The Christian Almanac is one of the best books ever. Read the two-page spread per day book every day for ten years, and you will undoubtedly have more historical knowledge, a greater understanding of our complicated world, and a growing wisdom of how historical situations evolve into new ones, realizing Donne's words "No man is an island..."
I am always coming up with ideas of how to incorporate good tools into my teaching. Sometimes I almost wish I didn't think about these things because they nag at me until I either use them or drop them.
For the past few months, I've been reading The Christian Almanac during my early-morning quiet time and realized I have to use this book in my classes. But how? I'm already using several (and sometimes feel I'm not doing a good job of it at all) and the addition on another will be stretching it.
Last week while searching online for the cheapest vendor so I can buy myself a second copy, I found CBD has these for $5.95. Yes, $5.95! I ordered several copies and gave them to my kindred-spirit teacher-friends, saving one for myself.
With this second copy, I plan, this summer, to cut the binding, and place the left-hand page (where Grant expounds on detailed elements of that day-in-history's event) into my chronological binder.
This chronological binder has resulted from the sequential chapters of The Story of the World (Bauer) volumes 2, 3, and 4, the primary spine for my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes respectively. I have four binders for each volume/grade, one for each quarter of the year. I file the pages from the Activity Guide (binding cut and pages apart) into the order I use them and stuff them into a binder pocket. Included are master copies of the crossword puzzles I make for each chapter as part of a test review. Also included are applicable pages from Veritas Press' history teacher's manuals, though I've not had time this year to incorporate many of these.
Getting back to The Christian Almanac -- I'm not sure exactly how I will use these pages that I rearrange chronologically into the three different logic-stage years, but some thoughts come to mind. Often I will not have time to include another day to "teach" the The Christian Almanac material, so I imagine I may use the page as a reading comprehension sheet attached to the test with a few questions or instructions to summarize the paragraphs. Maybe I will follow the silent reading exercise with ten minutes of assigned student oral presentation summaries. Not sure exactly how, but you can bet those how-to-use-it thoughts will be churning through my brain over the next few months. Come June, when school is out, I plan to take one day (and, believe me, it will take me all day) to cut the binding, punch holes, and sort into the binders those wonderful, not-to-be-missed pages of The Christian Almanac.
If you want to enhance you knowledge and understanding of the history of the world, hop over to CBD using the link provided to get your inexpensive copy of The Christian Almanac.
...If only prolific writer that he is George Grant would write his own history of the world series for logic stage students!
Sunday, March 15, 2009