Learning history through living books that bring history to life through the eyes of a character who is part of the experience, really helps kids to see what that time frame of history was like, instead of just reading about it in a text book.
Although it’s perfectly possible to work through a list of books on your own, there is a program created by a Canadian named Connie to help you work through the founding of Canadian history. It’s called RICH – Readings in Canadian History and is a program designed for students in grades 4 to 9, completely founded using living books and activities related to these stories.
There is currently a one year program available, with a second apparently in the works. The first year lessons focus on the Founding of our Nation – with 30 books that cover topics such as the Inuit/First Nations people, the Vikings and other Early Explorers, Acadia, the 7 Years War, the War of 1812, the Underground Railroad, and other such moments up until Confederation. While it was designed to be done within a year, the author mentions that it can take longer, if you choose to do all the extra activities and take your time reading through the stories.
Available for purchase as an emailed PDF or Microsoft Word file, as a digital copy via CD, or as a printed copy, the lessons include:
- an objective
- vocabularly list
- introductory activity
- reference lists, which include the book to read and some additional resources to expand learning about that topic
- optional assignments, such as mapping out routes, essay writing, project prompts, timelines, thinking of questions, research, drawing prompts, and more.
A booklist and sample lesson are both available at the website, along with more detailed information about the course and how to use it.
It appears that many of the books chosen are older books. Although Connie believes they are readily available, be prepared that some will not be easy to find at your local library or through online bookstores just as Amazon. That being said, I think this series of lessons sound like a terrific program for anyone who is looking for a fun and creative way to make Canadian history real for their kids.