Motion if desired.
We choose to take a break from our current history curriculum to use Famous Figures of the Early Modern Era. We picked up a number of picture books from our local library, scoured our bookshelves for related stories, and borrowed a copy of Story of the World, also. (Figures In Motion has set the series of books up to related to several history curriculums including Story of the World, Sonlight Curriculum, Classical Conversations, Mystery of History, among others.) I allowed Miss J to pick and choose among the names to find some that she was interested in.
She started with Catherine the Great, even before we had any books to read about her. We began with Catherine the Great the very evening we received the book for review because Miss J was so excited to get to do these. I looked up information on the internet and read to her while she cut out and assembled the Catherine the Great figure. She asked a few questions about Catherine and we did some additional research. A few days later when we were working on Peter the Great, we worked on the connection between the two and more questions were asked that weren’t answered in the books we had. More research – a wonderful learning opportunity.
During the time that we were taking a break from our current history to work on these fabulous figures, we were also working on a Lewis and Clark unit. Guess what? There was a figure for this unit – William Clark. It was another connection that helped her see how history is intertwined. There is also a Sacagawea figure that we put together as we studied the expedition.
As we concluded our break and got ready to pick up the history curriculum once more, we found additional connections and have actually continued on with creating a figure every few days. Pocahontas is one of the figures in the Famous Figures of the Early Modern Era book. She also fit in right where we were picking up again. We have also found William Penn in our current curriculum and worked on learning more about him, using the figure as a jumping off point.
The Famous Figures of the Early Modern Era book includes not just the paper figures, but it also includes a few short paragraphs on each figure and a suggested book list with books for various ages. The figures are most recommended for ages 6-12. My 12 year old is highly independent with the creation of the figures but she loves to have me read aloud to her while she is working on them. It suits me just fine to do so. A student on the lower end of that age range will likely need some help as the cutting can be pretty detailed.
If you visit the Figures in Motion website, you will find a place to sign up for their mailing list. Doing so will send a few more figures to your inbox. If you click on the download option, it also takes you to a private page on the website that has additional activities. There are some word searches, a play (for Esther), curriculum guides for each of the books (helping align with different history programs), a crown to make, a mosaic to create, and more.
There are 7 different books for you to explore – 6 history and 1 dinosaur. The Homeschool Review Crew has been reviewing the Famous Figures books. Visit the Crew website to read about the different books and how other families have been using this hands-on history resource.
Lori, At Home.